Glossary

This is a growing list of terms, acronymns and abbreviations. If you are aware of a term that should be added to this page please click here

AAI (Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure)
A way to centrally control access to online resources. Instead of having a username and password for each resource, you have one username and password that you can use to access all resources. ELIXIR has its own AAI, through which you can access ELIXIR resources that need access control. See the ELIXIR AAI page.
AARC (Authentication and Authorisation for Research and Collaboration)
A project ​led by GÉANT the pan-European research and education network that interconnects Europe’s National Research and Education Networks. GEANT-AARC2 is a project starting in Q2/2017 that continues from the GEANT-AARC project.
BBMRI (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure)
An ESFRI BMS Research Infrastructure which aims to increase efficacy and excellence of European biomedical research by facilitating access to quality-defined human health and disease-relevant biological resources.
BBMRI-ERIC (Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure)
An ESFRI BMS Research Infrastructure which aims to increase efficacy and excellence of European biomedical research by facilitating access to quality-defined human health and disease-relevant biological resources. 
BD2K (Big Data to Knowledge)
A trans-National Institute of Health (NIH) initiative established to enable biomedical research as a digital research enterprise, to facilitate discovery and support new knowledge, and to maximize community engagement. 
BEIS (Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
A UK Government Dept.
Bioinformatics
The collection, storage, and analysis of biological data using computers. It is an interdisciplinary subject and involves knowledge of programming, database design and statistics as well as biology. Bioinformatics techniques are often used to analyse genomes and proteomes, and to create three-dimensional models of biomolecules.
BioExcel
Centre of Excellence for provision of support to academic and industrial researchers in the use of high-performance and high-throughput computing in biomolecular research.
BioMedBridges
A joint project of twelve biomedical sciences research infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap, completed in February 2016 and still influential.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Data)
A workshop that brings together data owners, domain experts (most often biologists and chemists) and FAIR data experts (and their trainees) working on selected data set(s).
CA (Collaboration Agreement)
legal document that sets out the relationship between the ELIXIR Hub with the national Node.
CDR (Core Data Resource)
European data resources that are of fundamental importance to research in the life sciences and are committed to the long term preservation of data. Coordinated by the Data Platform
Cloud computing
An online pool of shared computing resources where you can access and store data and use programs (Google Drive and Microsoft Office 365 are examples of cloud services). Unlike owning your own hardware, you can quickly adjust cloud services to your needs and only pay for what you use.
COG (Collaboration agreement Oversight Group)
A group (Head of Node, ELIXIR Director and others) established to oversee the relationship between the ELIXIR Hub and each Node, as set out in the Collaboration Agreement. 
CORBEL
CORBEL stands for 'Coordinated Research Infrastructures Building Enduring Life-science Services'. It is a project that aims to align and coordinate the work of the European biomedical research infrastructures. See the CORBEL website.
CTMM (The Center for Translational Molecular Medicine)
A Dutch-based public-private partnership dedicated to the development of technologies in molecular medicine.
CWL (Common Workflow Language)
A specification for describing analysis workflows and tools in a way that makes them portable and scalable across a variety of software and hardware environments, from workstations to cluster, cloud, and high performance computing (HPC) environments.
DAVID (Database forAnnotation, Visualisation and Integrated Discovery )
A comprehensive set of functional annotation tools for investigators to understand biological meaning behind large list of gene.
DISSCO (Distributed System of Scientific Collections)
The RI that joins natural history museums together.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
A unique alphanumeric string assigned by a registration agency to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location. (eg. A publisher assigns a DOI when an article is published and made available electronically)
DTL (Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences)
A public-private partnership of more than 50 life science organisations in the Netherlands. The majority of Dutch universities and university medical centres are DTL partners and a growing number of companies are joining the organisation
Earth Biogenome Project (EBP)
A moonshot for biology, aims to sequence, catalog and characterize the genomes of all of Earth’s eukaryotic biodiversity over a period of ten years.
ECA (ELIXIR Consortium Agreement)
A contractual agreement between ELIXIR Hub and each Node to establish the legal basis for ELIXIR
ECCB (European Conference on Computational Biology)
A moonshot for biology, aims to sequence, catalog and characterize the genomes of all of Earth’s eukaryotic biodiversity over a period of ten years.
EDAM (http://edamontology.org/page)
A simple ontology of well established, familiar concepts that are prevalent within bioinformatics, including types of data and data identifiers, data formats, operations and topics. EDAM provides a set of terms with synonyms and definitions, organised into an intuitive hierarchy for convenient use.
A major project funded by the European Commission. It runs 2015-18 and funds many of ELIXIR’s activities, including its Platforms and Use Cases. See the EXCELERATE page.
Gene
A locus (or region) of DNA that is responsible for creating a particular protein or a particular function. Genes carry the information that determines traits like eye colour, and are the basic units of hereditary. Humans have around 25,000 genes.
Genome
The genetic material of an organism, which consists of DNA (or RNA in RNA viruses). It contains all of an organism’s genes, and is present in every cell that has a nucleus. Each genome contains the information needed to build that organism and allow it to grow and develop.  
Genomics
Genomics is a discipline within genetics that concerns the sequencing and analysis of an organism's genome.
Grid
In computing, a grid is a collection of computers that is owned by multiple organisations in different locations and connected together so that users can share the combined power of the resources. It differs from cloud because cloud resources are usually run by one organisation.
Hadoop
An open source programming framework that helps you process and store huge data sets in a distributed computing environment (like a grid). Hadoop services let you access, store and process data, and help you manage data governance and security.
HPC cluster
High Performance Computing (HPC) is a technique that uses multiple computers to perform a task. HPC clusters divide up tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and run these concurrently across multiple computers. This allows researchers to run large, complex analyses of data that are too big for a single machine to cope with.
Hub
The ELIXIR Hub coordinates and supports the services run by the ELIXIR Nodes and has overall responsibility for developing and delivering the ELIXIR Scientific Programme. It is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK. See Who we are.
Hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and third-party, public cloud services with orchestration between the two platforms. By allowing workloads to move between private and public clouds as computing needs and costs change, hybrid cloud gives businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options.
Implementation study
ELIXIR projects that have a relatively narrow focus and short term duration (one or two years). They are funded through the budget of the ELIXIR Hub and are used to connect ELIXIR Nodes. See Implementation Studies.
Member/Member State
A country in ELIXIR that has signed the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (see How countries join). It can also mean an institution that is part of ELIXIR e.g. the University of Manchester is part of ELIXIR UK, and so is a ‘member’ of ELIXIR.
Metagenomics
The study of genetic material sampled directly from the environment (rather than cultured in a laboratory). In marine metagenomics, for example, the genetic material studied is taken from samples of seawater taken directly from the sea.
Node
An institution within a country that runs that country’s ELIXIR services e.g. the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL) oversees the work of ELIXIR Netherlands. It is the Dutch Node. See How countries join.
Observer
In ELIXIR, and Observer is a country that has not yet signed the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (ECA), which all members have signed. It may be that the country is still working towards signing it. See How countries join.
Platform
A group of scientists who coordinate ELIXIR’s activities in a particular area. There are five Platforms or areas of work within ELIXIR (Data, Tools, Interoperability, Compute and Training). See Platforms.
Proteome
The proteins found in an organism over its entire life cycle, or in a particular cell type at a particular time under defined environmental conditions.
Proteomics
The study of the proteins of a particular cell, tissue or organism. Proteomics studies often produce inventories of the protein structures produced by the same tissue under different conditions.
Research infrastructure
A network of facilities, databases and services used by the science community to conduct research. By combining these resources then the research becomes more effective because data and expertise can be pooled.
Sequencing
The process of discovering the order of nucelotides in DNA or RNA, or the order of amino acids in a protein. There are four types of nucleotides in DNA. Each gene is made up of a sequence of nucleotides.
Supercomputer
A computer that has more computational capacity than a general-purpose computer. Supercomputers split large tasks into smaller tasks and work on all the sub-tasks at once (parallel processing). Grids and HPC clusters are examples of supercomputers.
Use Case
Within ELIXIR, these are collaborations between ELIXIR and life scientists in a particular domain (e.g. rare disease). They give feedback on the services developed by ELIXIR Platforms and ensure that the services match the scientists’ needs. See Use Cases.
Work Package (WP)
A group of related tasks within a project. In the EXCELERATE project there are 13 Work Packages, which operate within the Platforms e.g. EXCELERATE WP1 has the task of creating a registry of software tools for bioinformatics, and it works within the Tools Platform. See EXCELERATE.

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