23 March 2020

Making Research Data Interoperable: Co-creation project between Utrecht University, EPOS-NL & 4TU.ResearchData

Photo: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

In January 2020 Research Data Management Support of Utrecht University joined forces with EPOS-NL (European Plate Observing System - The Netherlands) and 4TU.ResearchData  in a co-creation project to improve the interoperability of the research data produced by this Earth Science consortium.

EPOS-NL is the national collaboration between the Dutch institutions Utrecht University (Faculty of Geosciences as coordinator), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and TU Delft. This consortium is part of the European Plate Observing System (EPOS),  a pan-European project with the goal to improve and facilitate the integration, access, and (re-)use of solid Earth science data, data products, services, and facilities (e.g. through a trans-national access programs). 

Research projects within EPOS-NL produce various types of data, for instance petrophysical data, seismological data, microscopy data and more. These can be tabular data or images, which can have 1, 2, 3 or even 4 dimensions. 

The OPeNDAP server provided by 4TU.Centre for Research Data gives the opportunity to make data arrays interoperable. This is achieved through the use of standard metadata fields for the dataset (and variables and dimensions) following the CF (Climate and Forecast) conventions. 4TU’s OPenDAP server hosts netCDF data deposited on the archive and allows the easy exploration of big data sets collected in a multi-dimensional array format. However, OPeNDAP is not restricted to netCDF format and subsets of data in other formats can also be queried via OPeNDAP. 

With this in mind, the co-creation project between EPOS-NL, RDM Support of Utrecht University  and 4TU.ResearchData will try finding answers to the following questions:

  1. Is it possible to host on 4TU.ResearchData all the different research data of the EPOS-NL consortium (in its various formats) and make them available through OPeNDAP?
  2. Is it necessary to provide researchers with additional tools that facilitate the exploration, visualization and analysis of the data hosted on the OPeNDAP server?
  3. How do we ensure that researchers of the consortium share their data in a standardized way? Do we need additional guidelines and recommendations within the consortium?

Stay tuned if you would like to follow the results of this co-creation project! 

If your research group, research community or institution would like to collaborate with us finding solutions to archive and publish your research data in a FAIR way contact us via info.rdm@uu.nl


This news item is written by Paula Martinez Lavanchy, 4TU.ResearchData.