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. 2008 May;26(5):541-7.
doi: 10.1038/nbt1360.

The Minimum Information About a Genome Sequence (MIGS) Specification

Free PMC article

The Minimum Information About a Genome Sequence (MIGS) Specification

Dawn Field et al. Nat Biotechnol. .
Free PMC article


With the quantity of genomic data increasing at an exponential rate, it is imperative that these data be captured electronically, in a standard format. Standardization activities must proceed within the auspices of open-access and international working bodies. To tackle the issues surrounding the development of better descriptions of genomic investigations, we have formed the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC). Here, we introduce the minimum information about a genome sequence (MIGS) specification with the intent of promoting participation in its development and discussing the resources that will be required to develop improved mechanisms of metadata capture and exchange. As part of its wider goals, the GSC also supports improving the 'transparency' of the information contained in existing genomic databases.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The scope of MIGS. The MIGS specification enables description of the complete range of possible genomes (eukaryotes, bacteria, archaea, plasmids, viruses, organelles) and metagenomes. Core descriptors include information about the origins of the nucleic acid sequence (genome), its environment (latitude and longitude, date and time of sampling and habitat) and sequence processing (sequencing and assembly methods). MIGS-compliant reports can be rendered into an electronic format using the MIGS XML schema and controlled vocabularies through the GSC's Genome Catalogue (

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