A common question we get is how do we assign a qualitative value to the data? All data entered into the IEDB is entered as having either a positive or negative outcome. This value comes directly from the reference the data was published in or from the submitter who submitted the data. The IEDB does not decide this value, but instead uses the author's statements. In cases where the data is unclear, the authors are contacted to verify the qualitative value and if they cannot be reached or do not reply, we do not curate that data.
MHC Binding Values
We are often asked how MHC binding assays having the same quantitative value can have different qualitative values. Because we utilize only the data as presented by the authors in each specific reference, any quantitative value can be described as negative when the authors or submitters state that it is negative. It is common for different authors, different experimental methods, and different publication dates to assign a different qualitative value to the same quantitative measurement. However, if we are concerned that this is an error, the authors or submitters will be contacted to verify both the qualitative and quantitative values. If any user of the IEDB suspects a value to be in error, we greatly appreciate receiving feedback and will investigate any suspect data.