SPARC Dataset Structure (SDS)

Rationale for SPARC's adherence to the FAIR standard for biomedical research data and how to learn more about it

SPARC Dataset Structure policy

For the policy regarding the SPARC dataset structure, please read this publication:


The NIH Common Fund’s Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) initiative is a large-scale program that seeks to accelerate the development of therapeutic devices that modulate electrical activity in nerves to improve organ function. Integral to the SPARC program are the rich anatomical and functional datasets produced by investigators across the SPARC consortium that provide key details about organ-specific circuitry, including structural and functional connectivity, mapping of cell types and molecular profiling. These datasets are provided to the research community through an open data platform, the SPARC Portal. To ensure SPARC datasets are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR), they are all submitted to the SPARC portal following a standard scheme established by the SPARC Curation Team, called the SPARC Data Structure (SDS). Inspired by the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS), the SDS has been designed to capture the large variety of data generated by SPARC investigators who are coming from all fields of biomedical research. Here we present the rationale and design of the SDS, including a description of the SPARC curation process and the automated tools for complying with the SDS, including the SDS validator and Software to Organize Data Automatically (SODA) for SPARC. The objective is to provide detailed guidelines for anyone desiring to comply with the SDS. Since the SDS are suitable for any type of biomedical research data, it can be adopted by any group desiring to follow the FAIR data principles for managing their data, even outside of the SPARC consortium. Finally, this manuscript provides a foundational framework that can be used by any organization desiring to either adapt the SDS to suit the specific needs of their data or simply desiring to design their own FAIR data sharing scheme from scratch.

More information about the SDS

Using this FAIR standard for metadata information and folder structure allows SPARC to share this data to the public in a manner that promotes understanding about the experiments, processes, and datasets. It also promotes the development of automated tools and analytics.

For information about this standard visit this presentation for high-level view or this more detailed page

A Dataset Template (currently at version 2.1.0) can be found here or downloaded as a zip file here