An unintended consequence of the development of genomics has been the proliferation of massive datasets, making analysis increasingly difficult. A further problem is the lack of standardization in how analysis tools are packaged, described and executed across computer environments. Drs. Vincent Ferretti and Lincoln Stein of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, in collaboration with Dr. Brian O’Connor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed a web application called the Dockstore, which addresses the challenge of encapsulating and sharing bioinformatics tools so that they can be moved from environment to environment.
Now the researchers are adding key features to the Dockstore to continue to enhance and evolve the platform. They will also integrate bioinformatics tools and workflows from the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) for redistribution to the larger research community and will work with collaborators to facilitate the registration of their high-quality tools into the Dockstore. Finally, the researchers will work with other projects to enable sharing of tools across genomic repositories. These activities will drive increased usage of the Dockstore, thereby increasing tool sharing among scientists in fields as diverse as agriculture, energy and human health.