Working on organizational aspects to make InvenioRDM productive

In the early stages of the SDC BioDATEN, various software frameworks for data publication has been reviewed and a list of selection criteria has been developed with the other three SDCs in Baden-Württemberg. The review process resulted in selecting InvenioRDM as the framework to be used for BioDATEN as well as for the NFDI DataPLANT.

InvenioRDM is still evolving and progressed quite nicely over the last couple of months. There has been further development in the framework and the University of Freiburg is now an official partner in the InvenioRDM community like the University of Tübingen.

To make data citeable, persistent identifiers, such as DOIs, are necessary to provide long-term access to research data. To push and facilitate the DOI allocation for the BioDATEN community, a good and fruitful exchange with the University Library Freiburg has been started to benefit their experience in handling DOIs via DataCite (TIB/Hanover).

DOIs allow for prefixes that, instead of being just a numerical ID, deliver semantic content such as the issuing institution. To facilitate DOI transfer from one institition or publication systems to another institution or system, e.g. to ensure long-term access, we opted for bare numerical IDs. This approach prevents possible irritations potentially caused by a DOI prefix issued at Tübingen but now resolving to Freiburg.

At the moment, formal agreements are being prepared, based on the Freiburg University's new research data policy, which also promises long-term availability of the assigned DOIs. The eScience team in Tübingen, for example, has already started thinking about this. One option, for example, would be a statically generated HTML page with the basic requirements of DataCite if the original service can no longer be continued. The sustainability has to be agreed between the involved institutions like computer center, university library etc.. This is happening at the moment in Freiburg through various discussions involving the relevant stakeholders.

Additionally, we are collecting various action items to increase the usability for users such as:

  • Communities for data publication and classification
  • Workflows for quality assurance and final approval 
  • Formal agreement for data publication

The end-user agreement has to be be setup with the community to reflect their needs. The bare minimum requirement for DOI assignments are descriptive metadata according to the DataCite specifications. In this context, using ORCIDs as persistent identifier for individuals is seen a fundamental concept. 

Descriptive metadata mainly focus on the "Who" of research data, while scientific metadata focus on the "What and How" of research data. How these scientific metadata will be stored and how research data will be packaged, e.g. by containers such as ZIP, BagIT or OCFL, needs to be clarified in further discussions.  

(DvS, HG)

DFG sharpens the requirements for handling research data and makes statements about it mandatory

The DFG sharpens and refines the requirements for handling research data and makes statements about it mandatory for project proposals.

The DFG states in it's latest announcement that statements about the handling of research data are mandatory in project proposals and highlights the relevance of of good project planning and the inclusion of specialised skills and structures. The DFG worked together with the scientific communities on requirements that have been sharpened,  refined and are now part of project proposals. Statements should be guided by a collections of questions. Further, statements about research data management will get more attention in the review process. 

The DFG supports the proposal writing process by offering support and is in contact with supporting structures in research organisations. The DFG also provides special funding opportunities for building and expanding research data infrastructures and methodologies. Also, costs for data processing with the aim of re-usability can be included in project proposals. 

The DFG also encourages applicants to include research output regarding re-use of research data or research data handling in their CVs. 

For further information see 


de.NBI certification successful

Some research areas in the scope of the BioDATEN Science Data Center might require the handling of sensitive data, such as data with human origin. Thus, "management systems for technical data security" became necessary for the infrastructure providers of computational and storage resources. Due to the developments in the project "de.NBI Cloud" and in collaboration with bioinformaticians, the computing centers of the Universities Freiburg and Tübingen strived for the certification of the compute/storage infrastructures and the corresponding basic IT infrastructures. The complex and tedious certification process requires the commitment of various stakeholders. Fortunately, the de.NBI project allowed for a two-year grant to pursue an ISO 27001 certification. An ISO certificate gives further weight by the advocacy of various stakeholders in the university.

 The process itself consisted of various steps of preparational activities, the creation of policy documents, the documentation of the infrastructure and a two staged certification session involving all relevant departments of the computer centers. The final certificate will be awarded in January 2022. The certification process is a long-term process which has to be repeated in regular intervals. A certified infrastructure will help researchers in further domains beside BioDATEN to obtain funding which increasingly require such certifications especially in areas where sensitive data - patents, patient data, data with personal reference are dealt with.

(DvS, HG)

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