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Compute Canada Collaborates on National Research Data Platform

computecanadaToday Compute Canada and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) announced a collaboration to build a scalable national platform for research data management and discovery. The partnership joins information management expertise from the CARL Portage Network with information technology expertise from Compute Canada to develop services that researchers need to respond to the demands of data-intensive research and to comply with funding bodies’ data sharing policies.

This is more than a collaboration, this partnership will provide measurable value to researchers and the opportunity to provide the tools, expertise and digital data infrastructure necessary to meet today’s requirements for the knowledge economy,” shares Mark Dietrich, President and CEO at Compute Canada.

This envisioned solution uses a federated storage model. Institutions will be able to support data repositories or storage arrays within their institutions or regions that would become part of the national system. Data stored on those arrays would be discoverable through the national search interface and would be downloadable by any researcher with the required access rights.

The pan-Canadian platform will provide tools and services to support the curation, access, discoverability, and preservation of research data, allowing researchers across Canada in a range of disciplines to have improved access and control of large amounts of data. This addresses a longstanding gap in Canada’s infrastructure for digital research data management.

Martha Whitehead, President of CARL and Vice-Provost and University Librarian at Queen’s University, said, “The type of infrastructure being assembled through this partnership is essential for the shared stewardship of research data. The research data ecosystem is comprised of many stakeholders who must work together to serve and strengthen the Canadian research enterprise.”

Chuck Humphrey, Director of the CARL Portage Network, noted that, “Except for select fields of study, digital infrastructure supporting the long-term management of research data has been missing in Canada. The Portage Network sees this National Platform Service as bringing to the wider research community a set of data management tools needed to steward research data, making it appropriately accessible, understandable, and usable to this and future generations of researchers.”

The Portage Network will assist with the requirements for and design of the National Platform Service, providing metadata and data workflow solutions and testing the platform, while Compute Canada will provide project management and software development expertise and necessary computational power.

This project was launched in response to increasing demand from the Canadian research community for a common set of tools to manage data across the country and with their industrial and international partners,” said Dr. Dugan O’Neil, Compute Canada’s Chief Science Officer. “Over the next year, Compute Canada will be building a new national storage infrastructure. That infrastructure will be technically capable of supporting an at-scale national research data management system, and our partnership with CARL will help accelerate research across the country.”

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