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METHODS is dedicated to converging and connecting research communities performing empirical research on human behavior.

METHODS research communities and their relations. While the disciplines involved in the consortium represent only a small subset of disciplines conducting empirical research on human behavior, and not all research within these fields is empirical, they are related by thematic and methodological proximity.

Most of the empirical research on human behavior originates from a large number of small studies. Since the recording and assessment of human behavior is a costly and elaborate process, the data obtained in these small studies is particularly valuable for use and reuse. Furthermore, human behavioral data needs careful curation to be useful to other researchers, despite the commonalities in the methodological workflow. METHODS aims at providing an infrastructure that secures primary, derivative and published data availability and data reuse for the large number of (small) studies unable to achieve this.

METHODS pursues an approach that organizes the world of data by methods that share similar workflows, ontologies, and metadata, despite the differences in data types, standards, and tools.

Schematic representation of the canonical workflow (adapted from Jeffery et al., 2021) shared by METHODS members and research communities. Importantly, while empirical research on human behavior within the different disciplines generally follows this workflow, single studies might only involve a subset of steps, dependent on the standards set by the research communities, publishers or funding bodies and rely on different tools and platforms for each of the steps.

METHODS builds on the similarities shared by the different communities along the workflow and aims at providing interfaces to bridge the differences between existing and already applied tools, platforms and standards to allow sustainable and FAIR research data management. To achieve this, the work of the METHODS consortium is organized into Task Areas.

Information on the structural organization of the METHODS consortium can be found in the Governance section.