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Interviewer: Dr. Emma Schymanski,
thank you very much for
taking the time to discuss MassBank,
perhaps let's start with a brief
description of MassBank and
your role in it.
Dr. Schymanski: MassBank
is an open spectral library,
it was designed originally for
the metabolomics field,
we have now taken it and extended it
a bit for the environmental field.
It's made up of spectra from all around
the world, we have contributors in several
different countries and we now have
three servers: the Japanese server (the
original), the European server which
I've been involved with since 2012 and
also recently an American server,
run by Oliver Finn and his group.
My main role in MassBank is to expand
this towards the environmental community,
to share the data between a lot of members
of what we call the NORMAN Network,
which is an environmental
community in Europe.
We can exchange our spectra and
our knowledge between our members and
also around the world so
people can improve the identification
of environmental contaminants.
At the same time we're also
developing tools for metabolomics,
and working with other
spectral libraries beyond
MassBank towards exchanging this
information around the world.
Interviewer: Excellent thank you.
What are the challenges in getting the
scientific community to contribute to this
Are there any steps that are taken from
your end to encourage more contributions?
Dr. Schymanski: We've found
throughout the years that we've been
involved that there's a lot of resistance
to contributing, and this is actually for
Mostly, it's just time, people would
like to but they don't have time, so
some of the steps here are trying
to develop tools and methods for
people to be able to contribute their
data more quickly or in an easier way.
We've had mixed success with some
of the tools, we've developed
some great interfaces that are still
very complicated for people to use.