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Enabling collaborative research using the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN)

Helmer, Karl G. and Ambite, Jose Luis and Ames, Joseph and Ananthakrishnan, Rachana and Burns, Gully and Chervenak, Ann L. and Foster, Ian and Liming, Lee and Keator, David and Macciardi, Fabio and Madduri, Ravi and Navarro, John-Paul and Potkin, Steven and Rosen, Bruce and Ruffins, Seth and Schuler, Robert and Turner, Jessica A. and Toga, Arthur and Williams, Christina and Kesselman, Carl (2011) Enabling collaborative research using the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN). Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 18 (4). pp. 416-422. ISSN 1067-5027.

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Objective: As biomedical technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, researchers can probe ever more subtle effects with the added requirement that the investigation of small effects often requires the acquisition of large amounts of data. In biomedicine, these data are often acquired at, and later shared between, multiple sites. There are both technological and sociological hurdles to be overcome for data to be passed between researchers and later made accessible to the larger scientific community. The goal of the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) is to address the challenges inherent in biomedical data sharing. Materials and methods: BIRN tools are grouped into ‘capabilities’ and are available in the areas of data management, data security, information integration, and knowledge engineering. BIRN has a user-driven focus and employs a layered architectural approach that promotes reuse of infrastructure. BIRN tools are designed to be modular and therefore can work with pre-existing tools. BIRN users can choose the capabilities most useful for their application, while not having to ensure that their project conforms to a monolithic architecture. Results: BIRN has implemented a new software-based data-sharing infrastructure that has been put to use in many different domains within biomedicine. BIRN is actively involved in outreach to the broader biomedical community to form working partnerships. Conclusion: BIRN's mission is to provide capabilities and services related to data sharing to the biomedical research community. It does this by forming partnerships and solving specific, user-driven problems whose solutions are then available for use by other groups.

Item Type:Article
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Turner, Jessica A.0000-0003-2261-5746
Additional Information:© 2011 American Medical Informatics Association. Received 2 October 2010; accepted 24 March 2011; published online First; 22 April 2011. BIRN is supported by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) through the following grants: U24-RR025736, U24-RR021992, and U24-RR021760. The outreach portion of BIRN is supported through U24-RR026057-01. Some of the knowledge engineering work is supported though a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS; RO1 GM083871) and the National Science Foundation (grant 0849977), and through the Kinetics and Michael J. Fox Foundations.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)U24-RR025736
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)U24-RR021992
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)U24-RR021760
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)U24-RR026057-01
National Institute of General Medical SciencesRO1 GM083871
Kinetics FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Michael J. Fox FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110712-152557847
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24392
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:12 Jul 2011 23:11
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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