BGI birthing 'big data' journal with publishing vet

BGI creates large volumes of data when sequencing genomes for scientific researchers, forcing the China-based company to tackle the challenges of storing and analyzing huge datasets. The firm, one of the world's largest sequencing outfits, is now aiming to further its leadership in this field as publisher of the new journal GigaScience, which will feature peer-reviewed manuscripts on such topics as sequencing and large-scale data analysis, Bio-IT World editor Kevin Davies writes.

GigaScience will live online for all comers in an unfettered open-access format, much in the tradition of PLoS publications. Manuscripts will be linked to a database, making the journal somewhat of a hub for researchers to share large datasets and insights on making optimal use of the information. Laurie Goodman, a veteran science writer and editor who has worked for BGI in the past, is helming the publishing effort for the company (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute), according to Bio-IT World.

"It's become clear that there is a growing niche in the scientific arena of large-scale data creation and sharing that did not have a journal that it could call 'home'," Goodman told Davies. "While some of this type of work will always have a place in myriad journals, given the growing number of these types of studies (and the growing amount of data with special hosting and sharing needs), this would ultimately (and really has become) a field that would require a place that specifically focused on this area."

BGI appears to be jumping into the publishing fray with the best of intentions and a highly credible leader in Goodman. The company has a financial stake in the business of analyzing large datasets, and the journal could further enhance its high profile in the genomics field. Despite the corporate ties to the journal, researchers will likely see the publication as a strong platform for sharing knowledge and datasets.

- read the interview