FAANG, establishing metadata standards, validation and best practices for the farmed and companion animal community

Anim Genet. 2018 Dec;49(6):520-526. doi: 10.1111/age.12736. Epub 2018 Oct 12.


The Functional Annotation of ANimal Genomes (FAANG) project aims, through a coordinated international effort, to provide high quality functional annotation of animal genomes with an initial focus on farmed and companion animals. A key goal of the initiative is to ensure high quality and rich supporting metadata to describe the project's animals, specimens, cell cultures and experimental assays. By defining rich sample and experimental metadata standards and promoting best practices in data descriptions, deposition and openness, FAANG champions higher quality and reusability of published datasets. FAANG has established a Data Coordination Centre, which sits at the heart of the Metadata and Data Sharing Committee. It continues to evolve the metadata standards, support submissions and, crucially, create powerful and accessible tools to support deposition and validation of metadata. FAANG conforms to the findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data principles, with high quality, open access and functionally interlinked data. In addition to data generated by FAANG members and specific FAANG projects, existing datasets that meet the main-or more permissive legacy-standards are incorporated into a central, focused, functional data resource portal for the entire farmed and companion animal community. Through clear and effective metadata standards, validation and conversion software, combined with promotion of best practices in metadata implementation, FAANG aims to maximise effectiveness and inter-comparability of assay data. This supports the community to create a rich genome-to-phenotype resource and promotes continuing improvements in animal data standards as a whole.

Keywords: functional annotation; FAIR principles; community standards; farmed animals; genome to phenome; livestock; metadata validation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Data Curation / standards*
  • Genomics*
  • Livestock
  • Metadata / standards*
  • Pets
  • Software