Bengtsson-Palme J, Boulund F, Edström R, Feizi A, Johnning A, Jonsson VA, Karlsson FH, Pal C, Pereira MB, Rehammar A, Sanchez J, Sanli K, Thorell K
Proteomics 16 (18) 2454-2460 [2016-09-00; online 2016-08-17]
Biology is increasingly dependent on large-scale analysis, such as proteomics, creating a requirement for efficient bioinformatics. Bioinformatic predictions of biological functions rely upon correctly annotated database sequences, and the presence of inaccurately annotated or otherwise poorly described sequences introduces noise and bias to biological analyses. Accurate annotations are, for example, pivotal for correct identification of polypeptide fragments. However, standards for how sequence databases are organized and presented are currently insufficient. Here, we propose five strategies to address fundamental issues in the annotation of sequence databases: (i) to clearly separate experimentally verified and unverified sequence entries; (ii) to enable a system for tracing the origins of annotations; (iii) to separate entries with high-quality, informative annotation from less useful ones; (iv) to integrate automated quality-control software whenever such tools exist; and (v) to facilitate postsubmission editing of annotations and metadata associated with sequences. We believe that implementation of these strategies, for example as requirements for publication of database papers, would enable biology to better take advantage of large-scale data.