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Open Access Technical Note

Sagace: A web-based search engine for biomedical databases in Japan

Mizuki Morita1, Yoshinobu Igarashi1, Maori Ito1, Yi-An Chen1, Chioko Nagao1, Yuki Sakaguchi2, Ryuichi Sakate2, Tohru Masui2 and Kenji Mizuguchi1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Fundamental Research, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, 7-6-8 Saito Asagi, Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan

2 Department of Disease Bioresources Research, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, 7-6-8 Saito Asagi, Ibaraki, Osaka, Japan

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:604  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-604

Published: 31 October 2012

Abstract

Background

In the big data era, biomedical research continues to generate a large amount of data, and the generated information is often stored in a database and made publicly available. Although combining data from multiple databases should accelerate further studies, the current number of life sciences databases is too large to grasp features and contents of each database.

Findings

We have developed Sagace, a web-based search engine that enables users to retrieve information from a range of biological databases (such as gene expression profiles and proteomics data) and biological resource banks (such as mouse models of disease and cell lines). With Sagace, users can search more than 300 databases in Japan. Sagace offers features tailored to biomedical research, including manually tuned ranking, a faceted navigation to refine search results, and rich snippets constructed with retrieved metadata for each database entry.

Conclusions

Sagace will be valuable for experts who are involved in biomedical research and drug development in both academia and industry. Sagace is freely available at http://sagace.nibio.go.jp/en/ webcite.

Keywords:
Search engine; Biomedical data; Biomedical resources; Faceted search; Microdata