Ancient DNA and RNA are valuable data sources for a wide range of disciplines. Within the field of ancient metagenomics, the number of published genetic datasets has risen dramatically in recent years, and tracking this data for reuse is particularly important for large-scale ecological and evolutionary studies of individual microbial taxa, microbial communities, and metagenomic assemblages. AncientMetagenomeDir (archived at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3980833) is a collection of indices of published genetic data deriving from ancient microbial samples that provides basic, standardised metadata and accession numbers to allow rapid data retrieval from online repositories. These collections are community-curated and span multiple sub-disciplines in order to ensure adequate breadth and consensus in metadata definitions, as well as longevity of the database. Internal guidelines and automated checks to facilitate compatibility with established sequence-read archives and term-ontologies ensure consistency and interoperability for future meta-analyses. This collection will also assist in standardising metadata reporting for future ancient metagenomic studies.
Open access publication.