NEW YORK, Dec 11 - Rosetta Inpharmatics said Monday that the Nature Publishing Group had signed on as a member of the GEML consortium, a group that was formed to support the Gene Expression Markup Language format for gene expression and proteomics data as well as annotation.
Nature is the first publishing house to join the standardization effort. On Friday Rosetta said that Agilent Technologies, Europroteome, and the Harvard University Center for Genomic Research have joined the group. Spotfire is also a member.
In a statement Nature said that standards would help to advance its own role as a player in the field.
“Standardization of gene expression data sets is necessary for both the exchange and publication of genomic research,” Annette Thomas, managing director at the Nature Publishing Group, said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear what specific steps Nature would take to contribute to the development of GEML. Some researchers speculated that by adopting the GEML standard Nature would be able to woo readers by offering a more powerful search engine.
Members of the GEML group generally agree to exchange ideas regarding the future of gene expression data interchange and to participate in developing GEML, an open-standard XML file format that converts various gene expression data files into a common format. Members also commit to make their software products GEML-compatible.
Rosetta launched GEML in October and is distributing it for free along with a set of gene expression data visualization tools.
For more information about the GEML file format and how to use it, go to www.geml.org .