Implementing Effective Biocuration Process, Training, and Quality Management Protocols on Undergraduate Biocuration of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
True, Rachel Wilcox
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Biocuration is manual scientific collection, annotation and validation of literary information of biological and model organisms into a single database. Successful biocuration processes involve those with an extensive collection of literature, a user-friendly database interfaces for entering and analyzing data from published papers, and highly regulated training and quality assurance protocols. Due to the rapid expansion of biomedical literature, an efficient and accurate biocuration process has become more valuable due to the magnitude of data available in published literature. As the biocuration process incorporates undergraduates, it is critical that the medium for data collection is simple, ergonomic, and infallible. A reconstructed FileMaker Pro database was introduced to previously trained undergraduate students for process evaluation. Streamlining the biocuration process and grouping data structure to be more intuitive were two goals the new database interface hoped to achieve. The creation of a rigorous training program and strict quality management protocol is needed to prepare the lab for the introduction of efficient biocuration processes. Through the database designing process, training protocols were drafted to effectively call the biocurator’s attention to important changes in the interface design. Upon prototyping the database, entry errors were reviewed, training protocols were adjusted, and the quality protocols were drafted. When the combination of undergraduate biocurators and the reconstructed database under these new protocols was compared to statistics in the biocuration field, results proved to show increase in both productivity rates as well as accuracy rates. By having such efficiency at the undergraduate level, subject matter experts will no longer be required to perform this type of research and can focus on analysis. This will increase research productivity and reduce costs in the overall biocuration process. With over 12,000 published papers regarding Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis on Pubmed in 2014 alone, this revolutionary combination could lead to quickly finding a suitable cure for these patients.