EMBL-ABR Best Practice workshop series: the data life-cycle

From 24-28 October 2016, the EMBL-ABR Hub ran a week-long Best Practice workshop series focussing on the Data Life Cycle for biological and bioinformatics data. International and local faculty members joined highly engaged participants from around Australia: students, postdocs, lecturers, other scientists, research assistants and research data managers.

During the interactive workshops, participants were able to take their own data through the best-practice data life cycle following open data and FAIR principles. We also identified specific Australian needs in the research domains of plants, animals, microbes and health data that will help EMBL-ABR target future efforts and advice. Participants came away with a greatly improved understanding of where to find public research data, the importance of rich metadata in making their own data useful and discoverable, ontologies and controlled vocabularies, and where and how to deposit biological datasets in public repositories.

We also explored some of EBI tools that work with data from the primary archives, including the Omics Discovery Index (a user-friendly interface that searches multiple EBI archives, especially useful for multi-omics experiments) and Reactome tools (visualising and analysing biological pathways).

Slides from the international faculty members’ presentations are now available

Suzanna Lewis: Annotation Systems & Implementation Issues

Sandra Orchard: Designing a Community Resource

Dan Bolser: Non-model Organism Annotation and Curation Cycle, Resources & Tools

Jyoti Khadake: Data Life Cycle – Microbes, Data  accessibility  and  challenges


Sandra Orchard (EMBL-EBI, UK)

Jyoti Khadake (Uni Camb, UK)

Dan Bolser (Ensembl Plants, UK)

Suzanna Lewis (Berkeley Bioinformatics, USA)

Andrew Pask (UniMelb)

Torsten Seemann (VLSCI, UniMelb)

Ute Roessner (UniMelb)

Bernard Pope (VLSCI)

Scientific organisers and trainers: Vicky Schneider & Pip Griffin

Event organiser: Christina Hall

Hosted at EMBL-ABR Hub / VLSCI Node, 24-28 October 2016, 8:45am-5:30pm

What is this about?

This series of five workshops covered the best practice data life-cycle for researchers working with plants, animals, non-model, microbial and medically relevant genomes. It aimed to provide insights into the different phases of the data life-cycle and map what is present or missing in Australia for the specific biological domains in terms of open data and FAIR principles.

Workshop series objectives:

1-mapping the current state of the life-cycle in the Australian biological domain and bioinformatics

2-initiating a ‘bi-directional knowledge sharing’ approach: bringing best practice approaches and standards for open data life-cycles from key international projects to Australian life scientists and bioinformaticians

3-highlighting the existence of relevant Australian research data sets to the international environment

4-helping to formulate and inform the best way EMBL-ABR can provide guidance in terms of best practice in open data life-cycles by building the roadmap for the bioinformatics resources and tools with those working in the specific biological domains in Australia.

The program for each workshop is available via links below:

24 October: non-model organisms annotation and curation cycle, resources & tools

25 October: data life-cycle – plants 

26 October, data life-cycle – animals

27 October, data life-cycle  – microbes

28 October, data life-cycle – health


July 2017: A paper on the findings from these workshops has now been published.