Checklist for gene/disease-specific variation database curators to enable ethical data management

Hum Mutat. 2019 Oct;40(10):1634-1640. doi: 10.1002/humu.23881. Epub 2019 Aug 17.


Databases with variant and phenotype information are essential for advancing research and improving the health and welfare of individuals. These resources require data to be collected, curated, and shared among relevant specialties to maximize impact. The increasing generation of data which must be shared both nationally and globally for maximal effect presents important ethical and privacy concerns. Database curators need to ensure that their work conform to acceptable ethical standards. A Working Group of the Human Variome Project had the task of updating and streamlining ethical guidelines for locus-specific/gene variant database curators. In this article, we present practical and achievable steps which should assist database curators in carrying out their responsibilities within acceptable ethical norms.

Keywords: data collection; data curation; database curators; ethical data management; genetic variation databases; practical checklist; sharing variant data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Checklist*
  • Computational Biology* / methods
  • Data Management* / ethics
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans


  • Genetic Markers