We’ve had some recent discussion at various bioinformatics blogs regarding web frontends to biological databases. If you know some SQL and CGI, setting up a dynamic database is an easy and fun thing
to do. Perhaps because it’s so easy, everyone and their dog seems to be doing it. I’m guilty myself (published) and guilty
I have a few criteria for a web-based database, particularly if it’s published in a journal:
– it should contain interesting and useful biological information
– it should offer original and user-friendly functionality not found elsewhere
– it should work properly
I know that servers go down and we all have hardware, software and network problems occasionally, but if you publish – your resource should be accessible and functional.
SPdb, a signal peptide database seems to have some teething troubles (500 errors and so on). I like the concept though – and did
manage to find data for a secreted archaeal protein, something that interests me. Not clear to me yet if their data is all experimental or includes predictions (in which case, archaea would be
RISSC – 16/23S rDNA spacer database is a bad example. Potentially useful information but so far as I can tell – totally non-functional. The “Microsoft OLE” errors used to be a giveaway, but now it just does –
nothing. At all.