The NIDDK Information Network: A Community Portal for Finding Data, Materials,
and Tools for Researchers Studying Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases.
Authors Whetzel PL, Grethe JS, Banks DE, Martone ME
Submitted By Submitted Externally on 10/15/2015
Status Published
Journal PLoS ONE
Year 2015
Date Published
Volume : Pages 10 : e0136206
PubMed Reference 26393351
Abstract The NIDDK Information Network (dkNET; was launched to serve
the needs of basic and clinical investigators in metabolic, digestive and kidney
disease by facilitating access to research resources that advance the mission of
the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). By
research resources, we mean the multitude of data, software tools, materials,
services, projects and organizations available to researchers in the public
domain. Most of these are accessed via web-accessible databases or web portals,
each developed, designed and maintained by numerous different projects,
organizations and individuals. While many of the large government funded
databases, maintained by agencies such as European Bioinformatics Institute and
the National Center for Biotechnology Information, are well known to
researchers, many more that have been developed by and for the biomedical
research community are unknown or underutilized. At least part of the problem is
the nature of dynamic databases, which are considered part of the "hidden" web,
that is, content that is not easily accessed by search engines. dkNET was
created specifically to address the challenge of connecting researchers to
research resources via these types of community databases and web portals. dkNET
functions as a "search engine for data", searching across millions of database
records contained in hundreds of biomedical databases developed and maintained
by independent projects around the world. A primary focus of dkNET are centers
and projects specifically created to provide high quality data and resources to
NIDDK researchers. Through the novel data ingest process used in dkNET,
additional data sources can easily be incorporated, allowing it to scale with
the growth of digital data and the needs of the dkNET community. Here, we
provide an overview of the dkNET portal and its functions. We show how dkNET can
be used to address a variety of use cases that involve searching for research