September 6, 2023
Journal Article

malbacR: A package for standardized implementation of batch correction methods for omics data


Mass spectrometry is a powerful tool for identifying and analyzing small molecules, such as metabolites and lipids, in com-plex biological samples. Liquid chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry studies quite commonly in-volve large numbers of samples, which can require significant time for sample preparation and analyses. To accommodate such studies, the samples are commonly split into batches. Inevitably, variations in sample handling, temperature fluctua-tion, imprecise timing, column degradation and other factors result in systematic errors or biases of the measured abundances between the batches. Numerous methods are available via R packages to assist with batch correction for small molecule om-ics data; however, since these methods were developed by different research teams, the algorithms are available in separate R packages, each with different data input and output formats. We introduce the malbacR package which consolidates eleven common batch effect correction methods for small molecule omics data into one place so users can easily implement and compare: pareto scaling, power scaling, range scaling, ComBat, EigenMS, NOMIS, RUV-random, QC-RLSC, WaveI-CA2.0, TIGER, and SERRF. The malbacR package standardizes data input and output formats across these batch correction methods. The package works in conjunction with the pmartR package, allowing users to seamlessly include batch effect cor-rection in a pmartR workflow without needing any additional data manipulation.

Published: September 6, 2023


Leach D.T., K.G. Stratton, J. Irvahn, R.E. Richardson, B.M. Webb-Robertson, and L.M. Bramer. 2023. malbacR: A package for standardized implementation of batch correction methods for omics data. Analytical Chemistry 95, no. 35:12195–12199. PNNL-SA-183164. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.3c01289