Monday, November 21, 2005

BIND database runs out of funding

I only noticed today that BIND as ran out of funding. They say so on the home page and there are links to several paper regarding the issue of sustainable database funding (has of 16 November 2005).

From the frontpage of BIND:
"Finally, I would like to reiterate my conviction that public databases are essential requirements for the future of life sciences research. The question arises will these be free or will they require a subscription. Should BIND/Blueprint be sustained as a public-funded open-access database and service provider? "

I am not sure actually what would be a good way out for BIND. They could try to charge institutional access like the Faculty1000 or ISI. The other possibility would be to try to secure support from a place like NCBI or EBI. The problem is that there are several other databases available that do the same thing (MINT,DIP,GRID, IntAct,etc) so why should we pay for this service ? Why don't the protein-interaction databases fuse for example? I now that they agreed to share the data in the same format, so maybe there is not enough space for so many different databases developing new tools. The question is probably more of the curation effort then. Who should pay for the curation effort ? The users of the databases? The major institutions ? The journals (they could at least force the authors to submit interaction data directly) ?

There is also a link to the blog of Christopher Hogue called BioImplement. He expresses his views of the problem.