The new research archive is underway


We are happy to inform you that the concept phase of the Sigma2’ Next Generation Research Data Archive project has been successfully completed and the project is now moving forward into the planning phase.

The concept analysis has revealed the need for a user-friendly archive solution that can handle large data sets while still supporting the FAIR principles. FAIR means not only discovering but it is also accessing and re-using large and complex datasets by humans and machines.

Close of up a chest of drawers.

The concept analysis has also identified the need for a flexible and secure solution that can tackle the challenges related to the archival of data with different sensitivity and protection requirements. Status update

Concept Analysis

Through conversations with various users and stakeholders, the project has identified a list of use cases for the Research Data Archive. Through expert consultations and market research, a reference architecture was designed, consisting of a modularised archive service where data and metadata are managed separately to allow maximum scalability, accessibility of the data and flexibility regarding the back-end storage. The modular architecture will ensure the ability to change according to present and future requirements for FAIR data. An archive service which is agnostic to the storage media will allow the future selection of back-end storage media according to the security requirements for specific datasets.  

The architecture is designed according to the project’s principles: User in focus; Maximum Synergy, minimal overlap with existing services; Ability to scale adapt and change; As FAIR as possible.  

Next Steps

The planning phase is starting now. The aim is to design a Minimum Viable Product for the archive to be implemented in the Execution Phase. The MVP will be co-designed with users and stakeholders. The approach will be based on Design Thinking methodology. Through prototyping and testing, users will have the chance to give input on how to resolve the most important archival and retrieval workflows.  

The MVP will be implemented in the execution phase. In the closing phase, the MVP will be set in production and the governance and the sustainability framework for the service will be established. In the benefits realization phase, more FAIR features will be implemented throughout an evolutionary approach.  

The planning phase will be executed by teams of experts from several national and international communities and players in the sector.  

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