13. Current, planned and potential adoption

13.1. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB)

HZB minted four DOIs with DataCite for HZB instruments: two beamlines at the neutron source BER II;1,2 one beamline at the synchrotron light source BESSY II;3 and one experimental station at BESSY II.4 The DOIs resolve to the respective instrument page from the HZB instrument database that did already exist before and was thus not created for this purpose. One particularity with these instruments is that they are custom built by HZB. Thus, in the metadata HZB appears as Creator as well as Contributor with property contributorType value HostingInstitution. It is noteworthy that one of the DOIs uses the additional property fundingReference from the DataCite schema to acknowledge external funding that HZB received for upgrading the instrument. This property was not considered in the PIDINST schema, or in the DataCite mapping. HZB plans to continue the adoption and to mint DOIs for all its beamlines and experimental stations that are in user operation in the near future.

13.2. British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC)

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) is a national facility for preserving and distributing oceanographic and marine data. BODC tested the ePIC implementation in web-published, sensor technical metadata descriptions encoded in the Open Geospatial Consortium’s (OGC) SensorML open standards for conceptualising and integrating real-world sensors. In an initial test case, a PID was minted for a Sea-Bird Scientific SBE37 Microcat regularly deployed on fixed-point moorings in the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) in the north Atlantic. For further details see Sensor web enablement (SWE). BODC plan to continue adoption identifying sensors on large research vessels owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and managed by the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS). PIDs will be used to manage sensor data and metadata workflows from ‘deck to desktop’ as part of a UK initiative, I/Ocean.

13.3. EISCAT3D

EISCAT3D will be an international research infrastructure, using radar observations and the incoherent scatter technique for studies of the atmosphere and near-Earth space environment above the Fenno-Scandinavian Arctic as well as for the support of the solar system and radio astronomy sciences. EISCAT3D will implement persistent identification for instruments following the recommendations by PIDINST. The radar is complex, more digital than previous radars, and is roughly divided into a number of separate units. While software is a substantial constituent of these units, they can be regarded as hardware units, each persistently identified. Updates to the units will be primarily to software and result in new unit versions with own PIDs. The radar itself can also be persistently identified and the relation type HasComponent can be used to relate to the persistently identified units.

13.4. SENSOR.awi.de and PANGAEA

The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) has been continuously committed to develop and sustain an eResearch infrastructure for coherent discovery, view, dissemination, and archival of scientific data and related information in polar and marine regions. In order to address the increasing heterogeneity of research platforms and respective devices and sensors along with varying project-driven requirements, a generic and modular framework has been built intended to support the flow of sensor observations to archives (O2A).5 In this context, SENSOR.awi.de, available since 2015, is an O2A component dedicated to the registry of research platforms, devices and sensors and in the meantime in use by several international partners (e.g. MOSAiC project). SENSOR.awi.de has been built using OGC SensorML standard and all individual records, to date over 4000, are assigned a persistent identifier using UUIDs in the handle syntax along with automated generation of a record citation. Terminologies (e.g., controlled vocabularies) are used to define sensor categories (NERC L05) as well as sensor types and models (NERC L22). The data model of SENSOR.awi.de is compliant with the PIDINST schema and the additional implementation of Datacite DOIS for sensors is to date under evaluation. The ultimate goal of SENSOR.awi.de is to enhance the quality of published and archived data in PANGAEA by providing complete metadata and persistent identifiers on instruments and sensors used in the data acquisition process (Figure 12.2). Given that platforms and sensors evolve in time (sensors are being calibrated, instrument payload changes, etc), SENSOR.awi.de also supports record versioning by maintaining an audit trail of changes in the XML record.

PANGAEA is a digital repository for environmental research data and the dedicated long term archive within the O2A framework jointly operated by the AWI and MARUM (University Bremen). Each dataset is made available with its descriptive metadata, including the relations with research resources (e.g., articles, funder, instrument and specimen, if applicable). As a data provider, PANGAEA only curates limited information of a device such as device name, identifier and type. As an effort to standardize device type and name, currently the repository applies external terminologies, in particular the NERC L05 device category vocabulary and the L22 device catalogue. The repository has developed tailor-made client applications to import these terminologies in a periodic, incremental manner. For both the persistent identification as well as for the detailed description of instruments, PANGAEA thus relies on institutional instrument registries such as SENSOR.awi.de and uses their issued PIDs to uniquely identify instruments which have been used to acquire data archived at PANGAEA. Since AWI and PANGAEA use the same vocabularies/terminologies as well as PIDs to represent devices, they facilitate easy integration of datasets in particular during transfer of near real time data from O2A raw data staging areas via data quality control services etc to their final destination, the PANGAEA data archive.5

13.5. ICOS

The Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) is a pan-european research infrastructure for quantifying and understanding the greenhouse gas balance of the European continent. It conducts many continuous in-situ measurements like gas concentrations, wind speed and direction, humidity, temperature, etc. To deliver high quality measurement data, ICOS considers the adoption of a persistent identifier for instruments a must for documenting data provenance and tracking calibration history.

13.6. B2INST

B2INST is a service for registering, persistently identifying and describing instruments. The B2INST service fills the gap especially for research groups or smaller communities, who might lack the capability to operate a registry.

Communities and organisations can make use of the service to FAIRify their instrument by registering their metadata and assigning the instrument a PID. This instrument-PID can then be added to research outputs, such as journal articles and datasets.

B2INST provides several generic features, like assigning PIDs and DOIs to the metadata, as well as presenting a landing page of the instrument based on the registered metadata. It also provides additional features, like the possibility to upload data to the registered instruments (such additional data can be almost everything that supports the description of the instrument, e.g. calibration protocols, pictures of the instruments, technical manuals, etc). In B2INST, the registered information is publicly available for everyone. Creating or maintaining information requires authorization - for that B2INST supports federated identity management, so users can use their home accounts to log in to the system.

The identified use cases showed that communities have different requirements for instrument metadata. The PIDINST schema covers a minimum set of metadata to describe instruments only. B2INST provides community extensions; thus, it is possible to add broader descriptions of instruments and to support the requirements of different communities. Based on the PIDINST schema, communities can add metadata extensions to better support their community needs.

The current plan foresees that B2INST will be offered as a public service by EUDAT. The initial proof-of-concept was set up by SURF. It was further developed by the GWDG, which will operate the service in a production mode.










Koppe, R., Gerchow, P., Macario, A., Haas, A., Schäfer-Neth, C. and Pfeiffenberger, H. (2015): O2A: A Generic Framework for Enabling the Flow of Sensor Observations to Archives and Publications, OCEANS 2015 Genova. doi: 10.1109/OCEANS-Genova.2015.7271657