Research Remix

May 25, 2011

Guest editor for Open Data series at BMC Research Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Heather Piwowar @ 11:04 am

I’m delighted to announce I’ve joined Dr Bill Hooker and Dr David Shotton as a Guest Editor the BMC Research Notes thematic Series entitled Data standardization, sharing, and publication.

First, let me tell you about what is the series all about and what sort of articles we’re looking for. In a subsequent post I’ll describe why I’m particularly interested in the mission of this series.

The series aims to promote best practice in data sharing and publication through data standardization.


This ongoing collection brings together articles describing domain-specific data standards and how to implement them, providing or linking to a reference data set prepared and formatted to serve as an example. -Series homepage

Very practical, very pragmatic.

The series has already published four papers (with more in the pipeline):

  • Kenyani, J., Medina-Aunon, J., Martinez-Bartolomé, S., Albar, J., Wastling, J., & Jones, A. (2011). A DIGE study on the effects of salbutamol on the rat muscle proteome – an exemplar of best practice for data sharing in proteomics BMC Research Notes, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-86
  • Spidlen, J., Shooshtari, P., Kollmann, T., & Brinkman, R. (2011). Flow cytometry data standards BMC Research Notes, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-50
  • Mathys, T., & Kamel Boulos, M. (2011). Geospatial resources for supporting data standards, guidance and best practice in health informatics BMC Research Notes, 4 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-19
  • Vickers, A., & Cronin, A. (2010). Data and programming code from the studies on the learning curve for radical prostatectomy BMC Research Notes, 3 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-234

Data sharing standards relevant to the series include reporting requirements, controlled vocabularies/ontologies for data description, and exchange formats.

The series has a goal. See this table of data sharing standards collected by BioSharing? In partnership with BioSharing, the BMC data series is working to add new rows to the data sharing catalogue as appropriate, representing new or newly discovered data sharing standards. Further, the collaboration aims to populate the “publication” column of the data sharing standards catalogue. Many data sharing standards aren’t well described in the literature and would benefit from the visibility. Similarly, many readers would appreciate a reference example of the standard in action. Do you work on a data sharing standard? If so, please read the call for contributions and get in touch!

Data standards are important, but they are only useful if they are actually used and support effective data sharing and reuse. To this end, we also welcome contributions related to the adoption of data sharing standards, lessons learned, and other educational articles that promote best practice in data sharing across biology and medicine. It probably isn’t the best place to submit a general overview on why data sharing is the bee’s knees, but it could be a great venue for evaluations, analysis, technical proposals, and other nuts-and-bolts discussions on how to do data sharing well. BioMed Central focuses on biology and medicine, though experiences from other fields may be appropriate if parallels are drawn to issues within biology and medicine. If you have an idea for a submission, please contact the BMC Research Notes editorial office at with a pre-submission enquiry.

So point your RSS readers here and stay tuned. And if you have a submission you think would be appropriate, get in touch! Needless to say, all BMC publications are Open Access. BMC fees for publishing in this series are waived :)

ETA:  Fees are waived on submissions to this series indefinitely, not until December 2011 as I’d previously written.

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