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The 'big data revolution' has enabled novel types of analyses in the life sciences, facilitated by public sharing and reuse of datasets. Here, we review the prodigious potential of reusing publicly available datasets and the challenges, limitations and risks associated with it. Due to the prominence, abundance and wide distribution of sequencing results, we focus on the reuse of publicly available sequence datasets. Through selected examples of successful reuse of different data (genome,doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0146.v1 fatcat:4yshhqpitvafhbwwmxmch6bjje