III. Portal service (introduction to an information portal site that can be used)
The existing catalog of databases only gave a rough classification based on the data objects, such as genes and proteins. It was therefore not easy to select a database that was suitable for the purpose of a user. Japanese explanations and guidance were added to the database directory, as summarized by the central organization, to give an overview of the databases and the drafting of the strategy, and a system to guide users to the most suitable database was constructed. At the same time, the development of the web resource catalog was reinforced, and portal sites were constructed. Additionally, other portal sites concerning the life sciences available in Japan were surveyed, and collaborations were considered.
(1) Database portal(Japanese version only)
A catalog site for databases in the life sciences field was constructed. This aimed to guide users to suitable databases, and provided a Wiki to which users have write access. The Wiki enhances the site, offering a place for the exchange of information on how to use databases. To date, 371 databases have been collated. In addition, the Nucleic Acid Research magazine Database Issue (2006), the Science magazine NetWatch Database and so on have been added to the list of previous domestic investigatory material produced by the cooperation of the four related ministries. Moreover, the database list, classification by construction type, presents the outcomes of the surveys of the Coordination Program of Science and Technology Projects.
(2) Web resource portal(Japanese version only)
A web resource catalog site was constructed, which guided users to analysis tools, and to appropriate environments for the analysis of experimental data and the processing of public data. Some of the results of this project were added to the catalog site and offered as a prototype. In total, 456 analysis tools were listed.
(3) Survey for collaboration of portal sites
Portal sites with operational experience in research information, including the Japanese biotechnology portal site (Jabion)(Japanese version only), the Lifescience no Hiroba portal site produced by MEXT, and the University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN), were investigated. In order to achieve an environment for the integration of information connected to research, their cooperation was considered.
(4) Combination of databases with published literature
The linking of functional information on genes to genetic information using documented information from the JST was investigated. The expression types related to gene and disease names were identified from about 100 abstracts. The GenLibi (Japanese version only) test site was opened to the public (funded by the JST budget).