How Much Does Curation Cost?

SRI author:


Peter D. Karp, How much does curation cost?, Database, Volume 2016, 2016, baw110,


NIH administrators have recently expressed concerns about the cost of curation for biological databases. However, they did not articulate the exact costs of curation. Here we calculate the cost of biocuration of articles for the EcoCyc database as $219 per article over a 5-year period. That cost is 6–15% of the cost of open-access publication fees for publishing biomedical articles, and we estimate that cost is 0.088% of the cost of the overall research project that generated the experimental results. Thus, curation costs are small in an absolute sense, and represent a miniscule fraction of the cost of the research.

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