Open research data: the future of science

Content only available in English


The EPFL library is pleased to invite you to an event that will focus on:



   Forum Rolex Learning Center (EPFL Campus)


Conferences and workshops will take place on Tuesday 28 October 2014 from 9am until 6pm.



•   Importance of collecting research data
•   Open research data evolutions, challenges and stakes
•   Implementation of open research data policies in universities
•   Best practices: insights and applications
•   Technical aspects, software and tools
•   Idea-sharing on the future of open data in science




Some of the main specialists in the research data field will participate in this event. Philippe Gillet, EPFL Vice-president for Academic Affairs, will give the opening speech.

Presentations and videos

Dr. Philippe Gillet, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, EPFL. Opening speech

Video [.mp4, 1.28 Go] / CC BY Bibliothèque de l’EPFL


Mr Christopher Brown, Senior co-design manager, JISC. « Open Research Data – A Jisc Perspective ».

Abstract: Jisc has been at the forefront of providing tools and guidance to institutions to help manage, preserve and share their research data for many years. As well as establishing support services, such as the Digital Curation Centre, Jisc, through its research programmes, has supported the reuse and preservation of research data, promoted Open Access, data management plans, collaboration, skills, standards and improved the infrastructure that enable universities to perform better research. Through continued investment in supporting research data, Jisc is working nationally and internationally to help to break down barriers at each stage of the research life cycle to ensure managing research data is part of business as usual for institutions.

Presentation [PPTX, 5’362 Ko] / CC BY-NC-ND
Presentation [PDF, 2’084 Ko] / BY-NC-ND
Video [.mp4, 1.28 Go] / BY-NC-ND Bibliothèque de l’EPFL


Dr. Matthias Töwe, Head Digital Curation, ETH library. « Open Data and Digital Curation: why each is only worth half without the other« 

Abstract: To enable re-use of data, context information is needed and – if they exist – adherence to agreed formal standards is required. The more re-uses rely on Open Data from third parties, the stronger becomes the implicit assumption that Open Data will remain available for as long as needed and the same applies to any information which is required to make proper use of the data. This is why it is useful to early consider aspects of Digital Curation when planning to expose data for re-use. The talk will outline how the Digital Curation Office at ETH Zurich plans to support the capture of relevant context information early in the life cycle of research data to facilitate re-use of data objects which are deposited into the ETH Data Archive (based on Ex Libris Rosetta). The Open Source tool docuteam packer is used to support researchers with the organization of their own “small data”, i.e. file based objects. In the course of the registration of Digital Object Identifiers (DOI) metadata for archived objects is published to the DataCite Metadata Store and exposed for re-use. When it comes to the publication and sharing of data, it must also be mentioned that depending on their subject and on their field’s tradition, researchers’ reactions might not be enthusiastic, at all. Where such reservations exist, it can be useful to first address their needs for data storage and curation and encourage sharing of these resources over time and with the support of evolving policies of publishers and research institutions which increasingly recommend or even demand data sharing.

Presentation [PPTX, 2’282 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Presentation [PDF, 1’443 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Video [.mp4, 1.37 Go] / CC BY-NC-SA Bibliothèque de l’EPFL


Dr. Daniel Spichtinger, Policy and Project Officer for Open Access, European Commission.

The presentation outlines the policy rational for open access to research data on a European level and the implementation of the Open Access to Research Data Pilot in the EU’s multi-annual framework for research and innovation, Horizon 2020. It also puts the pilot in the bigger context of the changing scientific system, sometimes referred to as ‘Science 2.0’ or ‘Open Science’.

Presentation [PPTX, 540 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Presentation [PDF, 939 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Video [.mp4, 1.50 Go] / CC BY-NC-SA Bibliothèque de l’EPFL



Dr. Martin Vetterli, President of the National Research Council , Swiss National Science Foundation. « Open Access, Open Data, Open Science »

Abstract: The open-data movement has already reached almost the whole of society. For example, digital content can be used freely (open content), computer programs perused and altered (open source), official data consulted (open government) and educational courses pursued free of charge (open education). Research, too, is affected. At present, the demand for free access to scientific literature is a major talking point. For scientists, the open-access movement is however only the beginning. The next big challenge will be free access to the data from work that has been published. This will bring in its wake complex questions regarding the storage and shared use of data, but it will also prove positive for the scientific community, since it will allow for a whole new culture of reproducibility of scientific experiments, which has become a matter of concern in recent years.

Presentation [PDF, 3’582 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International
Video [.mp4, 1.47 Go] / CC BY-NC-SA Bibliothèque de l’EPFL



Ms Robin Rice, Management of the University of Edinburgh’s Data Library service. « Open data and research data management at the University of Edinburgh: policies and services »

Abstract: The University of Edinburgh’s Court passed a research data management (RDM) policy in May, 2011, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, written to complement the research funders’ emerging data management and sharing mandates. Focusing on the responsibilities of the researcher and the institution, it defined the direction of travel for the RDM strategy. An RDM Roadmap was published in 2012, defining a set of services to be delivered by May, 2015. This includes support services for data management activity and planning, storage services for active and ‘retired’ datasets, and stewardship for data preservation and sharing, including Edinburgh DataShare, the University’s open data repository. This talk will describe how the components of the university’s RDM programme have been implemented by Information Services, how we support and engage with researchers, and the extent to which we promote open data and open research.

Presentation [PPTX, 949 Ko] / CC BY
Presentation [PDF, 2’277 Ko] / CC BY
Video [.mp4, 1.36 Go] / CC BY Bibliothèque de l’EPFL





Dr. Jean-Luc Cochard, Chef Unité des techniques de l’information, Département fédéral de l’intérieur, Archives fédérales suisses AFS, Unité des techniques de l’information. « Open Government Data : Data Supplier of Open Research Data ?« 

Abstract: Open Government Data (OGD) is under deployment since a few years in Switzerland at city, cantonal and federal levels. An federal OGD strategy for the period 2014-2018 has been elaborated and was approved by the Federal Council in April 2014. Some of the 13 different measures under implementation will be highlighted during this talk. One of them concerns the Swiss Pilot Portal and its next official and steady version. This portal aims at referencing datasets of all three administrative levels. The principles and mechanisms for harvesting data sources will be explained. Important remaining challenges regarding licenses, financial compensation, and metadata standardization are currently addressed by the project team. Their ins and outs will be presented. This talk will conclude on possible collaboration avenues between OGD and ORD, one of them could be that research activities takes advantage of data sources referenced by the Swiss OGD Portal.

Presentation [PDF, 2’291 Ko] / CC BY-SA
Video [.mp4, 1.26 Go] / CC BY-SA Bibliothèque de l’EPFL

In the afternoon, workshops and specific presentations on different topics and software (duration: 1hr) will allow participants to share experiences and to foster interactive discussions.

Mr Gaël Anex,
Information Systems Coordination. Workshop on LIMS

Abstract: After a short introduction that presents the LIMS (laboratory information management system) and ELN (Electronic lab notebook) used at the School of Life Sciences, you will dive into practice. You will have the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of a researcher and organize your research data in an electronic laboratory notebook. On the menu: Create research projects and experiments in LIMS, share protocols (SOP’s) and experimental data, create and manage your sample database in few clicks, share and export your data with your research partners, generate a paper notebook.
Level: Beginner, no requirement.
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation (Introduction) [PDF, 4’835 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Presentation (Workshop) [PDF, 6’313 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA


Dr. Matthias Töwe, Head Digital Curation (ETH library). « Docuteam packer: viewer and editor for file structures and metadata« 

Abstract: Docuteam packer is a Java-based Open Source tool which can be launched from a remote share and is usually executed locally. It enables data producers to arrange their files in a meaningful structure with the possibility to add metadata on each level of the hierarchical structure as needed for later retrieval and re-use of the data. The tool has an easy to use Graphical User Interface and while it presents itself very plainly to the user, it is highly configurable in the background.
Use of docuteam packer early in the data life-cycle can help to capture context information which might otherwise get lost over time. As lack of context documentation is a major risk for the usefulness of open data, tools like this can play an important role in making data fit for sharing.
From the point of view of digital curation, docuteam packer outputs a Submission Information Package (SIP) in METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) format without the user having to bother. This SIP can then be automatically processed for ingest into preservation systems.
After a short introduction to the basic concept of the tool, users can download the docuteam packer and test its functions as a data editor and viewer. Limitations of its reasonable use will also be discussed, as docuteam packer is intended as a tool to prepare files for preservation and does not fulfill the role of a repository or a records management system.

Please note: Participants who want to test the tool themselves are asked to bring their own laptops (Windows, Mac, (Linux); the tool has not been tested with tablets). The Java Runtime Environment must be installed on the device to run docuteam packer.
Level: Beginner (intended to show what the tool is and how it works)
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation [PPTX, 2’168 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA
Presentation [PDF, 1’251 Ko] / CC BY-NC-SA


Mr Josh Brown, Communications Manager, ORCID EU. « ORCID iDs: connecting researchers to their research data »

Abstract: There are now more than 850’000 ORCID iDs, connected to close to 5 million publications, half of which have DOIs. This means that, for the first time, there is a scalable, open way to uniquely identify researchers and authors and to connect them to all their outputs. As research datasets emerge as a valid, and valuable, form of publication, ORCID have been working with partners around Europe to develop tools and workflows to help to extend these connections. When researchers gain recognition and reward for publishing datasets, when datasets are cited and referenced properly and when we can track their use and re-use, then open science can begin to demonstrate its value even more effectively. In this workshop, you will receive demonstrations of some of the tools that enable these developments to occur. You can find out more about how ORCID has been working with the research data community to advance open science, and will have a chance to discuss how you can implement ORCID iDs in your institution. Support your researchers in making the most of their ORCID iDs!
Level: Beginner

Presentation [PPTX, 6’285 Ko] / CC BY-SA 4.0 Licence
Presentation [PDF, 2’285 Ko] / CC BY-SA 4.0 Licence



Mr Lars Holm Nielsen, CERN, IT Department, Collaboration & Information Services. Workshop on « Zenodo to research, share and safely store research data« .

Abstract: Is your 10-year-old dataset stored safely? Is it openly accessible? By the end of the workshop, you will have shared and safely preserved your first research data for the future using Zenodo, as well as learned how to get credit for doing it. We will explore the different aspects and issues related to research data and software publishing, why preservation is important, how to link it up and make your research data discoverable. In addition we will show how research software hosted in GitHub can be automatically preserved with a few clicks, how you can create communities in Zenodo for your research group/library/conference as well as how to fulfil Horizon 2020 Open Data Pilot requirements.
Please note: None, but it’s highly preferable to bring your own laptop and a research output (dataset, software, presentation, poster, publication, …) you would like to share to be able to follow the interactive part of the workshop.
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation [PDF, 18’367 Ko] / CC BY 4.0 Licence


Dr Andrew M. Cox, Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffiel. « Training professional staff to support RDM and open data »

Abstract: Professional staff in IT, research administration and libraries play a key role in supporting research data management and open access. This interactive workshop will work through the issues around designing training for existing staff to support RDS. It will provide a framework for participants to reflect systematically about who should do be trained, who should do the training, what knowledge and mindsets need to be developed and what pedagogic approach will be most effective. Participants will explore learning resources that already exist, including those created as part of RDMRose and the concepts behind learning about RDM as a wicked problem.

Level: Beginner, no requirement, no computers required
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation [PPTX, 444 Ko] / CC BY-SA Licence
Presentation [PDF, 665 Ko] / CC BY-SA Licence


Dr Charles Andrès, Chief Science Officer, Wikimedia. « Beyond the Open, let’s talk about reuse of Data, or the power of the free Open access ».

Abstract: The Open access policies are generally divided in two categories “gratis” and “free”, when the first one guarantees the access to the information free of charge, the second alternative offers on top of the first formula, the freedom to use and share the data. Several scientific fields have already understood the power of re-using data, a statement supported by several “meta-analyse” available. However, many areas are still questioning in what way freeing ( potentially?)re-usable data could be beneficial for them or for others.
In this workshop, we will see how to use Wikipedia to enrich the websites of certain labs or research projects. This workshop is intended for people who have an interest in Open Access but that do not produce large-scale data collections. There are no prerequisites, only to join with images produces by labs or to bring articles from Open Access references.

Level: Beginner
Audience: Master, PhD, Researchers

Download PDF:



Ms Robin Rice and Laine Ruus, EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh. Workshop on Mantra, « An introduction to Research Data MANTRA: learning good practice in research data management »

Abstract: This workshop is for (1) researchers who are interested in finding out how to manage their research data effectively and efficiently during their research projects and (2) support staff, such as librarians, who would like to learn how to support researchers in their data management. The presenters will introduce the course components and key data management topics (such as back-up and security, metadata and documentation, data sharing and preservation, data management planning, data handling skills) as found in the Research Data MANTRA online, self-paced training course. Participants will have a chance to start exploring the contents of the course on their own, and participate in an interactive group exercise.
Level: Beginner
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation [PPTX, 684 Ko] / CC BY
Presentation [PDF, 827 Ko] / CC BY


Ms Robin Rice, Management of the University of Edinburgh’s Data
Library service. Workshop on a Data Management Plan « Creating a data management plan for your research »

Abstract: This workshop is for researchers and librarians. Why is research data management important? What is a data management plan and why it is important to have one? This workshop will aim to answer these important questions and provide a grounding in how to create your own plan. Researchers will have a chance to start filling out their own data management plan and discuss issues with the group. Librarians will have an opportunity to evaluate an existing data management plan in a group exercise.
Level: Intermediate
Audience: General (librarians, researchers, IT-service staff)

Presentation [PPTX,402 Ko] / CC BY
Presentation [PDF, 306 Ko] / CC BY



Dr. Hans-Jürgen Goebelbecker, Associate Director (Karlsruhe Institute Technology). « – A Registry of Research Data Repositories »

Abstract:, a web-based registry of research data repositories, indexes data repositories to provide an overview on existing research data collections. In August 2014 more than 900 research data repositories were indexed in Almost 800 of them are described using a comprehensive vocabulary. The registry enables users to identify a certified research data repository which allows for instance the storage of geoscience data under a Creative Commons license. Furthermore an icon system, which shows crucial characteristics of a repository, helps users to rapidly identify a suitable repository with useful data or for the storage of their own data. In researchers can clearly see the terms of access and use of each repository. is a joint project of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Humboldt University Berlin.
By the end of 2015 and Databib (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA) will merge their two projects into one service that will be managed under the auspices of DataCite. The aim of this merger is to reduce duplication of effort and to better serve the research community with a single, sustainable registry of research data repositories that incorporates the best features of both projects.
The lecture will give an overview of the project and current features of

Presentation [PPTX, 4’235 Ko] / CC BY With the exception of all photos and graphics, this slides are under the « Attribution 4.0 International
Presentation [PDF, 1’901 Ko] / CC BY With the exception of all photos and graphics, this slides are under the « Attribution 4.0 International

Video CC BY Bibliothèque de l’EPFL


Dr Damian Pattinson, Editorial Director, PLOS ONE. « Open Everything: The Role of Journals in Improving Data Sharing In Academic Research »

Abstract: As the Open Access in scholarly communications has become universally endorsed by funders and research institutions, the community has recognized that the principles of access applied to research articles are also as critical to the underlying data in the research itself. The Open movement is taking a more inclusive and comprehensive approach with its push towards data sharing as the next area of transformation for accelerating discovery, public enrichment, and improving education. Open Data increases the reproducibility of the published literature and supports re-use and further discovery. But researchers are currently hampered by competition between labs, poor technology solutions and lack of understandable policies. PLOS has attempted to address some of these issues with a new data policy, announced in March. The policy requires that all data underlying the published results should be fully available without restriction with rare exception and described in the article publication. In this talk I discuss how the policy was developed, the challenges we have faced since its implementation, and the future of Open Data in the research world.

Presentation [PPTX, 9’062 Ko]
Presentation [PDF, 1’660 Ko]


Dr. Sünje Dallmeier-Tiessen, Open science research fellow, CERN. Presentation on Data publishing workflows.

Abstract: Data sharing or data publishing is emerging as an integral part of research in many disciplines. However, established ways for data sharing vary across disciplines, from a wide range of workflows, to dedicated repositories, data journals or specific data articles. There is a diverse landscape emerging in which first best practices and standards can be detected. The latter, for example, includes the usage of persistent identifiers for research data. This is particularly important when we discuss data reuse and how to reference data (usage). Data citation, as for example described in the Force 11 principles, becomes now a crucial element in Open Science. It allows not only getting credit for publishing research data, but also facilitates easy tracking of new outcomes based on the shared data. This presentation will provide a guided tour through data publishing workflows and services with particular emphasis on data citation, respective standards and strategies. One example will be taken from the High-Energy Physics community.


Presentation [PPTX, 6’657 Ko] / CC BY
Presentation [PDF, 6’155 Ko] / CC BY
Video CC BY Bibliothèque de l’EPFL


Mr André Golliez, President, Swiss Open Research Data. « Towards a Swiss Open Research Data Platform »

Abstract: End of June 2014 the steering committee of the Swiss University Conference (SUC) program P-2 (« Scientific information: access, processing and safeguarding ») approved a project request to build up a Swiss Open Research Data Platform (« ORD@CH »). This pilot project is a joint effort of the Swiss Center of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS) as the lead institution together with the Digital Humanities Lab of the University of Basel (DHLab) and ETH Scientific IT Services (ETH SIS) as partner institutions. The talk outlines framework conditions, goals, publication principles and technical concepts of the future Swiss Open Reserach Data Platform and gives an insight into the actual status of the project.

Presentation [PDF, 2’897 Ko]


The event is targeted at all those who would like to learn more about open data in science including representatives of local politics, academic communities (researchers, doctoral students, professors, administrators), as well as publishing, information professionals, and IT support officers.