Three papers published by EMBL scientists and their collaborators will make it much easier to share and compare information from large-scale proteomics data.
Two papers on reporting standards were published in Nature Biotechnology on 8th August and these standards were implemented by Bantscheff et al in their profiling of kinase inhibitors which will be published online in the same journal on 26th August.
As the quantity of available biological information and the use of public data repositories increases, consistency in the information held in these databases is vital to allow full integration, exchange and comparison of their contents.
As Europe’s main provider of biological data, the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) is involved in setting the precedent for reporting standards by applying these to its own data repositories such as ArrayExpress (microarray and gene expression data), IntAct (molecular interaction data) and PRIDE (protein identification linked to experimental evidence and publications).
The Minimum Information About a Proteomics Experiment (MIAPE) and the Minimum Information required for reporting a Molecular Interaction Experiment (MIMIx) guidelines propose the range of information to be recorded to document proteomics and molecular interaction data, respectively.
The standards aim to reduce ambiguity and capture all the necessary information from an experiment to set the experimental results in both a biological and a methodological context, thereby providing a deeper level of understanding to others exploring the data.
Henning Hermjakob from the EMBL-EBI, a co-author on both Perspectives papers published on 8th August, said “Through the community-wide uptake of agreed minimum reporting standards, we can all benefit from easier identification and use of information that is most relevant to our own areas of work. This is the next step in providing freely accessible data repositories of the highest possible quality.”
The Nature Biotechnology Perspectives papers, published as open-source articles, outline the proposed reporting requirements for proteomics and molecular interaction experiments and discuss their implementation, impact and benefits.
The later research paper, published in the same journal on 26th August, shows how implementation of these standards benefits not only the reporting researchers, but also the wider community through the development of more detailed and comprehensive information resources.