Characterisation is the general process of probing and measuring the structures and properties of materials at the micro, nano and atomic scales. It is essential across natural, agricultural, physical, life and biomedical sciences and engineering. The generated characterisation data is digital and much of it is “long-tail”, i.e. it is relatively small, unstructured and un-curated. It is thus not easily shared and often does not see the light of day once a research project has been completed. In addition, continual advances and changes in technology mean that the data, and the software used to process and analyse it, can rapidly evolve and even disappear. Consequently, scientific results can be difficult or impossible to reproduce.
Research data management and stewardship based on the FAIR Data Principles offers a solution to these problems. The 2017/2018 National Imaging Facility (NIF) Trusted Data Repositories (TDR) project (funded by ANDS and RDS) addressed “F” and “A” for both preclinical MRI data and clinical ataxia MRI data, and to some extent the “I” and “R”. This project will address the question: What is needed to extend the NIF TDR solution to include instrument data from Microscopy Australia and to achieve FAIR for both characterisation communities?
Who is this project for?
Microscopy Australia (MA) – formerly AMMRF
- Nodes at the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM) at the University of Queensland (UQ); Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis (ACMM) at the University of Sydney (USyd); and the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis (CMCA) at the University of Western Australia (UWA)
National Imaging Facility (NIF)
- Nodes at the Centre for Advanced Imaging (CAI) at UQ; and CMCA at UWA
What does this project enable?
Project outcomes will facilitate the establishment, for the first time, of a national network of federated shared data repositories for MA (interoperable with the NIF network) for data acquired from >200 instruments. This would in turn support new research and industry opportunities for multi-instrument /multi-technique characterisation across both NIF and MA, as well as ANSTO (many NIF and MA users acquire Australian Synchrotron data). It would also support multi-site projects and the possibility for creating new, scientifically valuable, collections; e.g. a national digital repository of CT-scanned biological specimens from museums, or a national medical image skin cancer database.