Here are two simple pieces of advice for people who are looking for a name for their latest bioinformatics tool/database/resource:
- Avoid common words which might cause people searching for your tool to find something else instead.
- Choose a name that hasn't been used before by the bioinformatics community.
Having said that, let's look at a new paper in the journal Bioinformatics:
This name 'Seed', is a not-too-offensive acronym for Simple Exploration of Ecological Data. So what's my beef with it?
The problem is that words like seed are going to appear all over the Internet. My standard test for the 'searchability' of a bioinformatics tool is to search for the tool name followed by the word 'bioinformatics'. Your resource's website or publication should hopefully be the number one result (or somewhere on the first page). However, that is not what happens here.
And searching for 'seed bioinformatics' raises more problems by clashing with my first piece of advice. E.g. here are a couple of papers that were in my first page of Google results:
So what happens if you include 'microbial' into your search terms? Won't that help?
Nope. Turns out that the SEED — not an ancronym as far as I can tell — is an annotation environment for microbial genomes that has been around for a decade, and which has spawned many papers, e.g.:
All of which means that people looking to find the newly published Seed tool, are not going to have much luck when using search engines.