Sage Bionetworks 3rd Commons Congress

The internet, and the technology it has facilitated, has revolutionised the way we all share information and the effects are no more profound than in the sciences. Sage Bionetworks, a not-for-profit organisation based in Washington state, is just one example of the utilisation of technology and the web to advance learning and drive research. The organisation, founded by Stephen Friend and Eric Schadt, aims to link and co-ordinate academic and commercial biomedical researchers, facilitating the sharing of research and data to elucidate the genetic causes of disease.

In April this year, Sage Bionetworks will host the third Commons Congress, which will focus on how far the technical and legal foundations laid to support data sharing have gone to promoting faster science, increased patient engagement, and better results in drug discovery. The full agenda is online now, alongside the list of participants, including BioMed Central. For those not attending, all talks and presentations will be video streamed to the congress website.

During the congress, Eric Schadt, Editor-in-Chief of Open Network Biology, will be discussing the journal’s early experiences of promoting its novel approach to publishing data and models, including a description of the new article type, a ‘Model’, being piloted by the journal, which describes models of complex phenotypes derived from integrated large scale genetic and clinical data. The journal shares the Congress’s open data ethos, and advocates data sharing by requiring deposition of data in feely available repositories. This will enable readers to reconstruct the model described based on the corresponding data provided in addition to the published article, and to apply the model to new and different problems.

As an open access journal, Open Network Biology articles will be free to read and share, creating an invaluable archive of scientific literature relating to network models and their application. The journal is now accepting submissions. To submit or find out more, take a look at our instructions for authors. If you would like to know about submitting to Open Network Biology, or if your research is in scope for the journal, email

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