The Chemical Analysis Working Group is part of a community effort to propose standards for reporting metabolomics experiments and is being developed under the Metabolomics Society (http://www.metabolomicssociety.org/Metabolomics Standards Initiative, MSI).
The Scope of The Chemical Analysis Group is to identify, develop and disseminate best chemical analysis practices in all aspects of metabolomics. The proposed standards will be consistent with good analytical chemistry practices with specific provisions for metabolomic data (the main difference being large numbers of data-sets and the need to be able compare them electronically and across different instrumental platforms) and will be in alignment with those typically mandated by quality analytical journals. The goal is not be to prescribe how a metabolomics experiments should be performed, but to formulate a minimum set of reporting standards that describe the experiments (what the experiments are and how they were actually executed) to maximize the utility of the data to other researchers. Consequently, there will be no attempt to restrict or dictate specific practices, but to develop consistent and appropriate descriptors to support the dissemination and re-use of metabolomic data. Such reporting standards will specify the data identified as necessary for complete and comprehensive reporting in a range of identified contexts, such as submission to academic journals and public databases. Data exchange standards will be developed to provide a transparent technical vehicle which meets or exceeds the requirements of reporting standards.
The Goals of The Chemical Analysis Group are to work cooperatively on a consensus draft for a minimum core set of necessary data related to the chemical analyses associated with metabolomics experiments and to include key persons and specialist from the most common technologies utilized in metabolomics. The CAG will reach out and evaluate previous and relevant work in their specialist areas including similar work in transcriptomics and proteomics studies, and recent metabolomics standardization efforts. The group will pay careful attention to the distinction of best practice (which will change), reporting standards (which should have longer validity) and data exchange standards (which support reporting). It will work with relevant journals and editorial staff to review and advise on the practicality, acceptability, and support of standards.
The proposed CAG standards were originally proposed during the NIH Metabolomics Workshop convened in August, 2005 (http://www.niddk.nih.gov/fund/other/metabolomics2005/) and are based upon significant literature (Bino, 2004; Jenkins et al., 2004; Quackenbush, 2004; Jenkins et al., 2005; Lindon et al., 2005; Fiehn et al., 2006). General input has been provided related to mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) based metabolomics. Input to date has been provide by from a diversity of academic and commercial entities.
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