Established in April 2007, Database Center for Life Science (DBCLS) forms a base for integrating databases in life science field. Positioning itself as a specialized institution to provide biological databases and related services, DBCLS integrates and maintains biological databases mainly within Japan, conducts R&D of information technology and develops new services to enhance usability.
In the life science field, the era of big data began in the late 1990s, owing to rapidly grown projects such as Genome and Omics projects. As a consequence, thousands of databases have become publicly available around the world. It is not an overstatement to say that the entire knowledge in this field transforms itself as databases, and to make most of the databases is indispensable for the progress of research.
However, many comments from users complaining the hard-to-use databases suggest that these databases and the surrounding environment are not sufficiently refined for the efficient utilization. In addition, there are systematic issues such that after completion of the research period, related databases just disappear due to the lack of maintenance, and difficulties in the reuse of data and research results due to unclear intellectual properties, and in handling of personal information in clinical trials. DBCLS aims to resolve these issues through multilateral activities including R&D to improve database reusability, BioHackthon, and training programs.