Sad to hear from our colleagues at the National Cancer Research Institute that their Informatics Initiative is closing down in March next year.
Good news, however, in that the source code which supports their award-winning Oncology Information Exchange (ONIX) platform freely available to the community including their APIs to e.g. Entrez and various other databases.
It will be available under Creative Commons licences which will allow re-use, development and extension of the software – but no one organization will have exclusive rights to publish the resource and derivations will need to recognize the original development work as an output of NCRI Informatics.
If you think your organisation would be interested let us know here at bioinformaticsolutions @ gmail . com or email them directly (finlay.macdougall @ ncri.org .uk).
ONIX currently offers a number of functions which may be useful to bioinformaticians:
· The Resource Catalogue: a tool that brings together and describes a diversity of biomedical resources which include databases, analytical tools, projects, initiatives and research technologies. This information has either been entered directly to ONX forming the ONIX Catalogue or is contained in one of the other catalogues searchable from the Resource Catalogue:
o caBIG - the list of grid services currently available from the US National Cancer Institute's caBIG® programme
o BioCatalogue - A curated registry of biological Web Services. It provides an open platform for biological Web Services registration, annotation and monitoring
o NCRI Cancer Biosample Directory - A directory of biosamples (tissue, blood and other biological samples, including extracted derivatives) held in the UK in cancer biobanks. Searchable by a variety of parameters, the directory provides information about how to contact custodians and how access may be possible
o NCRI Cancer Clinical Trials Biosample Directory - A directory of biosamples (tissue, blood and other biological samples, including extracted derivatives) held in the UK from cancer clinical trial collections. Searchable by a variety of parameters, the directory provides information about how to contact custodians and how access may be possible.
o NHS IC DoCDat - DoCDat is an information resource for all those involved in clinical audit, clinical governance, health services management and health services research. It provides information about databases containing patient level and administrative data concerned with clinical care in the UK
· The Quick Search (with advanced options): searches simultaneously across a range of biomedical databases from genetics to clinical trials and access a diversity of types of information from publications to biological images
· The Cancer InfoMatrix (CIM): the InfoMatrix provides information about work being conducted to support good data management in cancer research through the development of data standards. Biomedical domains are arranged across the horizontal axis of the CIM while on the vertical axis are broad areas of data management that enable data sharing, access and exchange. Clicking on a cell within the CIM will take you to a list describing each initiative in that area as well as other relevant information. The cells in the Cancer InfoMatrix are colour coded using a "traffic-light-battery system" to indicate the degree of progress in each area