As technology for sequencing genomes has become cheaper and more widely accessible, there is a greater urgency to institute a standardized, comprehensive language for researchers to share their findings. The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), an open-membership organization, is building a culture of collaboration to achieve greater efficiencies by spending less time combing through and interpreting inconsistent information, thus maximizing the field’s potential for yielding more substantial findings.
Since the days of the Human Genome Project, GSC has worked to improve the quality of this research by negotiating agreements and meeting regularly to ensure that all researchers in this field are on the same page. In addition, GSC established the Standards in Genomic Sciences journal (SIGS) to provide a community forum. Now, with thousands of genomes, hundreds of metagenomes, and tens of thousands of marker gene data sets in the public domain, and these numbers are rapidly increasing, adding to this urgency.
DOE JGI scientist Nikos Kyrpides along with other members of the GSC have outlined the GSC’s history and projects in a paper that was published in PLoS Biology on June 21, 2011.
The paper stresses the importance of achieving a consistent discipline, and calls to other researchers and scientists to join and work with the GSC to realize this goal. This paper continues the work towards the GSC mission to establish a culture of collaboration and high integrity within the ‘omics community.