EMIF Catalogue: A collaborative platform for sharing and reusing biomedical data

Int J Med Inform. 2019 Jun;126:35-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.02.006. Epub 2019 Mar 13.


Objective: The collaboration and knowledge exchange between researchers are often hindered by the nonexistence of accurate information about which databases may support research studies. Even though a considerable amount of patient health information does exist, it is usually distributed and hidden in many institutions. The goal of this project is to provide, for any research community, a holistic view of biomedical datasets of interests, from which researchers can explore several distinct levels of granularity.

Methods: We developed a community-centered approach to facilitate data sharing while ensuring privacy. A dynamic schema allows exposing any metadata model about existing repositories. The framework was developed following a modular plugin-based architecture that facilitates the integration of internal and external tools.

Results: The EMIF Catalogue, a web platform for sharing and reusing biomedical data. Through this system, data custodians can publish and share different levels of information, while the researchers can search for databases that fulfill research requirements.

Conclusions: The EMIF Catalogue currently fosters several distinct research communities, with different levels of data governance, combining, for instance, data available in pan-European EHR and Alzheimer cohorts. This portal is publicly available at https://emif-catalogue.eu.

Keywords: Biomedical data integration; Data catalogue; Data discovery; Data reuse; Data sharing; Research study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Database Management Systems*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Knowledge Management
  • Publishing