Following the discussions in the #project-approval slack channel I would like to ask for community feedback and additional review of my project openSNP, https://www.openhumans.org/activity/opensnp/
Should this project be visible and available for all Open Humans members to join?
Please vote Approve or Deny, and/or comment.
Comments: This project was previously approved, but has been suspended by its coordinator and requests re-review before resuming. The project connects Open Humans accounts to openSNP accounts, and a user’s public profile/data is reciprocally shared between the two projects.
- Activity page: https://www.openhumans.org/activity/opensnp/
- Project review guide: Project Review Guide
- Project guidelines: https://www.openhumans.org/community-guidelines/#project
- Title: openSNP
- Managed by: Bastian Greshake Tzovaras / openSNP
- Description: openSNP is an open repository for genetic and phenotypic data. You can upload your genotyping data (from 23andMe, Ancestry.com, etc), your genome/exome sequencing data, and your phenotypic descriptions (like hair colour, eye colour, height, or medical conditions) on openSNP, where they will be put into the public domain and made publicly available. This activity allows you to link your Open Humans account to your openSNP account, making it easier to re-use data between the two projects! Both openSNP and Open Humans will receive your username on the other platform!
- Project website: https://opensnp.org
- Connections: 200 members (35 with public data)
- Data received: Open Humans username (implicitly, public data on Open Humans)
- Data added: Link to user’s openSNP account (implicitly, public data on openSNP)
Seems clear to me (what Open Humans will get, and what openSNP will get):
openSNP is an open repository for genetic and phenotypic data. You can upload your genotyping data (from 23andMe,
Ancestry.com, etc), your genome/exome sequencing data, and your phenotypic descriptions (like hair colour, eye colour, height, or medical conditions) on openSNP, where they will be put into the public domain and made publicly available. This activity allows you to link your Open Humans account to your openSNP account, making it easier to re-use data between the two projects! Both openSNP and Open Humans will receive your username on the other platform!
Access to username. The project also receives access to any data publicly shared by a member in their Open Humans profile.
Permission to send messages. Messages are received as emails, but the project does not receive access to the member’s email address.
Permission to return data: Will upload a link to the openSNP user page for two-way connection
- Uses https
Disclosure: I am a part-time staff member (developer) for Open Humans and I do not use this integration myself.
Approve. A summary of my reasoning is below… and thanks @mcescalante for kicking this off! I’m going ahead with my own review. I want to keep this moving, so… I’ll make an approve/deny decision in 24 hours if there’s no further feedback. (Or if additional feedback is consistent with the current consensus.)
TLDR: I see no major concerns and would love to see this connection reinstated.
- Community Guidelines: Good – To some extent I like to presume projects follow the guidelines themselves. The only potential issue I see is that it’s unclear what happens if one “withdraws” in Open Humans, but that’s partly a fault of OH’s features (we don’t provide OAuth2 projects with any signal upon withdrawal). It’s clear how to remove the connection or delete an account within the openSNP site.
- Clarity in communication: Excellent – It’s clear that it’s run by some individuals, not an organization/institution. I also like the transparency of open source code for the site. @gedankenstuecke is openSNP’s founder & now works with Open Humans, but I see minimal risk of someone confusing this as being a project operated by Open Humans – it predates it.
- Security/privacy: Good – openSNP has a lot of information cautioning users regarding potential risks in the genetic data uploads & public sharing it invites. The Open Humans connection is merely connecting data that was already public on both sites. I’m also more inclined to trust security operations because there are multiple developers involved, and it’s a mature project.
Disclosure: @gedankenstuecke is Director of Research of Open Humans Foundation – as Executive Director, I feel I have some conflict-of-interest in reviewing an independent project of a member of staff. Also, I’m an openSNP member and have used this integration myself.
Approve: I was already a participant in it, so I obviously didn’t have issues.
Thanks to @mcescalante and @blackbearnh for contributing reviews! This feedback, combined with my own review, unanimously supports (re)approval of the project. I’m going to close this topic, and many thanks to @gedankenstuecke for initiating a re-review as part of an effort to have more transparent & community-engaged project reviews.