The following glossary intends to standardise the terms used in the context of the NFFA-Europe Infrastructure. Its content is constantly being updated.


Access Provider: a Beneficiary or linked Third Party that is in charge of providing access to one or more research infrastructures or Installations, or part of them.
(adapted from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

Additional Data: any other data that is not Publication Data but is directly related to it as specified in the Data Management Plan (for instance curated data not directly attributable to a publication, or related Raw Data).

Analysed Data: identifiable Research Data which is a result of Raw Data processing obtained with the use of Data Analysis Software, typically after the end of an Experiment. It is typically a data file but it can be potentially a data stream, or other form of data relevant in a particular data management context. Analysed Data is stored in a Data Repository which may be the same as Raw Data. Analysed Data can be a part of Dataset which may bear some semantics of what the data is and the origin/provenance of it.
(adapted from

Beneficiary: legal entity part of NFFA-Europe research infrastructure that signed the Grant Agreement with the European Union, represented by the European Commission, and which therefore undertakes to complete the actions envisaged in the funded project within the terms (temporal and legal) provided for.

Consortium: the beneficiaries collectively.
(from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

Data Analysis Software: software used for analysis of Raw Data or previously Analysed Data and yielding Analysed Data as an output. If software is used for simulation (computer Experiment), is it considered an Instrument and should be described as such.
(adapted from

Data Analysis: the identifiable action of processing Raw or Analysed Data. The analysis may be performed using Data Analysis Software and may be combined in chains or workflows. Data Analysis includes data processing and data interpretation.

Data Curator: person tasked with reviewing, enhancing, cleaning, or standardising Metadata and the associated data submitted for storage, use, and maintenance within a data centre or repository (ref. DataCite). A Data Curator is an expert on the management and oversight of an organization's entire data to ensure compliance with policy and/or regulatory obligations for long term preservation and to provide higher-level users with high quality data that is easily accessible in a consistent manner. A Data Curator could collect and publish data using domain-specific standard formats, ensuring the FAIRness of the data.
(adapted from EOSC

Data Management Plan (DMP): a formal document that outlines what to do with data during and after a research project. It describes the type of data that will be used for a research, how this data is collected, organized, and stored, and in which formats. It details how data will be accessible and documented for sharing and reuse during and after the project is finished.

Data Policy: an identifiable expression of rules and regulations and sharing within NFFA-Europe PILOT project. Data Policy may be applicable to Publication Data, Raw Data or/and Analysed Data.
(adapted from

Data Repository: an operational information system for managing and organizing digital resources, particularly suitable for Datasets or Publication Data which are not likely to be altered again. The Data Repository contains Metadata about the Datasets, as well as given rules for data access. Data Repository may be associated with a certain Institution or a group of them, or a certain Instrument or a group of them, or may be run by a third-party. Data Repository may or may not be directly used by Research Users.

Data Research Infrastructure Support Professional: ICT expert who manages and operates research infrastructures and the necessary services for the storage, preservation and processing of Research Data.

Data Scientist/Data Analyst: expert on data processing, not necessarily from a specific discipline, who is capable of evaluating data quality, extracting relevant knowledge from data and representing such knowledge. A Data Scientist or Data Analyst could be an expert who develops a general-purpose machine learning algorithm that could efficiently run on the EOSC federated research infrastructures that are consuming data from EOSC services.

Data Steward: expert on the preparation and treatment of data including data selection, storage, preservation, annotation provenance and other Metadata maintenance, and dissemination. Data librarians are professional library staff who are experts on RDM, using Research Data as a resource or supporting researchers dealing with data (description, archiving and dissemination). Other closely related roles will also be considered under this category. A Data Steward could be an expert who validates, recodes, trims or applies any other action on each source Dataset to guarantee that they can be properly used and integrated according to domain-specific standard formats.

Database: organised collection of data allowing storage and retrieval of data by means of a computer system.

Dataset: collection of scientifically related Research Data which can be Raw Data , Analysed Data, or other Datasets, each described by their related Metadata. The components of a Dataset remain individually identifiable within the Dataset.

Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN): computer program designed to replace paper Laboratory notebooks. It is used by Instruments Scientist and Research Users to document research, procedures, workflow performed during an Experiment and typically related to a particular Instrument.
(adapted from

EOSC - European Open Science Cloud: European Commission initiative aiming at developing an infrastructure providing its users with services promoting open science practices.

Equipment: any scientific tool, device or machine used in the course of an Experiment.

Experiment: identifiable activity with a clear start time and finish time conducted by Research User who uses one or more Instruments to investigate or produce one or more Samples and collects Raw Data about it. Experiment consists of (or includes – in case of Sample Preparation) one or a series of Measurements. Experiments can be a computer simulation (computational Experiment), or a combination of it with physical Measurements.
(adapted from

External User: person who hasn't registered to the NFFA-Europe Portal, so has not a username/password.

FAIR Data: data which meet the FAIR principles of findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. The FAIR principles emphasize machine-actionability, i.e. the capacity of computational systems to find, access, interoperate, and reuse data with none or minimal human intervention.

Head of Laboratory: person who has the overall responsibility of technical, scientific and administrative operations of the Laboratory/research group. She/He is responsible for assuring that the Laboratory complies with EU obligations and regulations concerning Research Data. In accordance with these, will be in charge of drafting and regularly updating the Lab-DMP related to the management of the Research Data for the respective Laboratory or research group. This person is usually someone that is experienced with one or (possibly) more of the techniques offered, and should have a clear knowledge of the data produced and how this data is handled during the research process. Each Laboratory may have one or more Head of Laboratories.

Installation: a part or a service of a research infrastructure that could be used independently from the rest. A research infrastructure consists of one or more Installations.
(from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

Institution: the hierarchical entity (facility/organization), or a division of it, which hosts one or more Laboratories with one or more Instruments. For computer simulation, Institution may include hardware or/and software platform or/and services that allow ordering and managing computational Experiments (so that the software platform serves the purpose of managing software modules that can be considered virtual Instruments).

Instrument: identifiable Equipment that allows performing a Measurement, and generates Raw Data during an Experiment. An instrument is located in a Laboratory hosted by an Institution and used by one or more Instrument Scientists and/or Research Users. Instrument can be a software for computer simulation (a software module or/and a particular configuration of it).

Instrument Datasheet: technical specification of the Instrument, organised according to a Metadata Schema.

Instrument Scientist: person, or a group of them, who manage a particular Instrument, or a set of them (ref. NFFA D11.2). This is the person who usually performs the Measurement or Experiment and possibly the Data Analysis.

Laboratory: place where one or more Instruments are operated and the Measurement is performed (could also be virtual). For computer simulation, a Laboratory may include hardware or/and software platform or/and services that allow to order and manage computational experiments, so that the software platform serves the purpose of managing software modules that can be considered virtual Instruments. Examples: a laboratory, a beamline, a cleanroom, etc.
(adapted from

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS): software-based solution with features supporting Laboratory's operations, including - but not limited to - workflow and data tracking support, Sample management, Instrument integration (adapted from

License: official permission or permit to do, use, or own something (as well as the document of that permission or permit)

Measurement: the act of generating Raw Data for a Sample or a set of Samples during Experiment using a particular Instrument under constant or varying controlled conditions, depending on the particular research context. Measurement is specific to Instrument: a research on the same Sample using a different Instrument implies a separate Measurement. Measurement can be a computer simulation, e.g. a particular run of a program using a particular model, configuration or input(s).

Measurement Technique: a technique or technology corresponding to the method used to acquire Raw Data with a specific Instrument.

Metadata: set of descriptive, structural and contextual information describing the context, content and structure of Research Data and/or Datasets and their management through time. It describes information pertaining to research projects, including (but not limited to) the context of the Experiment, the Research Users, the Data Analysis methods, and other logistical information. Metadata may include descriptions of how data and files are named, physically structured, and stored.

Metadata Document: the actual document, written in JSON or XML format, containing the Metadata, following a Metadata Schema.

Metadata Schema: a logical plan showing the relationships between Metadata, normally through establishing rules for the use and management of Metadata specifically as regards the semantics, the syntax and the cardinality (mandatory, optional, recommended) of values. (from ISO 23081.1 s3 Terms and Definitions). It can be written, e.g., in XSD (XML Schema Definition) or in JSON format, and may be implemented as machine actionable through consistent data entries and the inclusion of access points using controlled vocabularies. A Metadata Schema that gains wide acceptance from a reference user community and has been formally approved by Standards organizations, becomes a Metadata Standard.

Metadata Standard: a Metadata Schema that fulfills the needs of a scientific community, has obtained consensus, and has been ratified as a standard by some official bodies, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative or the NeXus Data Format. A Metadata Standard describes the information and the terms needed to properly define specific data and it favors interoperability. In NeXus Data Format, a Metadata Standard is called “Application Definition”.

NFFA-Europe Portal: website accessible at, which is the starting point of a broad array of information resources and services. It represents the Single-Entry Point for NFFA-Europe infrastructure proposal submission and management.

Ontology: formal representation of knowledge, typically in a graph or network structure, with both human and machine-readable definitions, with logical relationships (axioms) between the terms, which together define a domain of knowledge.

Open Access (OA): practice of providing online access to scientific information that is free of charge to the end-user and reusable. 'Scientific' refers to all academic disciplines. In the context of research and innovation, 'scientific information' can mean: peer-reviewed scientific research articles (published in scholarly journals), or Research Data (data underlying publications, curated data and/or Raw Data). Open Access is granted by providing a suitable open License such as Creative Commons Licences (CC BY or CC0).

Open Format: open standard which specifies a file format. An Open Format is a file format for storing digital data, defined by a published specification, usually maintained by a standards organization, and which can be used and implemented by anyone. Open Formats are also called free file formats if they are not encumbered by any copyrights, patents, trademarks or other restrictions so that anyone may use the format at no monetary cost for any desired purpose.

Persistent Identifier (PID): long-lasting, actionable reference to a Research Digital Object.

Proposal: application of one (usually the Team Leader) or more Registered Users to get User Access in order to perform one or more activities, in one or more Laboratories using one or more Instruments for taking one or more Measurements of one or more Samples during one or more Experiments. Instrument, Measurement, Experiment and Sample can refer to computer simulation environments.

Publication Data: Dataset(s) generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project needed to validate the Results presented in a Scientific Publication or appearing in it. Publication Data include Raw Data, Analysed Data and all the relevant Metadata on Measurement and Data Analysis to validate them.

Raw Data: Research Data which is the primary output of a Measurement, generated by a particular Instrument and collected during an Experiment by a Research User or Instrument Scientist, before any subsequent processing. Raw Data is typically in the form of a data file but it can be potentially a data stream, or other form of data relevant in a particular data management context. Raw Data is stored in a Data Repository which may be the same as Analysed Data. Raw Data can be a result of a computer Experiment (simulation). Raw Data can be a part of a Dataset.
(adapted from

Recipient: Research User or researcher affiliated with a Beneficiary or a Third Party who performs activities related to NFFA-Europe PILOT project.

Registered User: person registered as user of the NFFA-Europe Portal.

Research Data: information (particularly facts or numbers) collected to be examined and considered and to serve as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation in a research context. Examples of Research Data include statistics, results of Experiments, Measurements, observations resulting from fieldwork, survey results, interview recordings and images. Raw Data and Analysed Data are particular types of Research Data.
(adapted from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

Research Digital Object: any computer processable or computer processed object that results from research activity, including, but not limited to, Dataset, Research Software, Laboratory workflows and notebooks, data services, publications.
(adapted from

Research Software Engineer: ICT expert who designs, implements, maintains and/or integrates services and software in the EOSC ecosystem to enable FAIR and open science, ensuring the fulfilment of software quality, reproducibility and sustainability. A Research Software Engineer could be designing, building and maintaining software that is compiled and installed by someone else. Research Software Engineers may require other ICT skills of different roles such as ICT Managers, Development Operations Engineers or Database Programmers.

Research Software: software that is used to generate, process, analyse or access Research Data. If software is used for simulation (computer Experiment), is it considered an Instrument and should be described as such.
(adapted from

Research User: person who, after the approval of a Proposal, conducts Experiment on one or more Laboratories using one or more Instruments in order to collect and analyze Research Data, or is interested in data collected or analyzed by other Research Users on the same or other Laboratories. Research User may be assigned with a role, e.g. Team Leader and Team Members.
(adapted from

Result: any (tangible or intangible) output of the Project such as data, knowledge, or information — whatever its form or nature, whether it can be protected or not — that is generated in the NFFA-Europe PILOT project, as well as any rights attached to it, including intellectual property rights.
(adapted from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

Sample: identifiable piece of material with distinctive properties (structural, chemical, dimensional and others), composed by one or more Sample Component(s), exposed to Instrument during Measurement within a defined period of time. Sample may stand for a model or configuration or data input (or any combination of these) in computer simulations.
(adapted from

Sample Component Production: production of a Sample Component in controlled conditions, performed by a commercial enterprise, a Research User or someone else, typically before the User Access begins.

Sample Component: identifiable piece of material with distinctive properties (structural, chemical, dimensional and others), used in Sample Preparation to produce a Sample.

Sample Preparation: preliminary actions (physical changes or chemical reactions) typically carried out by a Research User or Instrument Scientist on (or between) one (or more) Sample Component(s) to produce a Sample, in order to perform a Measurement. May be done before the User Access begins.

Scientific Publication: any of the following contributions, peer-reviewed or not: article in a scientific journal (and related supporting information), monograph, book or book chapter, conference proceedings and ‘grey literature’ (i.e. informally published material not having gone through a standard publishing process, e.g. reports and highlights).

Single-Entry Point: system that enables consumers to access long term and supportive services through one agency or organization.

Single Sign-On (SSO): authentication scheme that allows a user to log in with a single ID and password to several related, yet independent, software systems.

Site: specific geographical location where one or more Institutions with one or more Laboratories are located.

Team Leader (also known as Principal Investigator): Research User officially designated as head of Proposal team (ref. DataCite ProjectLeader)

Team Member: Research User on the membership list of a designated Proposal (ref. DataCite)

Third Party: any legal entity part of NFFA-Europe research infrastructure that has not signed the Grant Agreement. If it is necessary to implement the Project, Beneficiaries may involve Third Parties as defined in Article 8 of the Grant Agreement.
(adapted from NFFA-Europe PILOT Consortium Agreement)

TLNet Node: person representing one or more Institutions providing Transnational Access within NFFA-Europe.

Transnational Access (TA): free of charge access to the Institutions which are part of NFFA-Europe Infrastructure through the NEP proposal evaluation system. Transnational Access can be in-presence or remote and both academic and industrial users can apply. A contribution for reimbursement of travel, accommodation and subsistence costs can be granted to a maximum of two Team Members per accepted Proposal.

User Access (UA): research activity performed according to a Proposal after its approval and carried out within a defined period of time. The User Access may include, all or in part, the Data Analysis following the Experiment. NEP User Access can be Transnational Access and/or Virtual Access.

Virtual Access (VA): free of charge access to e-infrastructure, namely: sophisticated computer services; online data analysis tools; powerful computers, networks, grids, repositories, databanks.

Vocabulary: on the Semantic Web, vocabularies define the concepts and relationships (also referred to as “terms”) used to describe and represent an area of concern. Vocabulary is used to classify the terms that can be used in a particular application, characterize possible relationships, and define possible constraints on using those terms.