The minimum information about a genome sequence (MIGS) specification

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dawn Field*1, George Garrity2, Tanya Gray1, Norman Morrison3,4, Jeremy Selengut5, Peter Sterk6, Tatiana Tatusova7, Nicholas Thomson8, Michael J Allen9, Samuel V Angiuoli5,10, Michael Ashburner11, Nelson Axelrod5, Sandra Baldauf12, Stuart Ballard13, Jeffrey Boore14, Guy Cochrane6, James Cole2, Peter Dawyndt15, Paul De Vos16,17, Claude dePamphilis18, Robert Edwards19,20, Nadeem Faruque6, Robert Feldman21, Jack Gilbert9, Paul Gilna22,  Frank Oliver Glöckner23, Philip Goldstein24, Robert Guralnick24, Dan Haft5, David Hancock3,4, 
Henning Hermjakob6, Christiane Hertz-Fowler8, Phil Hugenholtz25, Ian Joint9, Leonid Kagan5, Matthew Kane26, Jessie Kennedy27, George Kowalchuk28, Renzo Kottmann23, Eugene Kolker29–31, Saul Kravitz5, Nikos Kyrpides32, Jim Leebens-Mack33, Suzanna E Lewis34, Kelvin Li5, Allyson L Lister35,36, Phillip Lord35, Natalia Maltsev20, Victor Markowitz37, Jennifer Martiny38, Barbara Methe5, Ilene Mizrachi7, Richard Moxon39, Karen Nelson5,40, Julian Parkhill8, Lita Proctor26, Owen White10, Susanna-Assunta Sansone6, Andrew Spiers42, Robert Stevens3, 
Paul Swift1, Chris Taylor6, Yoshio Tateno43, Adrian Tett1, Sarah Turner1, David Ussery44, Bob Vaughan6, Naomi Ward45, Trish Whetzel46, Ingio San Gil41, Gareth Wilson1 & Anil Wipat35,36.

With the quantity of genomic data increasing at an exponential rate, it is imperative that these data be captured electronically, in a standard format. Standardization activities must proceed within the auspices of open-access and international working bodies. To tackle the issues surrounding the development of better descriptions of genomic investigations, we have formed the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC). Here, we introduce the minimum information about a genome sequence (MIGS) specification with the intent of promoting participation in its development and discussing the resources that will be required to develop improved mechanisms of metadata capture and exchange. As part of its wider goals, the GSC also supports improving the 'transparency' of the information contained in existing genomic databases.