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Front Neuroinform. 2014 May 28;8:58. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2014.00058. eCollection 2014.

Extending the NIF DISCO framework to automate complex workflow: coordinating the harvest and integration of data from diverse neuroscience information resources.

Author information

1
Center for Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA ; VA Connecticut Healthcare System, US Department of Veterans Affairs West Haven, CT, USA ; Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA.
2
Center for Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Department of Neurosciences, Center for Research in Biological Systems, University of California at San Diego La Jolla, CA, USA.
4
Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA.
5
Center for Medical Informatics, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA ; VA Connecticut Healthcare System, US Department of Veterans Affairs West Haven, CT, USA ; Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, CT, USA ; Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

This paper describes how DISCO, the data aggregator that supports the Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF), has been extended to play a central role in automating the complex workflow required to support and coordinate the NIF's data integration capabilities. The NIF is an NIH Neuroscience Blueprint initiative designed to help researchers access the wealth of data related to the neurosciences available via the Internet. A central component is the NIF Federation, a searchable database that currently contains data from 231 data and information resources regularly harvested, updated, and warehoused in the DISCO system. In the past several years, DISCO has greatly extended its functionality and has evolved to play a central role in automating the complex, ongoing process of harvesting, validating, integrating, and displaying neuroscience data from a growing set of participating resources. This paper provides an overview of DISCO's current capabilities and discusses a number of the challenges and future directions related to the process of coordinating the integration of neuroscience data within the NIF Federation.

KEYWORDS:

biomedical informatics; data integration; database federation; database interoperation; neuroinformatics

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