2 Comments

Eagle Genomics have presented the results of an annual bioinformatics survey.

These types of surveys are invariably limited by understanding precisely who they represent, e.g. do they represent the whole of the target group well, or favour some sector of it. The results of the first question offer some hints of this. (Ideally we’d see a comparison with what balance is considered to represent the fullness of the bioinformatics workspace to put their survey in wider context.)

Their survey is dominated by those from the university sector. (I find the fairly large ‘non-profit’ sector interesting, though.)

Questions 6 and 7 assess respondents views on bioinformatics tools. I think it’s worth considering the results of these questions viewed by who is to use (and/or maintain) the tools –  staff who specialise in hands-on bioinformatics or ‘motivated’ users. (The survey will very likely favour the former.)

They express surprise at the number using ’antiquated’ array expression technology in question 3 – my instincts are that the response might, at least in part, reflect the availability of public data rather than new use of the technology itself.

I would like to have seen the results of question 8 (views on outsourcing) broken down by the sectors from question 1 (respondents’ workplaces), if this were meaningful.

Confirmation bias noted, it’s nice to see their interpretation of the results of question 2 that ’It is anticipated, based on these results, that future attention will be paid most closely to proteomics (25/108), systems biology and epigenetics (19/108 each), […]’ as this overlaps well with my own expertise and intended direction.

I wonder if their final words to their summary of question 2 will have tongues wagging: ’This suggests that despite the increase in availability and use of genomics sequencing facilities, genomics may stealing be decreasing as the most important field of research in future bioinformatics labs.’