Management of Information in Distributed Biomedical Collaboratories

  • David B. Keator
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 569)


Organizing and annotating biomedical data in structured ways has gained much interest and focus in the last 30 years. Driven by decreases in digital storage costs and advances in genetics sequencing, imaging, electronic data collection, and microarray technologies, data is being collected at an alarming rate. The specialization of fields in biology and medicine demonstrates the need for somewhat different structures for storage and retrieval of data. For biologists, the need for structured information and integration across a number of domains drives development. For clinical researchers and hospitals, the need for a structured medical record accessible to, ideally, any medical practitioner who might require it during the course of research or patient treatment, patient confidentiality, and security are the driving developmental factors. Scientific data management systems generally consist of a few core services: a backend database system, a front-end graphical user interface, and an export/import mechanism or data interchange format to both get data into and out of the database and share data with collaborators. The chapter introduces some existing databases, distributed file systems, and interchange languages used within the biomedical research and clinical communities for scientific data management and exchange.

Key words

Neuroinformatics Biomedical informatics Distributed information management Database Data federation Data warehouse Information interchange XML 



This work was supported in part by [5 U24 RR021992] to the Functional Imaging Research in Schizophrenia Testbed (FIRST) Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN, The author thanks the University of California, Irvine Center for BioMedical Informatics for discussions on clinical information systems and the informatics needs to support clinical translational research.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Keator
    • 1
  1. 1.Brain Imaging CenterUniversity of California – IrvineIrvineUSA

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