"This project is about linking scientists nationally to resources, technologies, and opportunities, and about making invisible resources visible to the researchers who need them," Nadler said. "Historically little has been done to systematically inventory and advertise research resources beyond the labs or institutions where they were developed, and so investigators are often left to expend significant time and effort seeking out unique resources, sometimes even unwittingly re-creating resources that already exist elsewhere.
"The eagle is a remarkable bird, able to search for and pinpoint objects quickly, even those that are invisible to other animals," Nadler continued. "With the eagle-i network, we want to help researchers rapidly find the materials and technologies they need and use their funding for research, not for developing resources that already exist."
Leveraging existing information technologies, the consortium will collect information about the resources available at each of the nine institutions and catalog that information in a dedicated, web-based search portal in a federated network: one in which each resource inventory is stored locally and connected together. When launched, the scenario above will become much more likely: A scientist will be able to use the portal to search across the inventories of all nine sites and see whether a laboratory or facility at one of them has the cell line he needs.
"By building the eagle-i network this way, each participant can maintain complete local control of the information made available," said Douglas M
|Contact: Thomas Ulrich|
Harvard Medical School