Metadata and Semantics Research Conference, Manchester, UK 2015
Research Objects: why, what and how,
In practice the exchange, reuse and reproduction of scientific experiments is hard, dependent on bundling and exchanging the experimental methods, computational codes, data, algorithms, workflows and so on along with the narrative. These "Research Objects" are not fixed, just as research is not “finished”: codes fork, data is updated, algorithms are revised, workflows break, service updates are released. Neither should they be viewed just as second-class artifacts tethered to publications, but the focus of research outcomes in their own right: articles clustered around datasets, methods with citation profiles. Many funders and publishers have come to acknowledge this, moving to data sharing policies and provisioning e-infrastructure platforms. Many researchers recognise the importance of working with Research Objects. The term has become widespread. However. What is a Research Object? How do you mint one, exchange one, build a platform to support one, curate one? How do we introduce them in a lightweight way that platform developers can migrate to? What is the practical impact of a Research Object Commons on training, stewardship, scholarship, sharing? How do we address the scholarly and technological debt of making and maintaining Research Objects? Are there any examples
I’ll present our practical experiences of the why, what and how of Research Objects.