February 28, 2013

BCM Informatics Team, Thomson Reuters Collaborate On Global Scientific Dataset Citation Resource

The informatics team of the Nuclear Receptor Signaling Atlas, based in Baylor College of Medicine´s department of molecular and cellular biology, is collaborating with the global information company Thomson Reuters, makers of EndnoteTM software, to increase access to public datasets for the global biomedical research community. Thomson Reuters has identified NURSA as a key resource for a new initiative called the Data Citation IndexSM, which will become part of Thomson Reuters "Web of Knowledge," a research portal used by 21 million researchers worldwide.

"The traditional model of scientific publication does not lend itself to the dissemination of the increasing volume of large and complex datasets that modern research technology is generating," said Dr. Neil McKenna, an assistant professor at BCM and leader of the NURSA informatics team. "Indexing these datasets in Web of Knowledge will greatly increase their visibility and citation rate in the community, ultimately translating to a higher rate of deposition of datasets in public repositories."

While a 2008 federal law requires deposition of scientific papers supported by National Institutes of Health funds in PubMed Central, there is no such law in place for NIH-funded datasets, which often contain many thousands of data points that go unreported in papers.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Baylor College of Medicine," said Chris Burghardt, vice president at Thomson Reuters. "NURSA will be a valuable addition to our Data Citation Index. It will enable biomedical researchers, institutions and funders in the nuclear receptor field to gain a comprehensive view of the origins of critical research projects and influence the future paths they take, while also eliminating unnecessary duplication of work and speeding the scientific research process."

NURSA, a trans-NIH consortium with major funding from by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Institute of Child Health and Development, was established in 2002 as a research resource for the nuclear receptor signaling field. Its principal investigators are Dr. McKenna, Dr. Bert O´Malley, chair of molecular and cellular biology at BCM, and Dr. Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif. IT support for NURSA is provided by the Biomedical Informatics Group of the Dan L Duncan Cancer Center under the leadership of Dr. Lauren Becnel.


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