The Ten Commandments of Translational Research Informatics

Tracking #: 575-1555


Responsible editor: 

Manisha Desai

Submission Type: 

Position Paper


Translational research applies findings from basic science to enhance human health and well-being. In translational research projects, academia and industry work together to improve healthcare, often through public-private partnerships. This “translation” is often not easy, because it means that the so-called “valley of death” will need to be crossed: many interesting findings from fundamental research do not result in new treatments, diagnostics and prevention. To cross the valley of death, fundamental researchers need to collaborate with clinical researchers and with industry so that promising results can be implemented in a product. The success of translational research projects often does not only on the fundamental science and the applied science, but also on the informatics needed to connect everything: the translational research informatics. This informatics should enable the researchers to store their ‘big data’ in a meaningful way, to ensure that results can be analyzed correctly and enable application in the clinic. This translational research informatics field has overlap with areas such as data management, data stewardship and data governance. The author has worked on the IT infrastructure for several translational research projects in oncology for the past nine years, and presents his lessons learned in this paper in the form of ten commandments. These commandments are not only useful for the data managers, but for all involved in a translational research project. Some of the commandments deal with topics that are currently in the spotlight, such as machine readability, the FAIR Guiding Principles and the GDPR regulations, but others are not mentioned often in publications around data stewardship and data management, although they are just as crucial for the success of a translational research project.


Previous Version: 


  • Reviewed

Data repository URLs: 


Date of Submission: 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Date of Decision: 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Nanopublication URLs:



Solicited Reviews:

1 Comment

Meta-Review by Editor

Thank you for submitting your revised manuscript and responding to the initial reviewers' comments. There are still some concerns that remain that we would like you to further address that involve providing more nuanced and less simplistic guidance for the principles you provide. In addition, we request that you edit for more concise language.

Manisha Desai (