This proposal requests support to construct and implement an electronic resource for information on the exocrine pancreas. This pancreas knowledge base will be called "The Pancreapedia". It is designed to compile and curate knowledge on the exocrine pancreas, its component cell types and its diseases including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. It will also encourage new research and promote sharing of methods and research tools. It will contain six major divisions: Reviews, Pathways, Molecule Pages, Cell Structure, Research Tools, and People (Directory, community bulletin board). Content will be divided into "Entries" and "Posts". Entries will be invited or submitted and managed by Editors and an Editorial Board that will carry out peer review. After acceptance, staff will format and mount the finished copy which will be accompanied by a version number, date and digital object identifier (DOI). Material will be hyperlinked to other relevant areas in the site and to sites outside such as PubMed and NCBI. Material can be updated when ever appropriate but when content is changed it will be given a new date and version number. Posts will be entered directly onto a structured web page by individuals who have registered as members and will include Directory Listings, Research Tools (mouse lines, viral vectors, antibodies) and Comments. Comments can be made on all entries and will be accompanied by the commenter's name and picture. The site is constructed using Drupal as the content management system with the aim of minimizing the work of putting up new content. It will be mounted on a server at the University of Michigan Library (MPublishing) which will be the Publisher and responsible for data security and integrity. All content will be open access with the copyright remaining with the author. After establishment of the resource funds to cover the cost of maintenance and putting up new content will come from The American Pancreatic Association and other organizations (Societies and Foundations) interested in pancreatic research.
The development and maintenance of a centralized electronic resource on pancreatic research will facilitate the sharing of information among researchers and the general public on the latest developments in this critical area that affects the health of a large number of people in this country. This system will help to accelerate research on pancreatic disease through promotion and sharing of methods and research tools as well as providing a searchable and linked source of information.