We are starting up and partnering in a number of new and interesting consultancy projects which run into 2010 as follows:

Dryad is an emerging digital repository for supplementary data underlying published works in ecology, evolution, and related fields being developed by a consortium of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in the US and relevant scientific societies and academic journals. Its goals are to:

  • – preserve all the underlying data reported in a paper at the time of publication, when there is the greatest incentive and ability for authors to share their data. This is particularly important in the case of data for which a specialized repository does not exist.
  • – lower the burden of data sharing by providing one-stop data-deposition via handshaking with specialized repositories.
  • – assign globally unique identifiers to datasets, thus enabling data citations.
  • – allow end-users to perform sophisticated searches over data (not only by publication, but also by taxon, geography, geological age, biological concept, etc).
  • – allow journals and societies to pool their resources for one shared repository.
  • – enable bidirectional search and retrieval with data repositories from related disciplines.

The strategic priorities for Dryad emerged from a May 2007 workshop on “Data Preservation, Sharing, and Discovery: Challenges for Small Science in the Digital Era“, at which a variety of stakeholder journals and societies were represented.

I am pleased to announce that Charles Beagrie Limited will be working with the Dryad project team to develop a business plan and sustainability for the Dryad repository. Neil Beagrie and Julia Chruszcz will lead the consultancy with research support from Peter Williams. Further information on Dryad, the partners and the latest developments can be found on the Dryad website.

I2S2 – The  Infrastructure for Integration in Structural Sciences (I2S2) Project  is funded under the Research Data Management Infrastructure strand of the JISC’s Managing Research Data Programme, with a duration of 18 months (Oct 2009 to March 2011). It will identify requirements for a data-driven research infrastructure in “Structural Science”, focussing on the domain of Chemistry, but with a view towards inter-disciplinary application.

Two research data management pilots  will examine the business processes of research, and highlight the benefits of an integrated approach. Both pilots will address traversing administrative boundaries between institutions to national facilities in addition to issues of scale (local laboratory to national facilities, DIAMOND synchrotron and ISIS respectively).

A key component of the infrastructure will be a harmonised Integrated Information Model to include all stages of the Data Life Cycle. A “before and after” cost-benefit analysis will be performed using the Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS2) model, which will be extended to address specific requirements in I2S2. We are looking forward to working with UKOLN (University of Bath and DCC), The Universities of Southampton and Cambridge, and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the project.