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Results Digital Competence Centre initiatives 2023

The Digital Competence Centres (DCC) facilitate knowledge sharing between institutions and encourage collaboration in the development of digital services. A total of nine DCC projects have been allocated for 2023: eight projects and one pilot. Five of these nine DCC (consortium) tracks will be completed this year, one project was terminated by mutual agreement at the beginning of the year, and three projects were extended until June 2024 for various reasons.

Overview 2023

Pilot 1: Enhancing FAIR Data Point's search capability as a FAIR service

Purpose

Improve findability of datasets and provide researchers with a more effective way to navigate extensive datasets. Improve search and ranking capabilities of a FAIR Data Point by developing a semantic dataset search framework. This will make search more efficient and use a Pagerank-style ranking algorithm based on linked metadata.

For whom

Researchers and professionals in the field of life science using FAIR Data Points

Benefits

- Significantly improved findability of datasets
- More efficient semantic search capabilities
- Faster navigation through large datasets
- Applicability to various domains
- Support of FAIR principles
- Development of a working prototype for practical implementation

Results

Completed. Results will be shared soon.

Consortium

Radboudumc Technology Center (RTC) Data Stewardship, Netherlands X-omics Initiative, SURF

Project 1: Yoda Uptake

Purpose

To increase and strengthen the Yoda user group in the Netherlands by forming a sustainable Yoda consortium. This will be achieved by developing a blueprint (Yoda Toolkit) for the technical and organisational set-up of a Yoda environment and by supporting 3-5 institutions in the organisational implementation of Yoda. The project aims to realise a wide range of Research Data Management (RDM) services for researchers, expand the use of Yoda and optimise collaboration between institutions within the framework of FAIR and Open Science in Research Data Management policies.

For whom

Researchers in need of effective tools to securely store, share and reuse research data.

Benefits

  • Improved Research Data Management services
  • Optimal facilitation of collaboration between institutions
  • Expansion of the Yoda user group in the Netherlands
  • Implementation support for 3-5 consortium institutions and in the future for interested institutions in Yoda
  • Contribution to FAIR and Open Science
  • Formation of a sustainable Yoda consortium for continuous support and collaboration.

Results

Completed. View the results of the Yodat Uptake project.

Consortium

Free University, Tilburg University, Wageningen University & Research, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC (collaboration of VUmc and AMC), Leiden University, SURF

Project 2: Yoda Repository and CRIS Integration

Purpose

Yoda is an open source platform that supports researchers, institutions and collaborative projects to manage and share data during and after research. Offered as a service by SURF, Yoda is growing in use at several institutions and is a crucial building block in the national data ecosystem. The aim of the project is to integrate Yoda with the Dutch CRIS and repository infrastructure. This will allow researchers to efficiently, securely and FAIRly deposit their data in the desired repository after completion of the research, thus promoting the adoption of both Yoda and national repositories.

For whom

Researchers, institutions and collaborations in the Netherlands using the Yoda platform

Benefits

The advantage of the Yoda project is that after completing their research, researchers can deposit their data efficiently, securely and according to (FAIR) principles in the desired repository. By integrating with the Dutch CRIS and repository infrastructure, duplicate entry work is avoided, which increases the adoption of Yoda and national repositories. This makes it easier for researchers to manage and share their data and be accountable for its use.

Results

Project continues until May 2024

Consortium

Utrecht University, SURF

Project 3: Next Generation Research Data Repositories

Purpose

To provide researchers with effective tools for efficient data exploration. This by improving the research database 4TU.ResearchD by integrating computational power through the Djehuty platform. On the created platform Open Data Explorer, researchers can analyse data directly on-site using Virtual Research Environments (VREs). Local hosting minimises data transfer, while a pilot study tests the feasibility of using the SURF infrastructure. The project includes the development of ready-to-use notebook templates.

For whom

Researchers using the 4TU.ResearchData repository

Benefits

Improving the ability of researchers to analyse data directly on-site through integrated computational capabilities via Virtual Research Environments (VREs). This results in a more efficient and accessible data exploration process, enabling researchers to perform their work faster and more effectively without the need for extensive data transfer.

Results

The project is in the testing phase. The test environment will be open for feedback until the end of January 2024.

Consortium

University of Twente, Delft University of Technology, SURF

Project 4: Integrated data submission system

Purpose

The aim of the project is to bring together the main Dutch research data repositories (DANS, 4TU.ResearchData, SURF) by creating an integrated data submission system. This system simplifies the process for researchers to make their data FAIR and helps choose the most appropriate repository for their research output. The integration of repositories reduces confusion for researchers and improves resource efficiency on the repositories' side. The project also aims to develop a shared API and user interface for data submission, as well as establish workflows and minimum standards for participating repositories. The technical and policy work will be carried out in parallel, supported by a shared developer and existing staff from the organisations involved.

Benefits

The project simplifies the submission process for researchers, promotes efficient use of resources through collaboration between key Dutch data repositories, improves clarity for researchers on where to submit their data, and encourages adherence to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles.

For whom

Researchers and institutions in the Netherlands using research data repositories, including DANS, 4TU.ResearchData, and SURF

Results

Project continues until March 2024

Consortium

Delft University of Technology, SURF

Project 5: Fair FAIR SaaS for DCC

Purpose

The project aims to enable institutional Data Coordination Centres (DCCs) to make cost-effective, scalable and sustainable use of FAIR services via FAIR Software as a Service (FAIR-SaaS) on the SURF infrastructure. This includes implementing common FAIR Data Points (FDPs) and developing dedicated FAIR-SaaS for clinical data catalogues, API generation and federated analytics. The project simplifies processes for DCCs, contributes to the national health infrastructure, promotes the use of common APIs and improves the usability of FAIR Data Points. It aims at sustainability through a business model to be established.

Benefits

The project provides cost-effective, scalable, and sustainable access to FAIR services for institutional Data Coordination Centres (DCCs) via FAIR Software as a Service (FAIR-SaaS) on the SURF infrastructure. This includes the implementation of common FAIR Data Points (FDPs) and dedicated FAIR-SaaS for clinical data catalogues, API generation, and federated analyses. Benefits include simplified processes for DCCs, contribution to the national health infrastructure, promotion of the use of common APIs, and improved usability of FAIR Data Points, with sustainability as a goal through a business model.

For whom

The project is intended for institutional Data Coordination Centres (DCCs), who want to optimise the use of FAIR services through FAIR Software as a Service (FAIR-SaaS) on the SURF infrastructure.

Results

Project continues until May 2024

Consortium

Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), Utrecht University Medical Centre (UMCUtrecht), University of Twente (UTwente), Erasmus Medical Centre (ErasmusMC), Vrije Universiteit (VU), Radboudumc, Maastro, Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTLS), Health-RI, Amsterdam UMC (AmsterdamUMC), and the eScience Centre, SURF

Project 6: Inter-Repository Search Interphase

Purpose

The aim of the project is to create a facility that allows searching across multiple (Dutch) scientific data repositories from a single interface. Such a facility would relieve researchers and other users of the time-consuming work of searching and visiting different repositories when searching for research data for reuse or other purposes. The facility will enhance data discoverability and contribute to the overall FAIR-friendliness of research data.

Benefits

The project offers benefits such as time savings and efficiency for researchers by creating a centralised search facility for multiple Dutch scientific data repositories. This increases the findability of research data and contributes to overall FAIR-friendliness. The project ties in with national initiatives such as the Open Knowledge Bank and European developments in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

For whom

For researchers and other users who want to access scientific research data.

Results

Completed. Results to follow later.

Consortium

Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), SURF

Project 7: Fair Yoda for Communities

Purpose

To enable institutional DCCs (Data Competence Centres) to implement FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) services cost-effectively, scalably and sustainably. This will be achieved by providing 'FAIR Software as a Service' (FAIR-SaaS) via the SURF infrastructure. The project focuses on developing FAIR-SaaS to locally deploy FAIR Data Points (FDPs) with pre-configured schemas for clinical data catalogues and terminology mappings, generating common APIs from FAIR metadata, analysing the requirements for FAIR-SaaS to make compute capacity suitable for federated analytics, and developing a business model to ensure the sustainability of FAIR-SaaS. Overall, the project aims to facilitate the contribution of DCCs to the national health infrastructure, with a focus on meeting international standards and improving the usability of FDPs.

For whom

Researchers and professionals involved in institutional Data Competence Centres (DCCs) working in health and life sciences.

Benefits

A major benefit of the project is that it enables institutional Data Competence Centres (DCCs) to implement FAIR services cost-effectively, scalably and sustainably. This improves the accessibility and interoperability of health data, contributes to national and international standards, and simplifies maintenance for FAIR experts, benefiting researchers and professionals in the health and life sciences.

Results

Completed.

Consortium

Leiden University Medical Center, Vrije Universiteit, Wageningen University, Erasmus University Rotterdam, SURF

Project 8: Your Virtual Research Assistance (from 2022)

Purpose

To bring together the larger Dutch research data repositories (DANS, 4TU.ResearchData and SURF) via realisation of an integrated data submission system. This system aims to make it easier for researchers to make research data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and to assist them in choosing the most appropriate repository for their specific research output.

For whom

Researchers using the research data repositories of DANS, 4TU.ResearchData and SURF.

Benefits

  • Simplify and speed up the process for researchers to make their data FAIR.
  • Provide overview to researchers which repository to use
  • Reduce time taken by researchers to submit data
  • Increase collaboration between the larger Dutch data repositories

Results

By mutual agreement, it was decided to end this project in the first quarter of 2023. Important learning points have been drawn from this project. One is the need for strong guidance to maintain focus on goals, which was lacking in the YVRA project due to a lack of project management in the initial phase. The consortium partners did not sufficiently realise that the innovative nature required the structural appointment of project staff, which led to delays in discussions on scope and goals. In addition, drafting a consortium agreement took a long time. Our recommendation is to develop a generic consortium document for all SURF-DCC-funded projects.

Consortium

Free University, SURF

More about a Digital Competence Centre

A Digital Competence Centre (DCC) is a collaboration that provides expertise for the digitisation of research. It pools knowledge to help researchers collect, store and process data, enabling them to better benefit from the opportunities of digital transformation. A DCC facilitates knowledge sharing between institutions and encourages collaboration in the development of digital services. It plays a crucial role in guiding researchers through uncharted territory in the rapidly evolving world of digital science.