Keep It Simple: Using README Files to Advance Standardization in Chronobiology

Tomasz Zieliński, James J L Hodge, Andrew J Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Standardization plays a crucial role in ensuring the reliability, reproducibility, and interoperability of research data in the biomedical sciences. Metadata standards are one foundation for the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles of data management. They facilitate data discovery, understanding, and reuse. However, the adoption of metadata standards in biological research lags in practice. Barriers such as complexity, lack of incentives, technical challenges, resource constraints, and resistance to change hinder widespread adoption. In the field of chronobiology, standardization is essential but faces particular challenges due to the longitudinal nature of experimental data, diverse model organisms, and varied measurement techniques. To address these challenges, we propose an approach that emphasizes simplicity and practicality: the development of README templates tailored for particular data types and species. Through this opinion article, our intention is to initiate a dialogue and commence a community-driven standardization process by engaging potential contributors and collaborators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalClocks & Sleep
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by MRC grant MR/X009726/1. For the purpose of open access, the authors have applied a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


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