BRIL - Capturing Experiments in the Wild


  • Mark Hedges
  • Shrija Rajbhandari
  • Stella Fabiane



OR2010, Research Data, Library and information sciences, DDC: 020


This presentation describes a project to embed a repository system (based on Fedora) within the complex, experimental processes of a number of researchers in biophysics and structural biology. The project is capturing not just individual datasets but entire experimental workflows as complex objects, incorporating provenance information based on the Open Provenance Model, to support reproduction and validation of published results. The repository is integrated within these experimental processes, so that data capture is as far as possible automatic and invisible to the researcher. A particular challenge is that the researchers’ work takes place in local environments within the department, entirely decoupled from the repository. In meeting this challenge, the project is bridging the gap between the “wild”, ad hoc and independent environment of the researchers desktop, and the curated, sustainable, institutional environment of the repository, and in the process project crosses the boundary between several of the pairs of polar opposites identified in the call.