Guest Post by Dr. Allyson Lister, Knowledge Engineer, BioSharing & ISA-Tools, University of Oxford e-Research Centre
BioSharing‘s Information Resources are curated and searchable web-based registries of linked information about content standards (broadly including minimum information reporting requirements, terminologies and representation formats/models), databases, and (progressively) journal and funder policies in the life sciences.
In the life sciences alone there are over six hundred content standards and thousands of databases. But, what standards are the appropriate community norms? What databases implement which standards or are appropriate for certain data types? And, where can data curated according to certain standards be found? To address these questions, BioSharing works to ensure that content standards are informative and discoverable, monitoring their:
- development, evolution and integration;
- implementation and use in databases; and
- adoption in data policies by funders and journals.
Specifically, BioSharing helps:
- researchers, developers and curators navigate and select relevant content standards, understand their maturity, and find databases that implement them;
- funders, journals, and librarians make informed decisions on which content standards or database should be recommended in their policies, funded or implemented.
Scientific Data is a part of the growing BioSharing community. Together we make it easier for life science researchers to discover and use content standards, and to deposit data to standards-compliant databases, where available. This collaboration supports Scientific Data’s policies and enriches their list of recommended data repositories. Content standards can enable Scientific Data’s authors and in-house curator to harmonize information in Data Descriptors with community norms, opening the content to transparent interpretation and, in principle, enabling data to be reproduced, compared and integrated.
Now BioSharing is also operating as a Working Group under Force11 and the Research Data Alliance. With the help of our community and Advisory Board we have developed a questionnaire to identify which enhancements our current and prospective users find most important.
Please take a look at our questionnaire and let us know what features you’d like to see on BioSharing. The more responses we get, the more useful the questionnaire becomes. Your answers will help us prioritize our improvements to BioSharing’s capabilities in a way most appropriate to your needs.