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    Research: New initiative tools for creating and reusing high-quality spreadsheets (e.g., supplementary tables to articles)
    Submitted by Jonathan Karr; posted on Friday, August 07, 2020


    Dear colleagues,

    We're writing to invite you to use ObjTables (, a free and open-source toolkit, to create and reuse high-quality spreadsheets, such as supplementary tables to articles.

    Comparing and integrating data is essential to science. However, it is difficult to reuse many data sets, including spreadsheets, one of the most common formats. ObjTables makes spreadsheets reusable by combining spreadsheets with schemas, an object-relational mapping system, numerous data types for scientific information, and high-level software tools. First, ObjTables enables authors to use Excel and similar programs to create spreadsheets and use ObjTables to error check spreadsheets. Second, ObjTables extends the impact of sharing data by helping other investigators compare, merge, and translate spreadsheets into data structures that can be analyzed with tools such as Python. ObjTables is available as a web application, a command-line program, a web service, and a Python package.

    We hope that you join this initiative to make supplementary tables more reusable. Please contact us to share feedback or get involved. Together, we believe we can create a robust ecosystem of reusable data for research!


    Jonathan Karr
    Arthur Goldberg
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

    Wolfram Liebermeister
    INRAE, Université Paris-Saclay

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