[Bioclusters] BioNeeds: Bioinformatics Needs Assessment

Dan Bolser bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
Sun, 22 Aug 2004 01:41:43 +0100 (BST)

Thanks everyone for the great response to my question about bioinformatics
needs assessment.

I found so much latent information and interest on this subject within the
emails I received, I decided to start the 'BioNeeds' project to try to get
all this information and enthusiasm together in one place.

Thanks very much to those who sent me stuff to look at. I have put some
things in the project FTP, including a large database questionnaire I found
(someone once asked me to fill it in).


(sorry about the format)

It would be great if we could keep this up to date.

I have tried to gather the 'story so far' by just linking to the bbb and
bioclusters archives from the project web page...


After seeing that page you will see their are some urgent tasks, not least
of which is designing a new logo (sometimes I surprise myself;)

So please sign up to the project if you think you have something to
contribute - the first thing to do will be to define the objectives.

Some (more or less) obvious objectives are already on the web-page
(very beta).

To those people who sent me emails privately, can I get your permission to
include them on the above page? The same goes for all materials, I would
like to add whatever I can to the FTP, so please let me know if you didn't

To stop me from continual cross-posting, I guess we should have a mailing

I am still clinging to the idea of a questionnaire, so here is my very
beta version...

(To be finished and to appear somewhere on the site: with plenty of other

This questionnaire is designed to fulfill two different functions
related to gathering information on the use of bioinformatics in your

Firstly it aims to get an overview of the bioinformatics tools and
databases routinely in used in your lab. 

Secondly it aims to find out what kinds of bioinformatics tools and
databases that researchers would like to use. For example those services
which researchers think *could be* of potential benefit.

Finally, in this secondary aim, we would like to get information about
tasks which can be helped by bioinformatics, but lack of knowledge about
available tools and databases mean that people don't even know that there
is a simpler way. Except written better...

Here is a (very quick) draft of the form (kinda outline)...
Do you use (or ever imagine using) online biological databases?
What kinds of online biological database do you (could you imagine) using?
Taxonomic databases
DNA sequence databases
RNA sequence / structure databases
Protein sequence / structure / function / interaction databases
Proteomics databases (protein localization, modification, digestion)
Expression analysis databases

What kinds of bioinformatics tools do you (could you imagine) using?

Complex taxonomic queries
Gene prediction software
RNA structure / function prediction
Protein structure / function / interaction prediction

What tasks do you routinely use computers for?