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Posted by Craig, September 2017

Why Repositive? - Mission Control

Helping researchers to help patients, faster

At Repostive, we are connecting the world of human genomic data. This slogan perfectly encapsulates the fact that we are the connection of data and people?. Not only the connection of those who have data to those who consume data, but also that we are connecting each data source together into one portal. Maybe like this: Not only we are connecting those who have data with those who use data in their research, but we are also connecting multiple data sources in one portal? It also comes some way to myth-bust that we do not store data at Repositive, but we aid the discoverability and accessibility of data. The slogan also very importantly outlines we only have human data. But it doesn't say why we do it...

Helping researchers to help patients, faster is our very high-level 'why' Helping people discover, access, share and annotate data, not only speeds up the use of data but also the quality of data and research. This contributes to better and faster research. This then contributes to better and faster diagnosis of diseases and development of precision medicines and treatments. This then helps patients. We aspire to help patients, but we do that through researchers.

So what guides our mission?


Precision Vision

We aim to speed up genetic diagnostics and research through efficient data access solutions. We support better data access in 3 main ways:

Best Practices

Promote best practices and good data custodianship. The first step to encourage good practices is for acknowledging and rewarding those who practice good data custodianship. Getting recognition for measurable impact will surely encourage others to follow.

  1. Steve Willaims wrote a paper on High-throughput RNAi screen for essential genes and drug synergistic combinations in colorectal cancer, where he used data that is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable). This demonstrates our appreciation and support of FAIR data.
  1. Manuel Corpas wrote a paper on PIsCO: A Performance indicators framework for collection of bioinformatics resource metrics, where he both highlights and encourages best practices in FAIR data management.

  2. We give users reputation points for adding additional metadata, tags and adding themselves as a dataset contributor, rewarding those who increase the discoverability, accessibility and reusability of genomic data.


Make data accessible and reusable. Finding data is only the start of the workflow. Improving access begins to unlock the potential of data. Making data reusable prevents duplication of effort and supports higher impact.

  1. We provide information on how to access data, like How to successfully apply for access to dbGaP or How to successfully apply for access to EGA.

  2. We offer 'Access Application' services helping you gain access to restricted repositories.

  3. We enable and reward users for adding additional annotation to datasets. Improving metadata helps power search, but also helps users identify if a dataset is what they want.


Increase levels of collaboration and data sharing. One person cannot know everything. A community who shares knowledge and data can achieve much more.

  1. We enable users to add additional annotation like 'Tissue' 'Samples' Technology' and 'Disease' This helps the next user know quickly if this dataset is relevant to them.

  2. We enable the sharing of any data set without needing an account. Any platform visitor can share a dataset to anyone through either Twitter, LinkedIn or email.

  3. With data requests we enable users to announce to the community the data they need. By enabling other users to comment with advice, provide links to data online or even register data directly to the platform, users can help one another with their data requirements.


Protecting values

Our company culture is built around our mission, vision and core values which we strive to incorporate not only in our daily work, but also in our products and services.

People First

We work to make a difference for patients and want to maximise the value of data for patients' benefit. Data, diseases and genes can be a complex and absorbing topic, but we make an extra effort to consider the patients, to celebrate their contributions to research and remind us all why we work hard to improve healthcare with data.

  1. Data is important, but we also spend time talking to patients and telling their stories. How they were diagnosed, how they deal and manage their disease and tips for other people out there with the same condition. From nephews with Asperger's to best friends who beat breast cancer.

  2. We are part of the GA4GH Regulatory and Ethics working group and blog on topics like patient consent.

  3. We incentivise our community and network and utilise their expertise to help researchers with a passionate and direct connection to patients, like the SaveOurMaddi campaign where we are donating money for leads on data or contacts in the field.

Open Science

We aim to make genomic data more accessible and make research results more reproducible and citable. We believe no person can know everything, so working together we can achieve so much more. Open Science. Open Access. Open Minds.

  1. Using the core platform is free for everyone. Creating a resource which is free lowers the barrier to data access for everyone, everywhere.

  2. By connecting multiple data sources from around the globe, we make more data visible, reusable and save effort duplicating data which already exists.

  3. Everything a free user does on Repositive is publically visible; how many times a dataset has been viewed and favourited, who contributed, who commented etc... As we build more features, we intend to harness community activity and use it to improve the platform. Which can then benefit everyone who uses it.

Integrity & Transparency

We value integrity in ideals and actions and transparency in communicating our mission and goals. We are proud of who we are and why we exist and believe by wearing our heart on our sleeve we will capture the heart of our users. We believe if we help our users, they will pay it forward and help others.

  1. We understand that when many researchers are first introduced to Repositive, they want to understand how and why the Repositive core platform is free. We are transparent in explaining the benefit of community and crowdsourced annotation, and how this benefits not just us, but how we can then feed this back into the community.

  2. Our platform is free for everyone, but to make revenue we do take on projects for large and small organisations, for example the PDX consortium with AstraZeneca. We are very transparent regarding these projects, who we work with and why. We are always looking at how these projects can support the growth of the core platform.

  3. We are very transparent into how we work. Our website and social media channels are sprinkled with visibility of the team, how we have fun, celebrate success and work together.

Guiding Principles

We are a startup with a team of young professionals. We all have different backgrounds and job roles. High growth requires hard work, and it would be all too easy to get lost in our day-to-day activities. However, we regularly step back and look at why we do what we do. We celebrate success together. As a social enterprise we try to apply our values to what we do, every day. And, perhaps, more importantly, we all contribute and shape an awesome company culture. One of collective intelligence, support and open communication. We want to make a difference, together... and we want to have fun in the process.

If you spend 45 hours a week working, you should aspire to do something you love! 'And if running around in a lizard suit helps me save the world - I AM IN!

We are growing - grow with us

We are hiring for:

Product Manager

Executive Assistant

Lead Back-end Engineer

Lead Front-end Engineer

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