Saturday, February 18, 2017
Exhibit Hall (Hynes Convention Center)
Mogens Thomsen, Inserm UMR 1027, University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France
Background: Bioresources are of fundamental importance for biomedical research. They are either biological samples with associated data, databases without biological samples, or other biomolecular and bioinformatics research tools. It is imperative to optimize their use and reuse in agreement with the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles underlying open science. The BRIF (Bioresource Research Impact Factor) initiative has been conceived in order to incentivize sharing of bioresources. One main problem in implementing sharing policies has been the lack of rewarding mechanisms for efforts to create high quality and well documented collections of biological samples and for organizing their distribution/sharing for research. BRIF working groups have been set up with members from the 5 continents, the majority of actors are from Europe. They aim to favor: i/ standardized identification schemes and reporting for better visibility and tracing of bioresources; ii/ incentive policies from hosting institutions; iii/ creation of tools allowing follow-up of their use. Methods: Tracing the use of bioresources is the first step in this process and new citation tools have been developed to make it feasible. Second, establishing a ‘meta-journal’ makes it possible for bioresource managers to describe their bioresource as authors, without reporting research results obtained by using the resource. Third, developing new metrics permits measuring the use and efficiency of the bioresource. Results: The CoBRA guideline has been published allowing standardized citation of bioresources in scientific articles in order to trace their use on the web. The Open journal of Bioresources was created in close collaboration with the open access publisher Ubiquity Press so that both the resources and the OJB papers may be cited and provide authors with tools to get metrics on reuse and impact. New better adapted metrics are being worked out in a dedicated BRIF working subgroup. A first list of relevant parameters to take into account in assessing the impact of bioresources, has been provided. Finally, methods for assigning digital identifiers are being implemented. Conclusion: The tools proposed in the BRIF initiative facilitate access to samples and associated data as well as their optimized use. This will hopefully accelerate sharing of biomedical samples and data, in full respect of data subject rights, and also allow analyses of metadata to unravel significant associations between biomarkers, genetic markers and disease development in homogeneous groups of patients included in clinical trials. The progress of personalized medicine is important for public health and the BRIF initiative is in full agreement with the 2011 joint statement of 17 major national health research funders that health research resources must be shared to maximize the potential of publicly funded resources. Such statements depend on efficient tools in order to make their implementation feasible in practice.