12 Dec 2019

Data school time! - First steps towards quality Open Data in scientific research

The First EUSMI / NFFA Europe Joint School on Data Management, organized by Cnr-Iom as part of the EUSMI and NFFA-Europe projects, has just ended. The event, attended by 56 participants, was hosted in the spaces of the ICTP Campus in Miramare on 10 and 11 December. The main topics were Open Data and FAIR principles for data management, concepts of growing interest for the new class of researchers.

NFFA-Europe and EUSMI projects, which offer free access to various research infrastructures in the field of nanosciences, support the principles of Open Science as a fundamental part of their mission, in line with the indications of EU's Horizon 2020 framework programme for research and innovation. Furthermore, more and more universities, research centers and the European Commission itself encourage researchers to draw up a Data Management Plan at the beginning of a new project, describing the type of data that will be acquired during and after the end of the planned experiments, and indicating the way in which they will be managed, described, analyzed, shared and stored.
The FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) are the basis of a suitable management of scientific data and are fundamental to the quality of Open Data, that pursues the objectives of transparency, reproducibility and reliability of the published results and favors knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The school had both a practical and theoretical approach, with short introductory seminars and step-by-step tutorials, in which participants were able to get familiar with NFFA Datashare and EUSMI DRP data storage platforms, hosted on local servers at Cnr-Iom. These tools, based on Nextcloud, allow users to access their measurements from any type of device, to collaborate on files and folders in real time and to operate on their data and metadata thanks to customized applications and plugins. An additional tool of NFFA-Europe project is IDRP (Information and Data Repository Platform), an online catalog of data and metadata for the nanoscience community, where users will be able to consult and publish scientific data related to their research projects.
Other cutting-edge tools presented during school include various types of digital logbooks and DAIS (Data Analysis and Interpretation Service), which allows EUSMI users to remotely use some data analysis software, without installing them on their devices.

One of the success stories presented is the one of multidisciplinary research center Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste which, in line with the major nanotechnology structures, encourages Open Data through a renewed data policy and innovative data management services, such as the "h5 nuvola" plugin, which allows users to manage HDF5 files within Elettra data storage platform.

The school ended with a round table on the first steps to be taken to achieve the objectives that the Open Data universe has set itself.

We thank the participants, the organizers and all the speakers: Stefano Cozzini, Irene Modolo, Elisabetta Travaglia, Marco Franzon, Nicolas Dintzner, Christoph Koch, Rossella Aversa, Thomas Jejkal, Roberto Pugliese, Mirco Panighel, Carlos Reis, Moreno Baricevic, Ivana Vobornik, Regina Ciancio and George Kourousias.

School webpage: https://datamanagementschool.nffa.eu

For more information on the tools illustrated during the First EUSMI / NFFA Europe Joint School on Data Management, see the Data Management section or contact datashare-admin@nffa.eu