Evaluating the Completeness and Quality of Curated Nanomaterial Data

Data curation efforts are important, both in helping to promote innovation and successful regulation of nanotechnology.   In their recent article, Robinson et al., (2016) identify that with the increasing use of nanotechnology, "the curation of nanomaterial data into electronic resources is crucial to [realize] the potential of nanotechnology to deliver benefits to society whilst having acceptable impacts upon human health and the environment". However, to be useful, curated data needs to be both (1) complete and (2) of high quality.  Entitled "How should the completeness and quality of curated nanomaterial data be evaluated?" the authors explore the importance of data quality and completeness in databases, a survey of existing approaches for data assessment, and highlight the challenge of assessing data in general, and for nanomaterials in particular. Their discussion includes “physico-chemical characterisation requirements for nanomaterials, interference of nanomaterials with nano-toxicology assays”, as well as “broader issues such as minimum information checklists, toxicology data quality schemes and computational approaches that facilitate evaluation of the completeness and quality of (curated) data.” Finally, the authors conclude with specific recommendations from their review on best practices for assuring data completeness and quality in curated nanomaterial data.  The article is available free of charge from Nanoscale.