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. 2012 Oct;10(4):331-9.
doi: 10.1007/s12021-012-9151-4.

Sharing Heterogeneous Data: The National Database for Autism Research

Free PMC article

Sharing Heterogeneous Data: The National Database for Autism Research

Dan Hall et al. Neuroinformatics. .
Free PMC article


The National Database for Autism Research (NDAR) is a secure research data repository designed to promote scientific data sharing and collaboration among autism spectrum disorder investigators. The goal of the project is to accelerate scientific discovery through data sharing, data harmonization, and the reporting of research results. Data from over 25,000 research participants are available to qualified investigators through the NDAR portal. Summary information about the available data is available to everyone through that portal.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Schematic of NDAR Data Federation
This image shows the basic steps involved in delivering data to a user from all of the repositories federated with NDAR. In step 1, a user asks for data from multiple sites. This is currently requires the user to point and click, but this will be replaced by a web services interface shortly. In step 2, NDAR checks both the NDAR data repository as well as the data in the other repositories to see what is available. In step 3, the data available to that user is assembled. For this example, the user has been approved to receive data from AGRE but not from IAN. In step 4, the data is returned to the user.

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