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Comparing bioinformatics software development by computer scientists and biologists: An exploratory study

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3 Author(s)
Chilana, P.K. ; DUB Group, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA ; Palmer, C.L. ; Ko, A.J.

We present the results of a study designed to better understand information-seeking activities in bioinformatics software development by computer scientists and biologists. We collected data through semi-structured interviews with eight participants from four different bioinformatics labs in North America. The research focus within these labs ranged from computational biology to applied molecular biology and biochemistry. The findings indicate that colleagues play a significant role in information seeking activities, but there is need for better methods of capturing and retaining information from them during development. Also, in terms of online information sources, there is need for more centralization, improved access and organization of resources, and more consistency among formats. More broadly, the findings illustrate a variety of information problems that end-user biologists and professional software developers face in developing bioinformatics software and how they are influenced by the level of domain knowledge and technical expertise.

Published in:

Software Engineering for Computational Science and Engineering, 2009. SECSE '09. ICSE Workshop on

Date of Conference:

23-23 May 2009