BioResource Impact Factor

Bioresources such as biobanks, databases and bioinformatics tools are important elements in current research but there is no standardized way to acknowledge the effort involved in establishing and maintaining such resources. Thus there is no way to evaluate the impact of the use of such resources on scientific research.

A working group for the creation of a Bioresource Research Impact Factor (BRIF) was set up within the BBMRI and GEN2PHEN European projects.  The main objective is to promote the sharing of bioresources by creating a link between their initiators or implementers and the impact of the scientific research using them. A BRIF would make it possible to trace the quantitative use of a bioresource, the kind of research using it and the efforts of the people and institutions that construct it and make it available.

The BRIF is a collective international initiative to construct a framework intended to implement tools to recognise and measure the use of bioresources for research.

It targets 4 main objectives that are currently ongoing:

1/ the assignment of a unique and persistent identifier to the bioresource by an independent international institution or body,

2/ the construction of the BRIF algorithm on the basis of a number of agreed parameters for the follow-up of the use of bioresources,

3/ the modification of editorial guidelines in order to integrate coherently the citation and acknowledgement of the bioresources used in scientific articles and

4/ the assessment of incentives for bioresources access and sharing policies.


The BRIF is piloted in BioSHaRE with the following general objectives:


- To test the feasibility of using a standardised protocol for harmonising bioresources (cohort, biobanks…) citation in BioSHare publications.

- To assess the traceability of the BioSHare bioresources solicitated, using a specific  index, the BRIF BioSHaRE pilot study identifier, provided through P3G, hereafter defined in this protocol.

- To evaluate the easiness of a tracking system using this ID as compared to other usual means such as using a marker paper or other kinds of references to the bioresources used.


Specific objectives:

Before any harmonisation system is widely implemented, pilot studies are necessary at a restricted scale. BioSHaRE is an ideal framework to this end regarding feasibility of some steps towards BRIF implementation. As a matter of fact, a limited number of specific bioresources (cohorts, biobanks) are used, articles are expected to be produced as BioSHaRE is a research project and the community involved is motivated towards harmonisation. Therefore the specific objectives are:

-   To get for each bioresource used in BioSHaRE a unique identifier from P3G (BRIF BioSHaRE pilot study ID)

-   To cite with this agreed identifier the bioresources used in BioSHaRE in any publication

  • To locate this citation in an agreed section of the article
  • To use a systematic bioresource acknowledgement sentence
  • To announce this policy in a systematic way in the cover letter to the editor for any publication submitted from BioSHaRE work and using bioresources.
Find more information on the BRIF initiative in general here and on the BioSHaRE pilot.
Please find below the BRIF newsletters N°1/Dec 2010, N°2/March 2011, N°3/June 2011, N°4/Jan 2012 , N°5/June 2012, N°6/Dec 2012 and N°7/May 2013..
BRIF Newsletter N°1.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°2.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°3.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°4.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°5.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°6.pdf
BRIF Newsletter N°7.pdf