Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Incomplete Guide to Asking for Help on Your De Novo Genome Project

I've been thinking about this piece for a while, because I am a frequent presence on and often dive into questions regarding de novo sequence assembly, particularly for small genomes.  It's good to help out and a way to feel like one is contributing to a broader community, but sometimes it can be very frustrating because the seekers (SEQers?) of help do not post their questions very well.  So, it would be helpful to have a post to point them to, though I'm sure there are considerations I either haven't thought of or will fail to remember to add.  So, those can either go into the comments or a future post, or perhaps something can go in the Wiki at SEQAnswers.

But in general, think of it this way: you have some experienced hands in a field you wish to enter, who are willing to give detailed advice for free.  But, they can't give that advice unless you specify your question well, and if you don't get it right the first time they may not see (or may ignore) your second shot.