2023 was an eventful year

22 December 2023

In the dynamic landscape of research data, 2023 proved to be a year of remarkable developments for DANS. From the launch of Data Stations to participation in international projects, here’s an overview of the highlights.

Domain-specific repositories
The launch of the latest domain-specific DANS Data Stations marked an essential step towards providing a renewed, secure digital environment. Here, individual and group researchers from various scientific disciplines can store datasets, complete with extensive metadata, version control, and tools to auto-complete information. These Data Stations are now interconnected with various data portals, platforms, and specific websites, enhancing the findability and reusability of datasets.

All DANS Data Stations are now operational, offering comprehensive infrastructure for archiving and publishing research data across different disciplines. The backbone of these Data Stations is the Dataverse software, developed by Harvard University. A globally diverse community of over 100 repositories continually works to enhance this open-source software. Read more about its advantages here.

Phasing out EASY and NARCIS
With the launch of the DANS Data Stations, we discontinue the possibility for individual researchers to deposit datasets in EASY. Although EASY will remain online for a while for searching datasets, this system will be fully phased out by 2024. From then on, both depositing and finding data will only be possible via the DANS Data Stations. We also said goodbye to NARCIS, the national portal for research information that we have maintained and hosted for many years. These steps enable DANS to focus more on sustainably archiving and sharing research data, our mission. In addition, disseminating our expertise through training courses and participation in various national and European projects is still an important activity of our organisation.

International collaboration and Projects
Among other things, we participate in two NWO National Roadmap projects: LTER-LIFE and SSHOC-NL. And, we have made significant contributions to promoting the sharing of research data with the updates to the ARIADNE portal, ODISSEI portal, and the ELSST Thesaurus. Another highlight this year is our role as the coordinator of the FAIR-IMPACT project, contributing to the development of a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) for FAIR data and services. This involves supporting the implementation of FAIR practices, tools, and services at European, national, and institutional levels, resulting in workshops and various outputs.

Knowledge sharing and Training
Not only do we share our expertise in data policy making and infrastructure development, but we also provide hands-on training to researchers and data professionals. Successful events include the EOSC Future Train-the-Trainer course, the RDNL Essentials 4 Data Support course, and the workshop on GDPR issues related to research on infectious diseases in the BY-COVID project. And let’s not forget our participation in the online panel discussion ‘Do Unacceptable File Formats Exist?’, and contributions to the academic community with our handbook on storing qualitative data and the development of a practical guide on Open Science, specifically aimed at early-career researchers.

New partners
In 2023, we were also pleased to welcome three new institutions to the DataverseNL community: Amsterdam AMC, Erasmus MC and Hogeschool Utrecht. This brings the total number of participating institutions to twenty-two. This expansion strongly supports the effort to make data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable) within the Dutch academic community. Also new this year are the three Thematic Digital Competence Centres (TDCCs), a NWO initiative to facilitate investments that benefit FAIR and Open Science projects. The TDCC-SSH team is housed at DANS.

Reflecting with pride
All this illustrates DANS’s diverse and versatile participation in promoting Open Science and FAIR data, sharing knowledge, facilitating skills development, and encouraging discussions within and about the scientific data landscape. The past year is truly a period we can look back on with pride!

DANS wishes you a merry christmas and happy newyear

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