DataPLANT pre kick-off coordination meeting

The (co-)applicant group of DataPLANT (speakers of the consortium) met in Annweiler/Trifels from Thursday to Saturday (27th till 29th August) to discuss the kick-off of the governance and to prepare the various board meetings which will be held in the coming weeks. The senior management board will have it’s inaugural meeting on the 3rd September, followed by the scientific and technical board meetings. These meetings are part of the NFDI and DataPLANT community governance. The coordination meeting discussed the final grant and the implications from the budget cuts announced earlier. These will influence the scope and width of workpackages. Further topics were the rules of compensation within the consortium and the hiring of personnel for each task area starting from now. Open posts will get announced through the central NFDI platform as well as at the upcoming GAIN event.

The second half of the meeting was dedicated to shape the vision of DataPLANT and elaborate on a first set of templates and services to start with. The Annotated Research Context (ARC) is at the core of DataPLANT and all task areas are grouped around it. A preliminary core workflow got sketched: The data is acquired from some instrument and then getting annotated with the help of a first version of the Swate tool publicly available. It allows to pick parameters from known ontologies and helps to find appropriate parameters (see best practices). If those are missing, they can be added and automatically recorded for extension. The standardization process will pick those up and discuss them with the appropriate committee. In the first iteration the user works locally in the proposed ARC files tructure which could either be created through a template ZIP or via the Excel tool. To allow versioning in that iterative process a GIT is proposed and a versioning service will be offered by the infrastructure providers. The data will be later on stored in an object storage. Certain metadata will be copied to the elastic search component as attributes for the bucket used. The ISATAB is getting stored alongside the data as well (assay branch within the ARC). If the experiment got finalized a further workflow step will be offered to replicate the specified ARC (composition of data, metadata and workflow description) into the data (publication) repository. This could be a community repository (EBI, NCBI, ENA) or another service provided through DataPLANT. After the assay branch is available within the ARC, computational workflow, e.g. through Galaxy, can follow (which requires an appropriate account provided through DataPLANT Hub). The DataPLANT Hub will allow for simple and complex search on the community data made available through it. The data stewards will be enabled to help with the templating of experiments.

DataPLANT took part in the 1st NFDI strategic workshop

DataPLANT participated in the first NFDI strategy workshop initiated and coordinated by the NFDI directorate. The workshop intended to find joint solutions and to tackle the further development of the NFDI focusing on cross-cutting topics. Not every cross-cutting issue is necessarily dealt with to the same extent by all consortia. DataPLANT e.g. indicated to cooperate on Research Data Commons (Infrastructures), (Meta)Data, findability, provenance, quality management and assurance as well as legal aspects. Further fields of common interest are user-driven developments, training and education and how to stimulate cultural change. DataPLANT plans to foster the cultural change towards the wide acceptance of data publications. In the upcoming phase the governance and sustainibility, internationalisation, policy advice and consultation will be jointly developed. Furthermore suggestions were taken up, according to which there should be a discussion on how best to integrate the consortia of the next round and whether tools/methods/filetypes might be suitable as an additional cross-cutting theme.

In the meantime the Terms and Conditions for Funding Agreements with the German Research Foundation (DFG) on Consortia within the National Research Data Infrastructure were published and are to be implemented by the applicant institutions. The same applies for the “Mittelweiterleitungsvertrag” (rules for the transfer of funds) which defines the relationship between the (co-)applicants.

DataPLANT participated in the 2nd NFDI conference

DataPLANT - a NFDI initiative focused on fundamental plant research - participated in the NFDI Conference 2020 held on 8th and 9th July 2020 online. DataPLANT was presented beside all the other consortia proposed for funding or in the planning stage. The abstracts (DataPLANT abstract) contain an overview on the consortium and the scientific communities addressed as well as information on the focus, user needs and objectives of the (planned) consortium. In addition to contributions from the GWK, the DFG and the NFDI board of directors, the abstracts presented the current state of discussion, planning and development.

The conference aimed at three objectives: Information provided by the DFG on the concept and the overarching goals of the NFDI, as well as on the key points of the proposal submission for the second and third rounds; networking among the consortia proposed and planned for funding; and presentation of the head of the newly founded NFDI Directorate, Professor Dr. York Sure-Vetter. In the future, the Directorate will support the self-organisation and networking of the consortia on cross-consortium services, on subject-related or data-like offerings and on other challenges.