Curate locally, think globally

Valerie Wood

Winner: Exceptional Contribution to Biocuration Award

Curators are necessarily detail oriented -- a trait born of, and reinforced by, our efforts to describe biological data accurately and precisely. To ensure comprehensive coverage and meaningful integration of new and existing knowledge, however, it is important to periodically step back from this fine-grained view and assess emergent features in accumulated curation. I will explore how PomBase has used the global "big picture" view of curated data to provide biological summaries, modularise content, and improve data display and access for our users. The global perspective can also be used to detect annotation errors and identify knowledge gaps, thereby improving overall annotation quality. I will also describe the progress we have made in engaging fission yeast researchers in community curation. Finally, I will show that the global curation perspective and community engagement share a common theme: both improve overall understanding, accessibility and reuse of accumulated knowledge by our user community.