As the volume of data relating to proteins increases, researchers rely more and more on the analysis of published data, thus increasing the importance of good access to these data that vary from the supplemental material of individual articles, all the way to major reference databases with professional staff and long-term funding. Specialist protein resources fill an important middle ground, providing interactive web interfaces to their databases for a focused topic or family of proteins, using specialized approaches that are not feasible in the major reference databases. Many are labors of love, run by a single lab with little or no dedicated funding and there are many challenges to building and maintaining them. This perspective arose from a meeting of several specialist protein resources and major reference databases held at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus (Cambridge, UK) on August 11 and 12, 2014. During this meeting some common key challenges involved in creating and maintaining such resources were discussed, along with various approaches to address them. In laying out these challenges, we aim to inform users about how these issues impact our resources and illustrate ways in which our working together could enhance their accuracy, currency, and overall value.
Keywords: big data; biocuration; key challenges; longevity; misannotation; specialist protein resource.
© 2015 The Authors. Proteins published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.