The European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) captures and presents information relating to experimental workflows that are based around nucleotide sequencing. A typical workflow includes the isolation and preparation of material for sequencing, a run of a sequencing machine in which sequencing data are produced and a subsequent bioinformatic analysis pipeline. ENA records this information in a data model that covers input information (sample, experimental setup, machine configuration), output machine data (sequence traces, reads and quality scores) and interpreted information (assembly, mapping, functional annotation).
Data arrive at ENA from a variety of sources. These include submissions of raw data, assembled sequences and annotation from small-scale sequencing efforts, data provision from the major European sequencing centres and routine and comprehensive exchange with our partners in the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC).
Provision of nucleotide sequence data to ENA or its INSDC partners has become a central and mandatory step in the dissemination of research findings to the scientific community. ENA works with publishers of scientific literature and funding bodies to ensure compliance with these principles and to provide optimal submission systems and data access tools that work seamlessly with the published literature.