Journal article Open Access

Building an Integrated Enhanced Virtual Research Environment Metadata Catalogue

Remy, Laurent; Ivanovic, Dragan; Theodoridou, Maria; Kritsotaki, Atina; Martin, Paul; Bailo, Daniele; Sbarra, Manuela; Zhao, Zhiming; Jeffery, Keith

Purpose – The building of an Integrated Catalogue of Research Assets Metadata should boost multi-disciplinary research. Such an integrated catalogue should enable researchers to solve problems or analyze phenomena that require a view across several scientific domains.
Design/methodology/approach – There are two main approaches for integrating metadata catalogues provided by different e-RIs: centralized and the distributed. We decided to implement a central metadata catalogue that describes, provides access to, and records actions on the assets of a number of e-RIs participating in the system. We chose the CERIF data model for description of assets available via the Integrated Catalogue. Analysis of popular metadata formats used in e-RIs has been conducted, and mappings between popular formats and the CERIF data model have been defined using an XML-based tool for description and automatic execution of mappings.
Findings – An Integrated Catalogue of Research Assets Metadata has been created. Metadata from e-RIs supporting Dublin Core, ISO 19139, DCAT-AP, EPOS-DCAT-AP, OIL-E, and CKAN formats can be integrated into the Catalogue. Metadata are stored in CERIF RDF in the Integrated Catalogue. A web portal for searching this catalogue has been implemented.
Research limitations/implications – Only five formats are supported at this moment. However, description of mappings between other source formats and the target CERIF format can be defined in the future using the 3M tool, an XML-based tool for describing X3ML mappings that can then be automatically executed on XML metadata records. The approach and best practices described in this paper can thus be applied in future mappings between other metadata formats.
Practical implications – The Integrated Catalogue is a part of the eVRE prototype, which is a result of the VRE4EIC H2020 project.
Social implications – The Integrated Catalogue should boost the performance of multi-disciplinary research, thus it has the potential to enhance the practice of data science and so contribute to an increasingly knowledge-based society.
Originality/value – A novel approach for creation of the Integrated Catalogue has been defined and implemented. The approach includes definition of mappings between various formats. Defined mappings are effective and shareable.

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