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CAZypedia:History/Original invitation letter

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This is the original CAZypedia invitation letter sent out by by e-mail by Harry Brumer on June 22, 2009.


Dear Friends,

Three years ago at the Whistler ICS meeting the idea of creating an extension to the CAZy database emerged, that would provide an online resource of the most salient features of the families of carbohydrate-active enzymes (and modules thereof). The idea was also to use this additional information as a way to closely involve the active researchers (and especially the younger generation) in this endeavour and therefore become a community-run service. We have been leading this effort, which is now in the final stage of preparation before being launched. A very preliminary and incomplete version of "CAZypedia" has been set up (see www.cazypedia.org), together with an organization that will ensure the highest possible standards of quality. A fuller description of the aims, scope, and editorial framework of CAZypedia is available here: http://www.cazypedia.org/index.php/CAZypedia:About

A few families have been implemented by Harry Brumer and Steve Withers to serve as models of what CAZypedia pages should contain. Our intent is that all pages should be of a very similar content and length; at least in this first iteration. You will see that for a given CAZy family there is a Repsonsible Curator and one or several authors (the Responsible Curator can be an author if he/she wishes). We think that the amount of work required for relatively small families is extremely minimal for a specialist. For a few large families such as family GH13, the amount of work will obviously be larger, but the constitution of a team of authors could be a nice way to solve the problem. Please note that the pages can be edited/completed subsequently at any time. The role of the Responsible Curator is to provide editorial oversight for each page entry. The names of the Responsible Curator for any particular page are given in the header of each page. These persons are the primary contact point for any questions or comments on page content. Responsible Curator have the primary responsibility for selecting Authors and reviewing author contributions.

We would like to ask you to become an Associate Curator of CAZypedia and think that you would be a wonderful Responsible Curator for one or more pages (a tentative family assignment is presented on the accompanying excel spreadsheet). As stated above, you have the option of asking a colleague (or several in the case of large families grouping together enzymes of different functions) who you feel is also a specialist in the family to be the author. Talented postgraduate students or post-doctoral scientists in your own lab may also make ideal authors. Of course the name of author(s) also appear on the pages! Your responsibility is to make sure that the content is of the highest possible standard by amending the text in close contact with the author. You will note that this process is of course a lot easier if you are both the page curator and the author!

Please let us know if you accept to be one of the Associate Curators of CAZypedia, if there are families that we have assigned to you for which you feel uncomfortable and wish to have reassigned, and more generally of any idea/question that you may have. Once we have assigned a set of curators we shall issue specific instructions/templates and activate your access to the site.

We would be grateful if you can respond at your earliest convenience (either (we hope) positively, or negatively), so we can move forward with the project ASAP.

Our goal is to make a public announcement of CAZypedia during the Gordon Research Conference on Cellulases, Cellulosomes and other Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes at the end of July. In addition to those pages we already have in place, we would love to have your contribution prior to the announcement!

With very best wishes,

Harry Brumer, Bernard Henrissat, Steve Withers, Harry Gilbert, Gideon Davies, and Al Boraston