This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
There are exciting biological questions which require programming and large online data resources to address, yet many traditionally-trained biologists lack the informatics skills needed for successful analysis. In the last decade, new aggregated, open data resources have become available, but these are not often being leveraged effectively for big data research. Using a new hackathon-inspired format, the EOL-BHL-NESCent Research Sprint facilitated scientific discovery by supporting teams to use online data resources such as the Encyclopedia of Life and Biodiversity Heritage Library to answer their biological questions. We describe the methods of the research sprint and present results indicating its success in producing publications, in introducing scientists to large-scale informatics resources and approaches, and in encouraging new collaborations.
This report is not intended for peer review but to document the methods behind the event that generated papers in the EOL-BHL-NESCent Research Sprint collection. We encourage authors to cite it when referencing the Research Sprint methodology, activities of NESCent, or the usage of EOL or BHL in research.