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Database (Oxford). 2012 May 2;2012:bas024. doi: 10.1093/database/bas024. Print 2012.

Directly e-mailing authors of newly published papers encourages community curation.

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  • 1FlyBase, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EH, UK.


Much of the data within Model Organism Databases (MODs) comes from manual curation of the primary research literature. Given limited funding and an increasing density of published material, a significant challenge facing all MODs is how to efficiently and effectively prioritize the most relevant research papers for detailed curation. Here, we report recent improvements to the triaging process used by FlyBase. We describe an automated method to directly e-mail corresponding authors of new papers, requesting that they list the genes studied and indicate ('flag') the types of data described in the paper using an online tool. Based on the author-assigned flags, papers are then prioritized for detailed curation and channelled to appropriate curator teams for full data extraction. The overall response rate has been 44% and the flagging of data types by authors is sufficiently accurate for effective prioritization of papers. In summary, we have established a sustainable community curation program, with the result that FlyBase curators now spend less time triaging and can devote more effort to the specialized task of detailed data extraction. Database URL:

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