Research data services: the power of shared resources

Data services, technology and expertise - the research community perspective on EUDAT.

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Long term viability

EUDAT’s mandate has always been to develop data services that will last and continue to be available indefinitely.  The EUDAT consortium is a network of trusted centres – data centres, HPC centres, and research institutions – all closely connected across Europe to offer research communities reliability, sustainability and confidence in the longevity of the data services that EUDAT provides. 

These EUDAT data services include methods for efficiently organising data and making it available to all research communities.  This is achieved by the use of APIs that ease the mapping of older legacy standards into those used by EUDAT.  The great advantage of using such APIs is that EUDAT does not need research communities to substantially reorganise their data.  Instead the EUDAT services have been developed in such a way as to minimise the process of integrating data from different research communities into the EUDAT infrastructure.  Essentially there is simply a thin layer to be developed or implemented in order to glue the data organisation for a particular community into EUDAT.

Developed by researchers, for researchers

Since EUDAT has many researchers from different disciplines and backgrounds, we are well aware that there are times when the needs of a particular research area cannot be met by a one-size-fits-all data solution.  Consequently we have designed our services so that it is relatively simple to tweak one of EUDAT’s services to make it work for the specific needs of a particular community and its data services.  The availability of APIs and suitable community web services can be a great help in the process of integrating community data into EUDAT.

Get involved!

EUDAT wants to hear from research communities and is happy to discuss their needs and ideas.  In summary, I strongly recommend that research communities take the following steps.

  1. Understand the benefits of the services EUDAT is offering to research communities.
  2. Understand how much each community would have to invest individually (in terms of time and resources) to obtain similar benefits.
  3. Overcome natural human inertia and scepticism – go beyond the tendency to keep doing things the same way just to save time in the short-term.
  4. Understand that EUDAT services really will last.
  5. Understand that there are often better ways to organise data than those currently being used within research communities.
  6. Be clear that it is easy to integrate existing data into the EUDAT infrastructure.
  7. Be clear that it is easy to install the EUDAT services.
  8. Be clear that there are easy ways to interact with the EUDAT services, to tweak specific EUDAT services to match community services, and to create thin layers that map community data into the EUDAT data framework.
  9. Contact EUDAT and step aboard!

You can find out more about EUDAT here.

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