EUDAT unveils new data services as part of the Collaborative Data Infrastructure for science

Barcelona (Spain), (PresseBox) - Planned data services crucial to the European research community were unveiled at the inaugural EUDAT User Forum, held in Barcelona from March 7-8. The User Forum gathered more than 60 participants, including representatives from 18 research communities across Europe. The EUDAT project aims to contribute to the production of a Collaborative Data Infrastructure (CDI), able to support Europe's scientific and research data requirements.

"The User Forum was EUDAT's first public event and we were pleased to see so many research communities involved," said Dr. Kimmo Koski, CSC Managing Director and EUDAT Project Coordinator. "Services developed as part of the CDI need to be user-driven, thus intense collaboration with users is absolutely crucial. This forum showed that users have high expectations from EUDAT, and we are looking forward to meeting these expectations. There will be challenges along the way, but the path becomes much clearer thanks to these strong links with user communities."

Since its start on 1st October 2011, EUDAT has been reviewing the approaches and requirements of research communities regarding the deployment and use of a cross-disciplinary and persistent data e-Infrastructure. This analysis initially focused on a first subset of communities from linguistics (CLARIN), earth sciences (EPOS), climate sciences (ENES), environmental sciences(LIFEWATCH), and biological and medical sciences (VPH). The preliminary results of this analysis were presented at the User Forum. Several user communities outside the EUDAT consortium also participated, presenting their data architectures and sharing the functionalities they would require from a common layer of data services.

"The User Forum demonstrated once again that the way data is organized differs from one community to another," said EUDAT Scientific Coordinator Peter Wittenburg, from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics at Nijmegen, the Netherlands. "EUDAT must acknowledge this heterogeneity, while looking at the same time for some degree of integration and possible common solutions and services. It was encouraging to see that new user communities saw many of the service cases we identified in EUDAT as very relevant."

EUDAT has shortlisted six service cases identified by user communities as priorities: safe replication, data staging, easy storage, metadata, AAI, and persistent identifiers. In each case, a multi-disciplinary taskforce involving representatives from communities and data centers has been set up to plan for the deployment of these services on the EUDAT infrastructure. The first pilots are expected to be delivered in 2012.

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