In July 2015, Mary Ellen McIntire reported on a fascinating project in the U.S called DataBridge that created a repository of scientific knowledge and data sets that would otherwise be dumped in hidden places thereby rendering them inaccessible. DataBridge helps deposit such data sets in one place to enable their exploitation for any potential value as the project summary indicates:
“Getting the most out of our research investments requires access to the full scope of data being collected. Yet all too often, researchers individually gather data, publish their analyses, and then store the data away, never to be used again. This “dark data” holds tremendous potential, but it is currently untapped because it simply isn’t discoverable by others. Science needs new tools to find new connections among the millions of hidden scientific data sets and unlock the value within. DataBridge is a streamlined, automated system that enables these valuable, existing data sets to be discovered, shared, and used. By creating a sophisticated social network that enables data sets to connect with each other, DataBridge aims to shine a light on dark data. With DataBridge, researchers can discover existing data sets that are relevant to their research, find other scientists engaged in similar research, and contribute their data for the benefit of others. It illuminates hidden connections across the scientific world, allowing researchers to make unexpected discoveries from unexpected data–and allowing the country to reap more benefit from each dollar of its research investment.”
You can read more here.