More than 20 grass-roots standardization groups, led by scientists at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), have combined forces to form the “Minimum Information about a Biomedical or Biological Investigation” (MIBBI) initiative (www.mibbi.org). Their aim is to harmonize standards for high-throughput biology. The methodology is described in a Commentary article, published Nature Biotechnology.
Data standards are increasingly vital to scientific progress, as groups from around the world look to share their data and mine it more effectively. But the proliferation of projects to build “Minimum Information” checklists that describe experimental procedures was beginning to create problems. “There was no way of even finding all the current checklist projects without days of googling,” says the EMBL-EBI’s Chris Taylor, who shares first authorship of the paper with Dawn Field (CEH) and Susanna-Assunta Sansone (EMBL-EBI). “As a result, much of the great work that’s going into developing community standards was being overlooked, and different communities were at risk of developing mutually incompatible standards. MIBBI will help to prevent them from reinventing the wheel.”
The MIBBI Portal offers information for researchers, funders, journals, and reviewers searching for a comprehensive list of minimum information checklists. The next step will be to build the MIBBI Foundry, which will bring together diverse communities to rationalise and streamline standardisation efforts, according to an oragnziation statement.
“MIBBI represents the first new effort taking the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) as its role model,” says Susanna-Assunta Sansone. “The MIBBI Portal operates in a manner analogous to OBO as an open information resource, while the MIBBI Foundry fosters collaborative development and integration of checklists into self-contained modules just like the OBO Foundry does for the ontologies.”
Release date: September 8, 2008
Source: Minimum Information about a Biomedical or Biological Investigation