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Instructions

Overall workflow: Scientists who are interested in collaborative research create Scientist Registry accounts and enter their information into ModelMatcher. Non-Scientist users, as well as Scientist Users who wish to connect to other Scientists create Match Dashboard accounts to reach out to a Scientist who has expertise in their genes of interest. Users can also search the majority of data in ModelMatcher without creating an account using the Search tool, but will not have access to confidential information that has been classified as "restricted" by the Scientist. The "Match Request" feature in the Match Dashboard allows users to effectively reach out to Scientists, including those that registered a certain gene as "restricted". ModelMatcher Users can also search and match with model organism (MO) researchers who are registered in our partner registries within the RDMM International network. We are currently developing APIs to connect ModelMatcher to federated clinical genetics registries that are part of the Matchmaker Exchange network including GeneMatcher. Upon completion, ModelMatcher users will be able to actively reach out to clinicians, researchers and patients with shared genes of interest to establish collaborations.

If you are a scientist willing and able to perform experiments on a gene, you are eligible to register as a "Scientist" in ModelMatcher. Please register through the Scientist Registry page and confirm your email account to continue. Once you are logged in, you will be prompted to enter some basic information about yourself including your name, affiliation and position under the -Profile- tab. You will be asked to provide information on what type of research you do, and what organ systems you study if applicable. There is also a section where you can briefly describe your research and use PubMed IDs (PMIDs) to link to relevant publications. Once you have completed this, please save the information and you can then start to enter your genes of interest.

Navigate to the -Model Organisms- tab at the top of the profile page in order to register your specific genes of interest. If you do not work in a model organism, please enter the information under the "Human/other" entry. Begin typing the model organism gene name according to the official nomenclature in the bar and select the correct gene as it appears in the autofill. You can list as many genes of interest as you like for each model organism. You can also select whether a gene is primary or secondary, and if you would like a restricted or public privacy setting for a specific gene. Please see the glossary below to learn more about these terms. Save your selections and your registration with ModelMatcher is complete. You can always add or remove genes according to your interest by logging into the Scientist Registry.

After you register your gene of interest, you may receive messages from our Match Dashboard users who want to discuss a collaboration with you. These will come as official emails from (the email address that is going to send them) and will include information about the user and the gene they are interested in. Here is an example of such email. If you wish to discuss a collaboration with them, you should simply reach out to the other party through their preferred email address, which will be clearly displayed in the Match Request email. Please note that you can receive a Match Request for genes you have registered as Restricted. In this case, the message was sent to you anonymously without revealing your name or information to the requesting user. If you are not interested in this specific request and wish to remain anonymous, simply do not respond to the request.

If you are a scientist registered with ModelMatcher, but also want to find other scientists with similar interest or complemental skills to collaborate with, you can also make an Match Dashboard account. This will allow you to connect with other scientists who share a gene of interest. The registration process is similar, but even more straightforward. Please see the Match Dashboard User column for more information on that registration process. A different email and a password can be used to register in the Scientist Registry and Match Dashboard but we recommend to keep this the same to avoid any confusion.

Anyone can register to be a Match Dashboard User. Please register here and confirm your email account to continue. Once you are logged in, you will be prompted to enter some basic information about yourself including your name, what type of Match Dashboard User you are, a preferred email address (optional), and a brief statement regarding why you are joining ModelMatcher under the -Profile- tab. Once you have completed this, save this information and you can then start to list your genes of interest.

Navigate to your Match Dashboard page to list your genes of interest. Begin typing the current NCBI human gene symbol and select the gene as it appears in the autofill section. You can list as many genes of interest as you like. Once you have entered your genes of interest, save your selections. A table will appear under the Matches tab that lists your genes of interest with matches and corresponding Scientist users who have also registered that gene, or one of its predicted homologs, as a gene of interest in the Scientist Registry. You can use this hyperlinks in this table to obtain additional information regarding each Scientist and to initiate Match Requests, even to anonymous users.

Your match Dashboard now has a table showing Scientists who have registered the same human gene of interest, or one of its predicted homologs in model organisms. You can look at their account by clicking their name. If you decide you would like to make contact, select the Send Match Request button. This will open a window where you can draft a message to the Scientist. Once it is complete, hit send. You will receive a confirmation email, and the table in your Match Dashboard will record the last date you tried to initiate contact with this Scientist.

Navigate to our public search page and input a gene of interest. You can narrow results by selecting the tier, animal model, or organ system you are interested in. The system will display the predicted homologs of your gene of interest, and a table displaying all of our registered scientists who have expressed interest in that gene. You can navigate to their profile pages to learn more about their research and collect contact information. Some users will be listed as anonymous and will require you to register a Match Dashboard account to contact them. Anyone is allowed to make one of these accounts. It is completely free and there are no required qualifications, just an email address verification step.

Navigate to our public search page and input a gene of interest. You can narrow results by selecting the tier, animal model, or organ system you are interested in. The system will display the predicted homologs of your gene of interest, and a table displaying all of our registered scientists who have expressed interest in that gene. You can navigate to their profile pages to learn more about their research and collect contact information. Some users will be listed as anonymous and will require you to register a Match Dashboard account to contact them. Anyone is allowed to make one of these accounts. It is completely free and there are no required qualifications, just an email address verification step.


Glossary

Scientists: Users who are scientists with expertise in specific genes who access ModelMatcher. Scientists who register in ModelMatcher are willing to use in vivo, in vitro, and/or in silico methods to experimentally study the function of genes and variants linked to human diseases.

Non-Scientist Users: Users with a clinical interest who access ModelMatcher to identify scientific collaborators. These users may be clinicians (e.g. physicians, genetic counselors) who are trying to diagnose a rare disease patient, patients themselves, or their family members who wish to participate in research to understand the mechanism of their disease. Funding agencies and non-profit organizations can use ModelMatcher as non-scientist Users to identify a group of scientists with expertise in a specific gene to facilitate collaborative research.

Genes of expertise/interest: A list of genes that a Scientist User registers in ModelMatcher as having expertise or interest in.

Public genes: A subset of genes of expertise/interest that can be discovered by non-scientist Users using the “Search” feature, which does not require the user to be logged in or registered with ModelMatcher. These typically include genes in which the Scientist User has published on the past and considers non-confidential.

Restricted genes: A subset of genes of expertise/interest that can only be discovered by Match Dashboard Users using the "Match Request" feature, which requires the user to register with ModelMatcher or other federated matchmaking databases. These typically include genes in which the Scientist User has unpublished data on and considers confidential.

Primary genes (tier 1 genes, genes you currently work on): These are genes which your lab actively works on, and you have the reagents and protocols ready to perform functional assays

Secondary genes (tier 2 genes, genes you currently don’t work on): These are genes which your lab has worked on in the past or have strong interest in, but would need additional time to establish protocols or create reagents to perform functional assays

Match Dashboard: The profile page for users to register their genes of interest who wish to reach out to Scientist Users working on those genes and their predicted homologs. This is the location where ModelMatcher users send "Match Requests", and is the only way to connect with users who have registered a gene under the restricted privacy level.

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