Journal article Open Access

Using the FREYA PID Graph to help reproduce scientific research

Povey, Marcus; Amaro, Claudia Alen

Instruct-ERIC facilitates access to cutting edge research infrastructure, within the domain of Structural Biology. Through Instruct, researchers can gain access to techniques, services and equipment in order to perform their research.

The operation of some of this equipment is, to say the least, complex, and for any given piece of research output, there are a large number of inputs that contribute to that output. Many of these inputs are critical for someone who wants to reproduce a given piece of research, and we need to make these findable. In addition, by identifying and documenting every step in the process, from proposal to publication, it should be possible

to reproduce and optimise these preparation techniques which could also identify commonalities in the process.

Inputs for a given research output may include but are not limited to; the sample (origin, characteristics, purity, descriptors), its
preparation (reagents, formulation, modifications), the machine(s) used, the configuration of the machine(s) at the time, one or more areas of interest in multiple frames of multiple terabytes of HD video, the software and software version, algorithm and parameters used to perform any data processing, the researchers involved, and more.

An additional complexity is that some of this information may need to remain in situ, either because it’s impractical to move due to the volume of data involved, or because of contractual or ethical confidentiality reasons.

Using the PID Graph (Fenner & Aryani, 2019) would give us the opportunity to construct, on demand, a “research bundle”. This would tell any future researcher, in detail, what inputs went in to producing any given research output and where that data resides. This would allow our research infrastructures to conform to FAIR principles, as well as meet any requisite data protection obligations.

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