FlyWire Principles

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Community principles

Access to the published dataset. Published versions of FlyWire’s data are available under CC BY-NC 4.0 license. The principles below describe how to approach usage of FlyWire for data that is not part of a public release yet or that was used before the data was made public.

Openness. All results of proofreading are immediately available to all members of the FlyWire community. All researchers in fly neurobiology laboratories are welcome to apply.

Fairness. Before using previously unpublished reconstructions in a presentation or scientific publication, users must obtain agreement from every lab that identified those cells or contributed more than 10% of the edits on those reconstructions, or assessed them to be adequately complete according to community standards. This applies to FlyWire cells themselves and also to the use of FlyWire data for any purpose. (For example, this applies to cells reconstructed in other EM software platforms using FlyWire data for guidance.) When contacting FlyWire users to seek their agreement for the use of cells they contributed to, a lack of response within one month may be taken as agreement. Contributors may request co-authorship or acknowledgments, with the understanding that a few hours or days of work may not constitute authorship, but that many days or months of work most likely would. In addition, it is important for the advancement of science that contributors not block publication for others - if a block to publication is requested, an appeal can be raised with the advisory board, who will consider factors such as research interests and relative contributions of the labs involved. Early and active collaboration between users is encouraged to prevent disputes.

To publish neurons from FlyWire, a member lab must submit a list by emailing or through a planned online submission system, and then must make that list available in the paper. The list should include segment IDs plus coordinates of a point in each nucleus, or if no nucleus is present, a point in a main branch. Once FlyWire neurons are published, they are available for free use with appropriate citations, without soliciting the agreement of FlyWire users who contributed to the published versions of those neurons. (If a neuron is edited after publication, the use of its post-publication edited version is subject to the agreement of contributors as described for unpublished neurons above.)

Communication. Labs are encouraged to communicate with each other early in a project through chat, email, and other channels. Coordination of reconstruction and analysis activities will increase the pace of discovery. Members may not share information with any individual who has not been granted access or agreed to these Principles. All active members and their PIs must sign onto the FlyWire Forum frequently to check for announcements and collaborative communications from other members.

Mutual respect. We should all respect each others’ efforts to achieve the common goal of understanding the fly nervous system. Mutual respect fosters a win-win situation, and generates synergy that lifts everybody up.

Design principles

Wikipedia-style crowd wisdom. Anyone is permitted to edit anything. We believe this approach will yield accuracy, once we find the appropriate checks and balances.

Social before technological solutions. Prototyping of workflows should focus on getting the human element correct, using “low-tech” means like Google Docs and Sheets for coordination. Later on, workflows will be implemented by the engineering team as integrated features of the FlyWire site.

Cultural norms over formal laws. The FlyWire community should establish a good culture from the outset. Formal laws will be introduced when necessary but ideally will be kept to a minimum.

Version 1.3 June 30, 2023