An archive for raw EM data

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Earlier this week we published a Correspondence describing EMPIAR, a public archive for raw 2D electron microscopy (EM) image data.

While the established Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) hosts the 3D EM map data required by most journals for publication, the EM community has long been calling for an archive to host the raw 2D image data underlying the 3D maps, as highlighted in our Method of the Year 2015 feature. EMPIAR, a pilot project from the Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe), now fills this need.

At Nature Methods we support this archive as a welcome development in the rapidly growing 3D EM field that will enhance transparency, reproducibility, and facilitate the development and refinement of data analysis tools. Though we do not require that our authors deposit their 2D EM image data in EMPIAR, we do encourage it. We urge researchers to make use of the archive and provide feedback to the developers in order to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the field.

Any interested readers without a subscription or site license may read the full text of the Correspondence here.

Allison Doerr

Chief Editor, Nature Methods, Springer Nature

Allison has been an editor with Nature Methods since 2005, and chief editor since November 2018. She has been responsible for all areas of biochemistry for the journal, including structural biology and proteomics. Prior to her editorial career, she completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Princeton University, where she studied de novo protein design and protein-ligand interactions using NMR spectroscopy.
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