Deposition of biomedical data sets is on the rise as more scientists submit experimental data to accompany their publications. Scientists are also increasingly reusing these publicly available data sets in their own work. Despite these developments, lack of both context and metadata can create barriers to understanding and repurposing these data sets. Researchers from the Bioinformatics Core Group in the Harvard School of Public Health attempted to address this issue by assembling a team of data curators who used the open source software suite ISA tools to annotate and contextualize microarray data sets.

This paper describes the workflow and software used in curating these data sets, discusses similarities and differences in the approaches of team members to the work, and suggests possible roles for librarians in similar data curation projects.


Published in Journal of eScience Librarianship v.1 no.1 (2012), pp.51-56. doi:10.7191/jeslib.2012.1000

The author is affiliated with Northeastern University as of the time of deposit.


curation, microarray, escience, gene expression


Bioinformatics | Library and Information Science


Lamar Soutter Library, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Publication Date


Rights Information

Copyright: © 2012 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncsa/3.0/.

Rights Holder

Jen Ferguson

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