eScience in Action

Description and Annotation of Biomedical Data Sets

  • Jen Ferguson (Harvard School of Public Health)


Deposition of biomedical data sets is on the rise as more scientists submit experimental data to accompany their publications. Scientists are also increasingly reusing these publicly available data sets in their own work. Despite these developments, lack of both context and metadata can create barriers to understanding and repurposing these data sets. Researchers from the Bioinformatics Core Group in the Harvard School of Public Health attempted to address this issue by assembling a team of data curators who used the open source software suite ISA tools to annotate and contextualize microarray data sets.

This paper describes the workflow and software used in curating these data sets, discusses similarities and differences in the approaches of team members to the work, and suggests possible roles for librarians in similar data curation projects.

Keywords: curation, microarray, escience, ISA, gene expression

How to Cite:

Ferguson, J., (2012) “Description and Annotation of Biomedical Data Sets”, Journal of eScience Librarianship 1(1): 9. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2012 The Author(s).

Download PDF



Published on
14 Feb 2012