The US National Cancer Institute asked and the community answered. The verdict: cloud-based public repositories of co-located cancer data and computing resources would be a welcome development — but there are a few things that should be taking into consideration.
In a post on its blog, the NCI's informatics arm reports that it received 68 responses to a solicitation letter from the NCI Head Harold Varmus asking for input on the development of the so-called cancer knowledge clouds.
In their answers, summarized here, the researchers ask that the resource addresses analysis difficulties related to inconsistent file formats and metadata standards; be easy to use; and include an analysis and high performance computing training component. There are also questions about the cost of sustaining the cloud as well as establishing as means of data access that complies with regulatory requirements while not being too restrictive.