Journal article Open Access

Mapping heterogeneous research infrastructure metadata into a unified catalogue for use in a generic virtual research environment

Martin, Paul; Remy, Laurent; Theodoridou, Maria; Jeffery, Keith; Zhao, Zhiming


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    "title": "Mapping heterogeneous research infrastructure metadata into a unified catalogue for use in a generic virtual research environment", 
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      "volume": "101", 
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      "title": "Future Generation Computer System"
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        "title": "A Europe-wide Interoperable Virtual Research Environment to Empower Multidisciplinary Research Communities and Accelerate Innovation and Collaboration", 
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    "publication_date": "2019-10-01", 
    "creators": [
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        "affiliation": "University of Amsterdam", 
        "name": "Martin, Paul"
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        "affiliation": "EuroCRIS", 
        "name": "Remy, Laurent"
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      {
        "affiliation": "FORCE", 
        "name": "Theodoridou, Maria"
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      {
        "affiliation": "Keith G Jeffery Consultants", 
        "name": "Jeffery, Keith"
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        "affiliation": "University of Amsterdam", 
        "name": "Zhao, Zhiming"
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    "description": "<p>Virtual Research Environments (VREs), also known as science gateways or virtual laboratories, assist researchers</p>\n\n<p>in data science by integrating tools for data discovery, data retrieval, workflow management</p>\n\n<p>and researcher collaboration, often coupled with a specific computing infrastructure. Recently, the push</p>\n\n<p>for better open data science has led to the creation of a variety of dedicated research infrastructures</p>\n\n<p>(RIs) that gather data and provide services to different research communities, all of which can be used</p>\n\n<p>independently of any specific VRE. There is therefore a need for generic VREs that can be coupled</p>\n\n<p>with the resources of many different RIs simultaneously, easily customised to the needs of specific</p>\n\n<p>communities. The resource metadata produced by these RIs rarely all adhere to any one standard</p>\n\n<p>or vocabulary however, making it difficult to search and discover resources independently of their</p>\n\n<p>providers without some translation into a common framework. Cross-RI search can be expedited by</p>\n\n<p>using mapping services that harvest RI-published metadata to build unified resource catalogues, but</p>\n\n<p>the development and operation of such services pose a number of challenges.</p>\n\n<p>In this paper, we discuss some of these challenges and look specifically at the VRE4EIC Metadata</p>\n\n<p>Portal, which uses X3ML mappings to build a single catalogue for describing data products and other</p>\n\n<p>resources provided by multiple RIs. The Metadata Portal was built in accordance to the e-VRE Reference</p>\n\n<p>Architecture, a microservice-based architecture for generic modular VREs, and uses the CERIF standard</p>\n\n<p>to structure its catalogued metadata. We consider the extent to which it addresses the challenges of</p>\n\n<p>cross-RI search, particularly in the environmental and earth science domain, and how it can be further</p>\n\n<p>augmented, for example to take advantage of linked vocabularies to provide more intelligent semantic</p>\n\n<p>search across multiple domains of discourse.</p>"
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