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Database (Oxford). 2009;2009:bap017. Epub 2009 Oct 23.

Models for financial sustainability of biological databases and resources.

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Institute of Immunology, Biomedical Sciences Research Center Alexander Fleming, 34 Fleming Street, 16672 Athens, Greece, MRC Mary Lyon Centre, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire, OX11 0RD, European Bioinformatics Institute, EMBL, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SD, UK, Experimental Mouse Genetics, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research & University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Inhoffenstrabe 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany, EMBL-Monterotondo Outstation, Via Ramarini 32, 00015 Monterotondo-Scalo (RM), Italy, Bioinformatics Group, MRC Harwell, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0RD and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3DY, UK.


Following the technological advances that have enabled genome-wide analysis in most model organisms over the last decade, there has been unprecedented growth in genomic and post-genomic science with concomitant generation of an exponentially increasing volume of data and material resources. As a result, numerous repositories have been created to store and archive data, organisms and material, which are of substantial value to the whole community. Sustained access, facilitating re-use of these resources, is essential, not only for validation, but for re-analysis, testing of new hypotheses and developing new technologies/platforms. A common challenge for most data resources and biological repositories today is finding financial support for maintenance and development to best serve the scientific community. In this study we examine the problems that currently confront the data and resource infrastructure underlying the biomedical sciences. We discuss the financial sustainability issues and potential business models that could be adopted by biological resources and consider long term preservation issues within the context of mouse functional genomics efforts in Europe.

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