GenBank errors

Phil Green pg at GENOME.WUSTL.EDU
Tue Oct 22 14:09:40 EST 1991


Paul Gilna (pgil at histone.lanl.gov) writes:
>	... the curator
>	program has already begun to bring in a number of scientists,
>	each of whose goal is to "fix" selected regions of the
>	database. ...

Since the curator program may have a significant impact on the quality
of the database, I think many of us outside Genbank/EMBL/DDBJ would appreciate
knowing more about it. Who are the current curators, and what parts
of the database are they responsible for? How many will there be?
What are they empowered to do in terms of merging and correcting
entries? Are there well-defined criteria that they are expected to
apply? Are there estimates (even crude ones) of the 
magnitude of the problem they face -- i.e. amount of duplication/errors
currently in the database -- and of the expected time necessary to deal with it?

   It might be useful for the databases to sponsor regular publications
concerning the curatorial effort -- e.g. a special issue of some journal,
perhaps an electronic one -- in which each curator would summarize the
status of sequence data (amount, accuracy, etc.) on his/her organism. 
This would give the
curators publications & visibility as compensation for what is 
otherwise a fairly thankless task, and would also allow the scientific
community a chance to review the curatorial process. The Human Gene
Mapping Committee reports, published following the HGM Workshops,
are an example of an analogous activity in Gene Mapping arena.
It seems to me that sequence curating is at least if not more important
to the molecular biology community as map curating, and it is unfortunate
that it has received much less attention to date.

Phil Green
Genetics Dept.
Washington Univ. Med. School
St. Louis
pg at genome.wustl.edu



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