Towards a Global Public Repository of Community Protocols to encourage Best Practices in Biomolecular Ocean Observing and Research

Robyn M. Samuel, Raïssa Meyer, Pier L. Buttigieg, Neil Davies, Nick W. Jeffery, Christopher Meyer, Christina Pavloudi, Kathleen Johnson Pitz, Maxime Sweetlove, Susanna Theroux, Jodie van de Kamp and Alison Watts

Frontiers in Marine Science
September 21, 2021

Abstract: Biomolecular ocean observing and research is a rapidly evolving field that uses omics approaches to describe biodiversity at its foundational level, giving insight into the structure and function of marine ecosystems over time and space. It is an especially effective approach for investigating the marine microbiome. To mature marine microbiome research and operations within a global ocean biomolecular observing network (OBON) for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and beyond, research groups will need a system to effectively share, discover, and compare “omic” practices and protocols. While numerous informatic tools and standards exist, there is currently no global, publicly-supported platform specifically designed for sharing marine omics [or any omics] protocols across the entire value-chain from initiating a study to the publication and use of its results. Towards that goal, we propose the development of the Minimum Information for an Omic Protocol (MIOP), a community-developed guide of curated, standardized metadata tags and categories that will orient protocols in the value-chain for the facilitated, structured, and user-driven discovery of suitable protocol suites on the Ocean Best Practices System. Users can annotate their protocols with these tags, or use them as search criteria to find appropriate protocols. Implementing such a curated repository is an essential step towards establishing best practices. Sharing protocols and encouraging comparisons through this repository will be the first steps towards designing a decision tree to guide users to community endorsed best practices.

Featured Fellows

Neil Davies

Gump South Pacific Research Station
Research Affiliate