Scientists have love-hate relationship with GWAS, Genome Wide Association Studies. Whether one likes it or not, GWAS is one of the most useful approaches to identify genomic regions that might be functionally relevant.
This week’s Nature Genetics article titled “Asking for more” asks researchers to provide more information on GWAS while publishing their work. Among other things the guideline asks for more p-values.
Typically researchers, while publishing their results from a GWAS, report mainly the SNPs with genome wide statistical significance (like p-value threshold of 1e-05). However, the SNPs which do not pass the standard genome wide threshold is also useful in understanding complex traits, when used in meta analysis, with different context/methods and more information. It is no brainer that It is better to publish the results of all the analysis not just the significant ones.
The Nature Genetics article also revealed the dominance of Nature Genetics on GWAS studies. Nearly half of all SNPs (1,891 out of 3,869) associated with diseases with p-values 1e-08 or lower were published in Nature Genetics. Not just that Nature Genetics accounts for about 25% of all the papers on GWAS (313 out of 1271 as of 2nd June 2012). Should we suggest the name “Nature GWAS” to Nature Genetics.
A quick check on the latest stat on the number of GWAS from “A Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies”, shows that as of 06/29/12, the GWAS catalog has 1292 publications and an increase of 21 within 27 days. Want to find your favorite GWAS results visit the GWAS catalog at NHGRI.