New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Scientists Undertake Effort to Launch Video Data-Sharing Library for Developmental Science

July 2, 2013
380

In the largest open-source video-data sharing project of its kind, behavioral researchers, digital library scientists, and computer scientists are undertaking the creation of Databrary, a web-based video-data library sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

To capture the richness of behavioral development and to understand its complexity, developmental scientists analyze behavior using video-recorded data—on average, 12 hours of video per week. Databrary aims to encourage widespread data sharing in the developmental and behavioral sciences where video is commonly employed, but rarely shared.

Databrary will enable researchers to store and openly share videos and related information about the studies. Researchers and clinicians can use Databrary to browse, download, and re-analyze video data. The goal is to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and make more efficient use of public investments in scientific research.

The Databrary team is led by Karen Adolph, Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University (NYU); Rick Gilmore, Associate Professor of Psychology at Penn State; and David Millman, Director of Digital Library Technology Services at NYU. NIH’s support comes from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

“By creating tools for open video data sharing, we expect to increase scientific transparency, deepen insights, and better exploit prior investments in developmental and behavioral research,” explained Adolph, whose own research examines the process of learning and development in infant motor skill acquisition.

Video data sharing marks a ground-breaking approach to “big data” efforts in scientific behavioral research.

“Because raw video data are so rich and complex, research teams will be able to access a wealth of data from studies around the world and pursue countless lines of inquiry into behavior and its development,” said Adolph. “Researchers can build on each other’s efforts to learn from prior examples, test competing hypotheses, and repurpose data in ways unimagined by the original researcher.”

Gilmore, who studies visual perception and brain development at Penn State, continued: “Video can be combined with other data sources like brain imaging, eye movements, and heart rate to give a more complete and integrated picture of the brain, body, and behavior.”

Databrary will be the first large-scale, open data-sharing system that enables behavioral scientists to share and re-use research video files. The project is part of a series of “big data” and data science initiatives underway at NYU. NYU’s Division of Libraries and Information Technology Services are providing infrastructure and curation support in a close partnership with the project.

Databrary also provides a response to the growing federal mandate for the management and sharing of data from federally funded research.

“I am very excited that NICHD is supporting this endeavor,” says Lisa Freund, Branch Chief for the Child Development and Behavior Branch. “Databrary has tremendous potential for enhancing developmental behavioral science and facilitating discoveries that wouldn’t be possible without such a sharing infrastructure.”

In addition to the web-based data library (databrary.org), the project also involves enhancing an existing, free, open-source software tool (datavyu.org) that researchers can use to score, explore, and analyze video recordings. The Datavyu tool allows researchers to mine video recordings for new information and to discover previously unrecognized patterns in behavior.

Because videos contain faces and voices, Databrary will limit full access only to authorized researchers who have signed a written agreement with Databrary to keep confidential the identities of people depicted in stored recordings. People depicted in recordings must give written permission for their information to be shared.

Databrary will be housed at NYU. Other project partners include NYU’s Center for Data Science and Penn State’s Social, Life, & Engineering Sciences Imaging Center.

Alternate Contact:

Victoria M. Indivero
814.865.9481
vmi1@psu.edu


This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Research, Arts and Science, Division of Libraries

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: James Devitt | (212) 998-6808

Scientists Undertake Effort to Launch Video Data-Sharing Library for Developmental Science

In the largest open-source video-data sharing project of its kind, behavioral researchers, digital library scientists, and computer scientists are undertaking the creation of Databrary, a web-based video-data library sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Search News



NYU In the News

CUSP Unveils its “Urban Observatory”

Crain’s New York Business profiled CUSP’s “Urban Observatory” that is continuously photographing lower Manhattan to gather scientific data.

Post-Sandy Upgrades at the Langone Medical Center

NY1 reported on the major post-Sandy upgrades and renovations made at the Medical Center to protect the hospital from future catastrophic storms.

Steinhardt Research Helps Solve Tough Speech Problems.

The Wall Street Journal reported on research at Steinhardt’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders, including an interview with Assistant Professor Tara McAllister Byun, that uses ultrasound to help solve tough speech problems.

Times Column Lauds Professor Stevenson’s New Memoir

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about “Just Mercy,” a new memoir by Law Professor Bryan Stevenson, the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, whom he noted has been called America’s Nelson Mandela.

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

NYU Footer