The purpose of CEDAR is to improve metadata and its use throughout the biomedical sciences. These pages describe the project's intentions in more detail.

Last Updated: 
Sep 25 2020 - 11:14am

The Center for Expanded Data Annotation and Retrieval (CEDAR) will develop information technologies that make authoring complete metadata much more manageable, and that facilitate using the metadata in further research.

We believe ease of use is paramount. Because the ability to share data is so important, we want the process of metadata creation and use to be as painless as possible. Our strategic approach addresses the challenges we have seen in other similar projects.

Six key elements contribute to what we believe will be a successful system:

  • Interfaces and tools built and tested specifically for metadata creation
  • Consistency in terminology
  • Machine learning
  • Editing capabilities
  • Training and outreach
  • Building on past work and leveraging ongoing collaborations

User Scenarios describe a system’s functionality in terms of how its users want or expect to apply it. CEDAR’s first User Scenarios were developed before the proposal was submitted, and have been undergoing refinement since the award was made.

We derive CEDAR User Scenarios from several sources, in addition to those in the proposal. Our colleagues working on the ImmPort and ISA projects have presented user scenarios to meet their objectives, and we’ve especially considered the BioCADDIE Metadata Working Group scenarios as relevant input. In the broader BD2K community, we work with groups representing other biomedical domains, and these groups present their own needs via user scenarios. Finally, we develop user scenarios through analyses provided by our team’s scientific and technical staff, taking into consideration good user practices like that of the FAIR project.

We want to help investigators achieve the promise of Big Data. To do this, we must build a system that uses computers to make life better for biomedical researchers providing and using metadata.

Because CEDAR addresses the entire life cycle of biomedical metadata, the project's goals are extensive, and address many different user persona. Each user will only benefit from some of these goals, but the overall benefit is shared across all users of the system and its metadata.

As with all software projects, CEDAR requirements are developed from a variety of stakeholders, and are subject to review as the project progresses. As with all research software projects, the requirements are affected throughout the project by the results of previous developments and research.

The initial CEDAR requirements were established as part of the proposal, and have been undergoing refinement since the award was made.

The CEDAR User Scenarios are a primary source of requirements, as are requirements that developers infer from the proposal, and specific capability requests from the CEDAR stakeholders.

CEDAR requirements will be presented or referenced on these pages as they are released.

User Personas are roles that people take on as part of their job. For example, a biologist may act as a lab manager, a data analyst, a lab technician, and a teaching professor in the course of a single day.

In software development, User Personas are used to describe the target users for the delivered system and its products. In simple cases, each user persona can be briefly titled and described; more advanced systems benefit from having detailed descriptions of hypothetical users, reflecting all their user personas and relevant personal interests and characteristics.