Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2006
Citation: Stein, L.D., Beavis, W.D., Gessler, D.D., Huala, E., Lawrence, C.J., Main, D., Mueller, L.A., Rhee, S.Y., Rokhsar, D.S. 2006. Save our data! The Scientist 20(4):24-25. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The public research sector has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in grants to generate large-scale biological data sets, most notably in the field of genomics. Historically, the significance of such data sets to researchers persists for an extended period of time, in some cases far longer than the duration of the research grant that funded their generation. If public funding agencies are to preserve their investment in genome-scale research, they need to carefully balance data generation against the capacity of data repositories, and to identify and support groups that are able and willing to maintain long-term repositories. In January 2005, we formed a working group to look into these issues at the request of representatives of the NSF Plant Genome Program and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Although our primary focus was on the needs of plant biology, our discussion and conclusions apply to the maintenance of other genome-scale data sets, including those of animals, fungi, protists, and prokaryotes. This article describes the highlights of our conclusions. The full discussion can be found in our white paper, Plant Biology Databases: A Needs Assessment, published in its entirety at the three mirror sites www.gramene.org/resources/plant_databases.pdf, www.comparative-legumes.org/plant_databases.pdf, and www.arabidopsis.org/plant_databases.pdf.