Metadata Management and Semantics in Microarray Repositories

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Metadata Management and Semantics in Microarray Repositories

The number of microarray and other high-through-put experiments on primary repositories keeps increasing as do the size and complexity of the results in response to biomedical investigations. Initiatives have been started on standardization of content, object model, exchange format and ontology. However, there are backlogs and inability to exchange data between microarray repositories, which indicate that there is a great need for a standard format and data management.

We have introduced a metadata framework that includes a metadata card and semantic nets that make experimental results visible, understandable and usable. These are encoded in syntax encoding schemes and represented in RDF (Resource Description Frameword), can be integrated with other metadata cards and semantic nets, and can be exchanged, shared and queried. We demonstrated the performance and potential benefits through a case study on a selected microarray repository. We concluded that the backlogs can be reduced and that exchange of information and asking of knowledge discovery questions can become possible with the use of this metadata framework.

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