GeRDI to be model of a linked research data infrastructure

Nationwide project GeRDI to set up a linked research data infrastructure as a German contribution to the European Open Science Cloud

Kiel/Hamburg, 21 July 2016:
ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics heads the GeRDI – Generic Research Data Infrastructure which aims to virtually link existing and future research data centres in order to allow scientists all over Germany to search for and re-use research data across disciplines. Phase I of GeRDI starts with the linking of three pilot systems from three types of institutions in Kiel, Munich and Dresden. Phase II will extend the project to the rest of Germany.

Wherever research takes place, data accumulate in the course of experiments, measurements, simulations or surveys. Most scientists at German universities are repeatedly faced with the problem of finding storage for their data that is safe, sustainable and open to re-use by others. Only a handful of universities maintain their own research data stores; and the few existing data centres are not connected with each other.

The consequence for researchers is that a comprehensive search for research data across several disciplines is impossible in Germany today. There is no linked national infrastructure for research data.

This is where the project GeRDI comes in. GeRDI aims to develop the necessary infrastructure technology and to create a virtual network of existing and future research data centres all over Germany. In particular, GeRDI wants to support universities in linking up their existing data stores and in establishing new research data stores. GeRDI wants to enable all scientists in Germany, especially those who hold only small amounts of data, to store, share and re-use research data across disciplines. GeRDI pursues the idea of the European Open Science Cloud, supplementing current efforts to implement infrastructures for research data management and taking them a step further.

During the first phase of GeRDI – Generic Research Data Infrastructure, scheduled to run for three years, three pilot data centres for the management of research data will be designed, implemented and evaluated. These pilot systems are located in Dresden, Kiel and Munich and will store research data from such diverse disciplines as life sciences, marine sciences and economics. They will be linked in ways that allow the combination of research data within a discipline and across subjects. The locations represent three types of institutions: a university, a supercomputing centre and an extra-university research institution. Phase II of the project will see the nationwide roll out of the developed solution.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) funds the first project phase of GeRDI with 3 million Euros. 1.6 million Euros have been allocated to the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the University of Kiel. The other partners are renowned institutions in computer science such as the German National Research and Education Network (DFN), the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing at the Technical University of Dresden.

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