Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC)
Data are produced in huge quantities at the Helmholtz Association. This frequently involves unique data sets that take considerable time and effort to prepare. It is therefore very important that these data are processed in such a way that they can be used by researchers and all interested parties now and in the future. This involves carefully documenting research data and making them available, particularly through metadata.
In this context, metadata are essential standardized information about research data, which allow the latter to be found and interpreted, networked, and reused.
This is the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration's (HMC) task: to promote the qualitative enrichment of research data by means of metadata – and implement this approach across the whole organization.
The platform pools the scientific expertise on metadata from the domains in special metadata hubs for the research fields. Association-wide services offer advice and provide infrastructure services for storing, reusing, and exchanging metadata. The work is always embedded in the national and international context.
HMC aims to keep the research data “alive”. The platform is intended to make it possible to access specific data even after many years, and to make the data available and usable to interested parties in various disciplines. By combining research data and metadata from different sources, researchers can work on new interdisciplinary research topics or validate models, for example. Research in the field of artificial intelligence is also reliant on excellent reference data sets.
Support in the implementation of scientific standards ensures that data providers attain greater visibility for the collection of data. On the one hand, services for the citation and re-use of data increase trust and international visibility; on the other hand, the high quality of research data (through their description via metadata) improves scientific reputation.
In order to establish discipline-specific and Association-wide services in a way that is both broad and at the same time tailor-made, the platform will comprise hubs in each research field as well as centralized services. The research fields introduce expertise, ideas, and demands from their own subject areas through the metadata hubs. Generically applicable processes, technical solutions, and training and consultancy services are centrally organized. These are made available Association-wide to all hubs and can be customized and utilized according to the specific subject.