As neuroscience projects increase in scale and cross international borders, different ethical principles, national and international laws, regulations, and policies for data sharing must be considered. These concerns are part of what is collectively called data governance. Whereas neuroscience data transcend borders, data governance is typically constrained within geopolitical boundaries. An international data governance framework and accompanying infrastructure can assist investigators, institutions, data repositories, and funders with navigating disparate policies. Here, we propose principles and operational considerations for how data governance in neuroscience can be navigated at an international scale and highlight gaps, challenges, and opportunities in a global brain data ecosystem. We consider how to approach data governance in a way that balances data protection requirements and the need for open science, so as to promote international collaboration through federated constructs such as the International Brain Initiative (IBI).
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