Collaborative OPen Omics (COPO)

COPO is a data brokering portal for plant scientists to describe, store and retrieve data more easily, using community standards and public repositories that enable the open sharing of results.

Project Summary.

The plant science domain has seen the advent of increasingly high throughput “-omics” technologies, resulting in larger datasets being produced more quickly and cheaply than ever before. Whereas researchers and funding organisations are realising the benefits of data sharing, many scientists still do not use public repositories, choosing instead to store data privately or their own computers or in their organisation’s IT infrastructure. The reasons for this are many and complex, but include lack of understanding of where and how to deposit data, lack of common metadata, and a lack of funding to support archiving.

COPO is a platform that bridges the gap between plant scientists and public repositories. It enables aggregation and publication of research outputs, as well as providing easy access to existing data services comprising disparate sources of information via web interfaces and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

Impact statement.

With the renewed interest and push from all areas of bioscience to promote publicly available research, the COPO project will be a pioneering national and international effort to facilitate sharing of all aspects of plant research to the public. In particular, COPO aims to provide a solution to overcome the challenges in standards fragmentation by;

(i) fostering development, acceptance and implementation of reporting standards that are immediately suitable for plant research

(ii) limiting the range and variability of standards. This will have a direct impact on the development and maintenance costs for commercial and academic software developers of standards-compliant products.