There are several current projects at LMA (many NIH-funded) that are focused on developing recommended metadata standards for describing experimental biomedical research data. In addition to the mentioned guidelines, biomedical researchers are also encouraged to consult, an educational resource and portal to metadata standards, databases, and data policies for a variety of disciplines. 

Please Note: When describing experimental biomedical research data, it is important to identify not only the canonical reagents, but also the actual batches of those reagents that were used to create your data.

  • A canonical reagent is the ideal of the reagent, and its definition and description are true for all examples of that reagent
  • Batches are the physical lots (daughters) of the canonical reagent, and there is often slight variation between batches


  • “The LINCS project is based on the premise that disrupting any one of the many steps of a given biological process will cause related changes in the molecular and cellular characteristics, behavior, and/or function of the cell – the observable composite of which is known as the cellular phenotype. Observing how and when a cell’s phenotype is altered by specific stressors can provide clues about the underlying mechanisms involved in perturbation and, ultimately, disease.” 
  • LINCS metadata standards
    • These metadata standards were developed to describe LINCS reagents, assays, and experiments. They provide guidance for required, required if applicable, and optional elements.

Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) Consortium:

  • “The goal of the Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) program is to identify and provide information on proteins that are currently not well studied within commonly drug-targeted protein families.” 
  • IDG metadata standards