30 June 2017

A new step in developing excellent IT for UU researchers

'iRODS helps researchers proof the integrity of their research data'

With over 25 presentations, 175 visitors from 12 countries and 38 universities the directorate Information and Technology Services (ITS) on Friday 16th of June wrapped up a week with innovative research technology at the centre: iRODS. Together with the iRODS consortium from the United States, developer of this open source technology and initiator of the congres, this was a new step in further developing excellent IT for UU researchers.  

Between Tuesday and Friday training sessions were held, there was a two-day User Group Meeting and a management event in The Faculty Club.  

Usage in data management 

"iRODS helps researchers to proof the integrity of their research data. It can also be used to automate research pipelines," says Ton Smeele, data management specialist with ITS.  

An important development to increase the usage of iRODS in The Netherlands is the announcement of SURF to set up an iRODS expert centre. Specialist are already being recruited and trained. IRODS will be made available as a cloud service. Also, universities will be able to expand their iRODS environments with storage at SURF for archiving or scale out purposes. The UU is to start a pilot in the fall for the usage of SURF scale out services.  

During the two-day User Group Meeting speakers talked about the application of iRODS in research data management solutions. There were also presentations on data acquisition, for instance securing Internet of Things data, and innovations around the iRODS technology itself. Users and developers of several universities spoke about how they use iRODS in their IT infrastructure. ITS' Chris Smeele presented a new set of microservices for YODA, a UU developed data management method through which researchers can manage their data during and after the research in a reliable and accessible way.  

About iRODS 

iRODS stands for Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System. It is data management software that links unstructured data to metadata. For researchers who work with large volumes of data over longer periods of time, it is a good way of safely documenting and storing data. It is an example of how IT can help researchers conduct sound research. Many industries, government agencies and research institutes depend on iRODS to manage their data. Also see the article on the UU's membership to the consortium.