© The Author(s), 2012. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Nature Genetics 44 (2012): 121-126, doi:10.1038/ng.1054. ; To make full use of research data, the bioscience community needs to adopt technologies and reward mechanisms that support interoperability and promote the growth of an open 'data commoning' culture. Here we describe the prerequisites for data commoning and present an established and growing ecosystem of solutions using the shared 'Investigation-Study-Assay' framework to support that vision. ; The authors also acknowledge the following funding sources in particular: UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) BB/I000771/1 to S.-A.S. and A.T.; UK BBSRC BB/I025840/1 to S.-A.S.; UK BBSRC BB/I000917/1 to D.F.; EU CarcinoGENOMICS (PL037712) to J.K.; US National Institutes of Health (NIH) 1RC2CA148222-01 to W.H. and the HSCI; US MIRADA LTERS DEB-0717390 and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (ICoMM) to L.A.-Z.; Swiss Federal Government through the Federal Office of Education and Science (FOES) to L.B. and I.X.; EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Open PHACTS 115191 to C.T.E.; US Department of Energy (DOE) DE-AC02- 06CH11357 and Arthur P. Sloan Foundation (2011- 6-05) to J.G.; UK BBSRC SysMO-DB2 BB/I004637/1 and BBG0102181 to C.G.; UK BBSRC BB/I000933/1 to C.S. and J.L.G.; UK MRC UD99999906 to J.L.G.; US NIH R21 MH087336 (National Institute of Mental Health) and R00 GM079953 (National Institute of General Medical Science) to A.L.; NIH U54 HG006097 to J.C. and C.E.S.; Australian government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS); BIRN U24-RR025736 and BioScholar RO1-GM083871 to G.B. and the 2009 Super Science initiative to C.A.S.