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Digital Repository of Information and Data for Evolution (DRIADE)
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Our workshop titled "Digital data preservation, sharing, and discovery: Challenges for Small Science Communities in the Digital Era" took place May 16-17, 2007, at NESCent.

A joint project of NESCent and the UNC Metadata Research Center

DRIADE (Digital Repository of Information and Data for Evolution) is a planned repository for data underlying published works in the field of evolutionary biology. DRIADE will support data acquisition, ensure long-term preservation of data objects, and promote resource discovery, data sharing, and data reuse of heterogeneous digital datasets.

The project aims to address a number of challenges in effectively storing and retrieving heterogeneous scientific data. Chief among them is to use emerging information technologies to avoid placing an undue burden of metadata generation on the individual researcher while at the same time capturing sufficient metadata to enable resource discovery and reuse.

DRIADE's plans include the following functionalities:

  • Computer-aided metadata generation and augmentation to assist the data provider in capturing metadata of sufficient richness and quality to enable advanced data discovery, reusability and data integration.
  • Specialized modules allowing data submission to be coordinated with manuscript review and publication, as well as with the submission process to external specialized databases (e.g. for sequence data, phylogenies, anatomical images). This will provide one-stop data submission for the user.
  • Data and metadata quality control, which will be overseen by a curatorial staff, supported by a separate data curation software module that employs automatic techniques to evaluate metadata quality.
  • An identity, authority and data security module will implement fine-grained data access privileges for users using global user identities.
  • Resource discovery, sharing, and interoperability with external repositories will be enabled by implementing the OAI-PMH metadata harvesting standard supplemented by custom web services. These services will be exposed to collaborating journals, specialized data repositories, third-party content aggregators, and the DRIADE web portal itself.

Extensive evaluations and user testing are being employed throughout the design and implementation process by

  • conducting metadata generation studies and analyzing the resulting quality of metadata content,
  • conducting information retrieval experiments and usability studies to evaluate the effectiveness and performance of the system.

Stakeholders from evolutionary biology journals and scientific societies are helping NESCent to develop a business model to ensure the long-term maintenance and financial sustainability of the repository.

This wiki is for the use of working group participants. If you would like to obtain access, please send a request to Hilmar Lapp.