The Central Data Management Project of the Biodiversity Exploratories Priority Program provides the platform for data storage and information exchange between the different working groups. The major aims of this project include
- Provision of central storage, access and exchange facilities for datasets collected by all projects across different project phases
- Assisting the researchers, via out platform, in managing research data through its life cycle. This involves provision of tools and facilities for planning the collection, curation, storage, search and discovery, integration, visualization and publication of data
- Provision of tools for managing field work and resources
- Enhancing information exchange between members of the different projects in the Biodiversity Exploratories Priority Program, and providing other services that can enhance cooperation between the BE members.
BExIS – The Platform
Most of the services of the Central Data Management project are delivered through its online platform called BExIS – Biodiversity Exploratories Information System. Some of the functionalities include tools for
- Describing, defining the structure and uploading the datasets (with respect to syntactic, structural, semantic and physical formats) collected by BE projects
- Quality control, auto-summary report generation, editing, versioning, simple online (statistical) analysis, etc. of the uploaded data
- GIS-based visualization of data and plotting of research area
- Field work and resources management
- BE’s publication list management
- Information sharing and collaboration via wiki
- Fine grained user and rights management for control of access to data and functionalities.
This platform was established by Dr. Jens Nieschulze and colleagues (group leader Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze), MPI Biogeochemistry Jena in 2007. Since 2011 development and maintenance of the platform have been continued at the Heinz-Nixdorf-Chair for Distributed Information Systems, University of Jena (Prof. Dr. Birgitta König-Ries). Michael Owonibi was the data manager of the BE from 2011 till 2017. The information system can be accessed here: BExIS.
Some of the tasks planned for the 5th BE project phase (2017 – 2020) are given below. These include:
- Safekeeping of the BE data in a sustainable platform, including server management and maintenance, user support, and tool development.
- Making BE data efficiently accessible within the Exploratories, including data discovery enhancement, support for geospatial data, and using visualization techniques.
- Providing an environment for data quality including manual data checking, and development and provision of a data quality framework.
- Increasing the external visibility of the BE data by interlinking BExIS with national and international initiatives.
- Migrating to BEXIS2.