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BMC Res Notes. 2009 Apr 14;2:56. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-2-56.

The need for genetic variant naming standards in published abstracts of human genetic association studies.

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Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


We analyzed the use of RefSNP (rs) numbers to identify genetic variants in abstracts of human genetic association studies published from 2001 through 2007. The proportion of abstracts reporting rs numbers increased rapidly but was still only 15% in 2007. We developed a web-based tool called Variant Name Mapper to assist in mapping historical genetic variant names to rs numbers. The consistent use of rs numbers in abstracts that report genetic associations would enhance knowledge synthesis and translation in this field.

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