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Keywords:

  • microattribution;
  • nanopublication;
  • genome variation;
  • data submission;
  • databases;
  • database journal;
  • submission incentives

Abstract

The advances in bioinformatics required to annotate human genomic variants and to place them in public data repositories have not kept pace with their discovery. Moreover, a law of diminishing returns has begun to operate both in terms of data publication and submission. Although the continued deposition of such data in the public domain is essential to maximize both their scientific and clinical utility, rewards for data sharing are few, representing a serious practical impediment to data submission. To date, two main strategies have been adopted as a means to encourage the submission of human genomic variant data: (1) database journal linkups involving the affiliation of a scientific journal with a publicly available database and (2) microattribution, involving the unambiguous linkage of data to their contributors via a unique identifier. The latter could in principle lead to the establishment of a microcitation-tracking system that acknowledges individual endeavor and achievement. Both approaches could incentivize potential data contributors, thereby encouraging them to share their data with the scientific community. Here, we summarize and critically evaluate approaches that have been proposed to address current deficiencies in data attribution and discuss ways in which they could become more widely adopted as novel scientific publication modalities. Hum Mutat 33:1503–1512, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.