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Brief Bioinform. 2009 Jan;10(1):1-10. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbn041. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Bringing Web 2.0 to bioinformatics.

Author information

1
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

Abstract

Enabling deft data integration from numerous, voluminous and heterogeneous data sources is a major bioinformatic challenge. Several approaches have been proposed to address this challenge, including data warehousing and federated databasing. Yet despite the rise of these approaches, integration of data from multiple sources remains problematic and toilsome. These two approaches follow a user-to-computer communication model for data exchange, and do not facilitate a broader concept of data sharing or collaboration among users. In this report, we discuss the potential of Web 2.0 technologies to transcend this model and enhance bioinformatics research. We propose a Web 2.0-based Scientific Social Community (SSC) model for the implementation of these technologies. By establishing a social, collective and collaborative platform for data creation, sharing and integration, we promote a web services-based pipeline featuring web services for computer-to-computer data exchange as users add value. This pipeline aims to simplify data integration and creation, to realize automatic analysis, and to facilitate reuse and sharing of data. SSC can foster collaboration and harness collective intelligence to create and discover new knowledge. In addition to its research potential, we also describe its potential role as an e-learning platform in education. We discuss lessons from information technology, predict the next generation of Web (Web 3.0), and describe its potential impact on the future of bioinformatics studies.

PMID:
18842678
PMCID:
PMC2638627
DOI:
10.1093/bib/bbn041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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