Biotechnology R&D increasingly requires access to quality data on nucleotide sequences, protein structures, genetic and microbial resources, and other specialist information services designed to support science and business. These databases must exhibit high standards of technical and scientific quality. Scientific research is primarily qualified through the refereeing carried out by the primary journals, and so such databases should be linked together and to the literature so that a user can follow a research story by navigating through the contents of related databases. This linking can best be done by using the authoritative secondary databases currently used to index the primary literature. ADLIB will start by creating the environment in which three major commercial scientific literature databases can be linked to a variety of factual databases in the public sector. ADLIB will serve both academic and industrial users and will involve academic and commercial database hosts which will be inter-linked with the European Bioinformatics community through EMBnet. User groups covering a very wide range of specialities and site locations will be offered access to the linked databases under controlled conditions. Different forms of charging will be experimented with to develop suitable commercial scenarios. The eventual transfer of these services from "test" to "real market" environments will, through the involvement of so many selected expert groups, be relatively simple.
As soon as the test service is fully operational, additional databases will be recruited to produce a "tank" of databases; in this case 2 added value scientific databases will be used along with 2 research and business-orientated directories. A key element in this policy will be to eventually select those specialised or small products requiring support from the commercial sector to see if new ways of gaining use and income can be found. Presently, two scenarios are envisaged, one where they are supported by linking with the literature databases, and a second, where they are further linked under one searching umbrella so that users come into the "tank" as one product. In addition to factual databases, this model will also be expanded to include business databases and directories. The platform of linked databases will provide a "real-life environment" to examine a number of pressing problems which have been identified in this sector. Expert panels looking at: network and database confidentiality; database quality; the support of Europe's unsubsidised specialised databases; copyright, IPR and other legal matters; and marketing will be established.
The technical, intellectual and commercial models will be expandable. Further links to other types of databases will be explored once the technical environment has been developed. Eventually ADLIB should lead to a fully integrated biotechnology information infrastructure in Europe.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
06905 Sophia Antipolis
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