Ensuring scientific reproducibility and compliance with documentation guidelines of funding bodies and journals is a topic of greatly increasing importance in biomedical research. Failure to comply, or unawareness of documentation standards can have adverse effects on the translation of research into patient treatments, as well as economic implications. In the context of the German Research Foundation-funded collaborative research center (CRC) 1002, an IT-infrastructure sub-project was designed. Its goal has been to establish standardized metadata documentation and information exchange benefitting the participating research groups with minimal additional documentation efforts.
Implementation of the self-developed menoci-based research data platform (RDP) was driven by close communication and collaboration with researchers as early adopters and experts. Requirements analysis and concept development involved in person observation of experimental procedures, interviews and collaboration with researchers and experts, as well as the investigation of available and applicable metadata standards and tools. The Drupal-based RDP features distinct modules for the different documented data and workflow types, and both the development and the types of collected metadata were continuously reviewed and evaluated with the early adopters.
The menoci-based RDP allows for standardized documentation, sharing and cross-referencing of different data types, workflows, and scientific publications. Different modules have been implemented for specific data types and workflows, allowing for the enrichment of entries with specific metadata and linking to further relevant entries in different modules.
Taking the workflows and datasets of the frequently involved experimental service projects as a starting point for (meta-)data types to overcome irreproducibility of research data, results in increased benefits for researchers with minimized efforts. While the menoci-based RDP with its data models and metadata schema was originally developed in a cardiological context, it has been implemented and extended to other consortia at GÃűttingen Campus and beyond in different life science research areas.