Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Science without secrets – how Galaxy democratizes data analysis

In the realm of scientific research, challenges arise from the domain-specific nature of compute and data requirements, leaving many researchers grappling with the complexities of diverse platforms. Often, limited computing skills and constrained access to infrastructure exacerbate the struggle. Galaxy, an open-source platform, addresses these hurdles through a community-driven approach, emphasizing transparency, reproducibility, and reusability. Acting as a multi-user environment, Galaxy facilitates seamless sharing of tools, workflows, and data, fostering collaboration and making result replication accessible for verification. Galaxy's versatility spans diverse scientific domains, such as life science, materials science, astrophysics, and climate science, showcasing its adaptability and garnering popularity across disciplines. The open ecosystem allows communities to include continuous tooling with low-threshold and thus enables dynamical and interdisciplinary work, the inclusion of new research fields, and preserving research contexts for reproducibility. With a user base exceeding 83,000 on the European Galaxy Server, one of the biggest among over 300 Galaxy servers, users benefit from a seamless experience in data analysis and effective resolution of computational challenges. Scalability is ensured by utilizing High Performance Compute and Cloud-based infrastructures as well as distributed computation and storage technologies.This approach enables research teams to utilize their own computational infrastructure and store data on-premise, proving especially advantageous for ensuring compliance with GDPR requirements. Containerization strategies and package/environment management systems, such as Conda, play a crucial role in ensuring reproducibility. By encapsulating applications and managing dependencies, they contribute to the creation of a more reliable environment for scientific research within Galaxy. Galaxy's impact extends to collaborations with European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and ELIXIR, demonstrating its integration into broader research infrastructures. Moreover, Galaxy's commitment to Research Data Management (RDM) is a pivotal aspect, providing tools for data import, organization, sharing, annotation, and export. This emphasizes Galaxy's role in addressing challenges associated with data storage and access, including cloud storage solutions like NextCloud or S3. Additionally, Galaxy's open infrastructure, free compute and training resources, as well as Training Infrastructure as a Service (TIaaS) contributes to breaking down barriers for researchers with varying technical backgrounds, fostering flexibility and independence from funding constraints.


Photo of Polina Polunina Polina Polunina
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