Scientists need to know which tools and databases they can use for their research and where they can access them. They also require clear descriptions of the performance, remit, licensing rules and training materials available for these services.
ELIXIR’s focus on tools is primarily for data access and interoperability, but there is also a great need for services that integrate different data and provide value-added annotations and comparisons. The data themselves are of little value without the tools and software to be able to access, study and compare them.
Users have a critical need to integrate tools and services into robust scientific workflows, which in itself creates interdependencies between resources and partners. Tapping into community efforts in this area ELIXIR has developed Bio.tools a Service Registry that acts as an entry portal for users to search and gain access to the tools and services they need for their work.
The ELIXIR Tools and Data Service Registry has been presented in two research papers:
- Ménager, Hervé et al. (2015) Using registries to integrate bioinformatics tools and services into workbench environments, In International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer, 17, p. 1-6. doi: 10.1007/s10009-015-0392-z
- Ison, Jon et al. (2015) Tools and Data Services Registry: a community effort to document bioinformatics resources, (to be published in Nucleic Acids Research)