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The 11th Genomic Standards Consortium Meeting (GSC 11), held at The Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK, April 4-6, 2011 (http://gensc.org/gc_wiki/index.php/GSC_11). Summary A vast and rich body of information has grown up as a result of the world's enthusiasm for 'omics technologies. Finding ways to describe and make available this information that maximise its usefulness has become a major effort across the 'omics world. At the heart of this effort is the Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC), an open-membership organisation that drives community-based standardisation activities, established in 2005 and working towards better descriptions of our collection of genome, metagenome and environmental sequences (marker genes). For each of these categories, the GSC has developed a family of ‘minimum information’ checklists (MIGS, MIMS and MIMARKS). The GSC is running a range of consensus-driven projects and is making a call for community compliance/community involvement. Further information can be found at http://gensc.org/. The 11th meeting of the Genomic Standards Consortium provided opportunities to hear about and get involved with the organisation's activities, present and discover important work in the area of standards development, support and application, and to network with other scientists who care about the usability of our important 'omics data. The meeting had a broad coverage of the many activities of the GSC and will have a special focus on: - the value of standardized and consistent metadata - MIGS/MIMS/MIENS and standards compliance - functional annotation standards - isolated organisms, human pathogens and microbiome studies - data sharing policies - outreach and integration of new areas of work into GSC activities Scientific Programme Committee: Guy Cochrane, EMBL – European Bioinformatics Institute, UK Peter Dawyndt, Ghent University, Belgium Dawn Field, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology , UK Frank Oliver Glöckner, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology Bremen, Germany Susanna-Assunta Sansone, University of Oxford, UK Lynn Schriml, University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA Peter Sterk, GSC/Visitor Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK

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