Dr. Shyam Diwakar, Associate Professor, Amrita School of Biotechnology, and Director of Computational Neuroscience and Neurophysiology, Amritapuri, was invited to talk at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT)'s National Conference on Open Data and Data Repositories (NCODDR) at their campus in Kochi on March 6, 2018.

Organised by CUSAT's University library, the talk and the conference was attended by librarians, data curators, corporate sector representatives, academicians and students. The conference also included Dr. Neeta Varma, Director General, NIC, Government of India.

The invited talk at NCODDR was on "Challenges for OER and Open Medical Models - Case Studies from Big Data and Virtual Laboratory Environments" and covered Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's ongoing efforts to create and maintain open data and online educational resources. Amrita's Virtual Laboratories, a National Mission project, now provides 360+ online labs for University-level higher education. Such online labs generate significant usage data that has been allowing new pedagogical practices and studies.

Additionally, Dr. Shyam Diwakar and the Computational Neuroscience Laboratory have been working on mathematical models of brain circuits, software tools and data that are openly and publicly available. The talk highlighted the need for FAIR (Findable Accessible Interoperable and Reusable) standards in research data and the challenge for librarians to curate such data in India's Universities.

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