ELIXIR launches its Data Nodes Network

A Data Nodes Workshop in Prague on 13-14 April 2016 marked the launch of ELIXIR’s Data Nodes Network. The concept of this is that ELIXIR’s ‘Data Nodes’ – those Nodes with large data collections and databases with established standards for data deposition and curation – will work together to develop guidelines and good practices to facilitate collection and linking of data to international deposition archives run by ELIXIR Nodes such as EMBL-EBI.

The workshop, hosted by ELIXIR Czech Republic, brought together 25 participants from ten ELIXIR Nodes to discuss plans and objectives for the Data Nodes Network. The programme included presentations from several ELIXIR Nodes (UK, Netherlands, Spain) on their experience in data storage, as well as discussion on the training needs and technical requirements of Data Nodes.

EGA ‘in a box’

The priority of the Data Nodes Network for 2016 will be establishing 'EGA’s in a box' - storage facillities provided by the European Genome phenome Archive (EGA), which will link sensitive human data from national research projects to the EGA and facilitate their discovery. These 'local EGAs' will store national sensitive data locally and integrate their metadata globally in the EGA. While the local storage will conform to the national requirements for personal data protection, the metadata integration in EGA will ensure the national data are discoverable at international level.

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) is a permanent deposition archive for genetic and phenotypic human data. It is operated jointly by EMBL-EBI and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain (part of ELIXIR Spain).

Data management plans and resource mapping

The ELIXIR Data Nodes Network will also collaborate with the ELIXIR Data Management Plans (DMPs) Working Group in developing an ELIXIR wide strategy for Data Management support for life-science research projects.

As more and more funders implement Open Data Mandates and require data management plans in grant applications, ELIXIR’s strategy for Data Management Plans will provide guidance and practical help to research projects in developing such plans.

To collect information about the available data resources in ELIXIR Nodes and their current state, ELIXIR Czech Republic – co-leader of the Data Node Network – is currently carrying out a survey for data owners.

Simultaneously, the Data Management Plans Working Group is reviewing the existing practices and needs in DMPs across ELIXIR, and these will provide basis for the development of the ELIXIR DMP strategy. The first result – a report on the current support of Data Management Planning in the ELIXIR Nodes will be presented to the ELIXIR Heads of Node in June 2016.

The Data Management Plans Working Group is chaired by Rob Hooft (ELIXIR Netherlands) and Niclas Jareborg (ELIXIR Sweden). The group members represent ELIXIR Nodes in Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland.

Thu 5 May 2016