Locatable: The expected data infrastructure must be closely linked to the material physics and arranged so that the digital objects are unambiguous and permanently identifiable. Different ontologies that could be available simultaneously must be mapped to each other so that users are not forced to speak different languages to search in different databases. The onology-based approach allows for various technological implementations, such as graphics-based approaches. Graphics-based databases enable exceptionally high performance in terms of complex search patterns by users. The APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available for many databases allow researchers to automate access to such data structures easily.
An example would be that the data search is implemented in experimental software so that scientists can test their samples and retrieve them in real-time, as in overlaying external data. The overarching data structure will be developed by materials experts in collaboration with ontology and structural data scientists and close collaboration with international efforts (e.g., European Materials Ontology EMO, European Materials Modelling Ontology EMMO, and derivatives from non-European countries). In addition, the NFDI-MatWerk will actively participate in the European Open Science Cloud. NFDI-MatWerk's strategy to support ontologies based on physical principles will minimize the effort required to develop automatic mapping strategies. This includes dealing with successive version changes of official ontologies, as long as governing bodies provide sufficient resources to initiatives such as NFDI.
Accessible: NFDI-MatWerk aims to make materials data accessible in a human- and machine-readable format by providing the appropriate tools and metadata. The overarching metadata information is provided by central partners of the consortium, in particular via university IT (Aachen, Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken). While the metadata (uploaded by the individual scientist into the overarching data structure) is centrally accessible, the raw data, the processed data, and the workflows are stored locally on server clients (e.g., similar to edge computing). Access to these data is granted to the client by the operating institute and the responsible scientist (e.g., author or scientific group leader). Appropriate protocols for data access will be further developed and existing protocols integrated. Data plans for sustainable data storage will be developed for implementation by the responsible institutions.
Reusable: The goal of NFDI-MatWerk is to leverage the ontology-based metadata structure to provide well-described and rich metadata that can be used for linkage and integration into novel workflows, simulations, and advanced materials data analyses.
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