re3data - The Global Registry of Research Data Repositories

re3data - The Global Registry of Research Data Repositories

In June, during Sweden's EU presidency, the "Lund Declaration on Maximizing the Benefits of Research Data" was unveiled. This declaration underscores the importance of collaboration among stakeholders in the realm of research data infrastructures. Additionally, in the "Nelson Memo" from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the White House in the US last year, the significance of data repositories in the realization of open science was highlighted. 

These data infrastructures form the foundation for the implementation of Open Science practices and, in conjunction with policies and incentives, promote the open exchange of research data. 

For over a decade, our reliable service, re3data, has captured the landscape of these infrastructures. Initiated in 2012, we've diligently mapped the global research data repository terrain. Today, we provide a comprehensive registry of more than 3,000 research data repositories, all grounded in a detailed metadata schema, which we recently released in its 4.0 version. 

Our article, titled “re3data – Indexing the Global Research Data Repository Landscape Since 2012” in Scientific Data, encapsulates our journey with re3data. Herein, we dive deep into ten pivotal aspects pertinent to administrating an Open Science service dedicated to global research data repositories. 

At its core, re3data was envisioned to bolster scientists in their research data management endeavors. Specifically, re3data assists researchers  in identifying appropriate infrastructures both for data storage and dissemination, for example those that align with the globally-recognized FAIR Principles. As a proof to its significance, numerous research institutions, funders, publishers, and scholarly journals have integrated re3data within their guidelines. Notable examples include the European Commission, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Moreover, a diverse array of stakeholders utilizes data from re3data to augment their community services, such as the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) in Germany. 

From its inception, we adopted an Open Data policy at re3data. As such, re3data metadata is available for public reuse under the CC0 license, accessible via our API. The data extracted from re3data are also increasingly harnessed to survey the landscape of digital information infrastructures. Notably, scholars in information science turn to re3data for studies pertaining to Open Science's evolution. 

In our article, we shed light on ten key challenges and insights from the past decade of managing re3data. These encompass: (1) Our ongoing commitment to openness, (2) the pivotal role of quality assurance in service operation, (3) our proactive engagement with the global infrastructure and Open Science communities, (4) the importance of interoperability to enable automated data flows, (5) the necessity for continuous development, (6) ensuring sustainability in the face of changing demands, (7) the service's entrenchment in research data policies and other Open Science regulations, (8) the emphasis on data reuse for re3data, (9) the various research endeavors that utilize re3data, and (10) the significance of public outreach efforts to amplify the visibility of such an internationally utilized service.  

Thanks to a fantastic team composed of passionate colleagues from across the globe, combined with the support from funding organizations and partners, re3data has flourished. We hope that our experiences can guide other Open Science Services, facilitating an open dissemination of scholarly information.

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