A great deal of discussion has taken place to date with regards to enabling data sharing in recent years. The approach is very much more dependent on how you structure and publish your data rather than technology as the enabler. This said technology plays a part, the RCUK sponsored Gateway to Research (GtR) project has worked with institutional repository providers to enable CERIF XML upload and download of data and publishing of data from the Grants on the Web system in CERIF XML to the GtR Portal. This has created access to a great deal of research data.
Open source software is a key principle in the design of the inital Data.ac.uk sites. The software is all available from Github.com.
The equipment.data.ac.uk portal is the first national data aggregation portal aiming to utilise auto-discover technology to capture equipment and facilities data from across academia. Data will be harvested, providing it is published in the correct format, from institutional equipment databases or from simple excel spreadsheets if published discretely on a website.
If you currently do not have an equipment or facilities database a range of solutions are available to you:
Creating and publishing a simple Excel spreadsheet will enable you to contribute data.
Download direct from your Agresso Fixed Asset Module (equipment items only). This will depend on your capitalisation limit for assets set in your accounting guidelines though offers the flexibility to publish equipment items straight from your asset register to your website.
Dedicated systems have also been produced and are available on free download. The database Kit Catalogue is a comprehensive cataloguing solution offering the capability for publishing selected data in RDF to the equipment portal.
Tools for the future
The equipment.data website is creating and advancing new technology in data management and discovery, in particular the use of the Organisation Profile Document (OPD) enabling auto discovery of datasets. It is innovations like this which are advancing linked open data infrastructure developments that can support a HE information landscape for the future. (more info)