Google has opened a new service called Google Base that allows you to upload, publish and index arbitrary data for free. Does this mean that scientists can now share their raw data simply by uploading it to Google Base, without bothering to store and webhost it themselves?
I checked out the site and it seems that Google explicitly invites all kinds of data, with no size restrictions. But I find it hard to believe that Google can really handle all the terrabytes of data that some labs generate; in fact, just a few days ago, I was thinking of uploading a few hundred gigs of imaging videos to Google Video; but do they really want that? On the other hand, maybe they can handle it; they are Google, after all.
So my opinion is that scientists should start submitting their data (all of it, including large raw data files) to Google Base until/unless Google says they changed their mind and they don’t want it.
Also, don’t forget about subject-specific databases like neurodatabase.org; until the bright future of ubiquitous cross-database integration arrives, it will be easier to search for things with the subject-specific databases, provided that enough people use the same ones.
See this news article in Nature for more commentary.