Portage, Compute Canada (CC) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) are collaborating to provide a scalable federated platform for digital research data management (RDM) and discovery. They are pleased to announce that the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) service has finished Beta and is now in Limited Production.
The Limited Production version of FRDR will have many of the features and user interface design expected for full launch. Data deposit is currently limited to a select number of invited researchers who will help us to refine our curation and operational service models over the next few months.
A demo version of the FRDR site is available for training and testing purposes. The FRDR demo can be used to learn about the platform's search and data deposit features. As much as possible, the demo will be kept up-to-date with the latest version of the FRDR platform. Please note that all data deposited into the demo will be considered "test" data and will only be available temporarily.
FRDR will address a longstanding gap in Canada's research infrastructure by providing a single platform from which research data can be ingested, curated, preserved, discovered, cited and shared.
The platform's federated search tool will provide a focal point to discover and access Canadian research data, while the range of services provided by FRDR will help researchers store and manage their data, preserve their research for future use, and comply with institutional and funding agency data management requirements.
The Service Manager for FRDR is under the Portage Service Manager, Lee Wilson
The Steering Committee for the project comprises representation from Compute Canada and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries:
The software development project team consists of the core team from the University of Saskatchewan:
and Alex Garnett, Research Data Management & Systems Librarian, Simon Fraser University
Special thanks to Keith Jeffrey, the former Project Manager, who has since retired
The software development project was started in January 2016, following an earlier pilot project that identified scalability and preservation as key elements of the service that was needed.
Alpha testing of the user interfaces was started in late 2016 thanks to the contribution of discovery interface code developed by the University of British Columbia. Beta testing was started in April 2017 and the project is now in limited production mode with a small number of research groups.
The copy of submitted data that FRDR has is housed on Compute Canada managed infrastructure at the University of Victoria or at the University of Waterloo.
The metadata related to datasets is housed in a database at Victoria. Most of that metadata is shared with Globus, running on Amazon Web Services services in the USA to be indexed and made available for discovering datasets. Certain metadata fields are not shared with Globus.
The Federated Research Data Repository makes extensive use of tools operated by Globus. Globus is a non-profit project out of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Globus is a partner in the delivery of the FRDR service and provided the following statement:
The Globus service is hosted on infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services. The system components are encapsulated in Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and use security groups, which allow for the provisioning of logically isolated sections of the Amazon cloud. Globus Connect Server is installed on file systems owned and controlled by the institution or researcher, such as campus storage resources or personal computers, creating a Globus “endpoint.” Files managed by Globus are accessible only to authorized users, as defined by the permissions set by the endpoint administrator. The endpoint administrator can further control access by configuring Globus to explicitly deny or restrict access to specific parts of the filesystem. All communication with the Globus service is SSL protected and encrypted, and data transfer is optionally encrypted by the user. Research data never flow through Globus, but are transferred directly between the source and destination systems. Globus Auth provides identity and access management by brokering authentication and authorization between identity providers, resource services, and clients. Users authenticate via Globus Auth using their existing credentials from a trusted identity provider, e.g. their campus username and password. Because Globus Auth acts as an identity broker and uses federated login, institutional credentials are not sent to Globus.