Excel & genes: mutation and curation

Excel & genes: mutation and curation

3 September 2016

On 23 August a paper by three Australian authors gained much publicity about how Excel interprets data entry and how the users don't check their data.

The root problem is that the researchers who uploaded their data into Excel NEVER checked them. The reason they never check is because Excel is seen as a simple application, not programming or software development or data management.

Abstract of the source paper: "The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions."