(Published on 06.10.2021) Although the NFDI consortia cover a wide variety of scientific fields, many topics also overlap. These cross-cutting topics will be addressed in so-called sections. The first four sections are now starting their work. The Scientific Senate approved their establishment at its meeting on 29 September.

The following four sections will be at the start:

(Meta)data, terminologies and provenance (section-metadata)

Common standards in research data management are the basis for the possibility of effective re-use of data. The section “(Meta)data, terminologies and provenance” is working on this.  Best practices for modelling terminologies, vocabularies and ontologies are to be developed. In addition, standardised and comprehensible documentation procedures for technical and cultural aspects of the creation context of (meta)data are to be established.

Common Infrastructures (section-infra)

Various research disciplines already have their own, isolated information infrastructures. To ensure that these heterogeneous offerings can be used interoperably in the future and to promote interdisciplinary (data-)exchange, they should be embedded in a common infrastructure. The realisation of a multi-cloud-based basic infrastructure is envisaged. The topics of sustainable usability and long-term archiving will also play a role in the “Common Infrastructures” section.

Training & Education (section-edutrain)

Better research data management in daily operations relies on the knowledge of individual researchers. Therefore, NFDI is committed to strengthening data literacy in university and non-university research. In the “Training & Education” section, training modules with teaching materials are to be developed that are geared to the needs of the target groups. In addition, a certificate course for data stewards, persons who are responsible for good data quality within an institution, should be designed.

Ethical, Legal & Social Aspects (section-ELSA)

The provision and exchange of research data is often associated with legal issues. When dealing with personal data special consideration must be given to data protection, while in other areas intellectual property law plays a special role.  The section “Ethical, Legal & Social Aspects” is intended to provide an exchange forum for legal and ethical questions. Together, guidelines and legal standards for research data management in everyday scientific life are to be developed.


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