A large repertoire of gene-centric data has been generated in the field of zebrafish biology. Although the bulk of these data are available in the public domain, most of them are not readily accessible or available in nonstandard formats. One major challenge is to unify and integrate these widely scattered data sources. We tested the hypothesis that active community participation could be a viable option to address this challenge. We present here our approach to create standards for assimilation and sharing of information and a system of open standards for database intercommunication. We have attempted to address this challenge by creating a community-centric solution for zebrafish gene annotation. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki is a 'wiki'-based resource, which aims to provide an altruistic shared environment for collective annotation of the zebrafish genes. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki has features that enable users to comment, annotate, edit and rate this gene-centric information. The credits for contributions can be tracked through a transparent microattribution system. In contrast to other wikis, the Zebrafish GenomeWiki is a 'structured wiki' or rather a 'semantic wiki'. The Zebrafish GenomeWiki implements a semantically linked data structure, which in the future would be amenable to semantic search.
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