Although Biological Resource Centers (BRCs) traditionally have open catalogs of their holdings, it is quite cumbersome to access meta-information about microorganisms electronically due to the variety of access methods used by those catalogs. Therefore, we propose Microbiological Common Language (MCL), aimed at standardizing the electronic exchange of meta-information about microorganisms. Its application ranges from representing the online catalog of a single collection to accessing the results of StrainInfo integration and ad hoc use in other contexts. The abstract model of the standard precisely defines the elements of the standard, which enables implementation using a variety of representation technologies. Currently, XML and RDF/XML implementations are readily available. MCL is an open standard, and therefore greatly encourages input from the microbiological community.
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