Visualisierung von verschiedenen Messsystemen in der Meeresforschung

Data management and digitalisation

Strategy for marine research

A wide range of different data is collected every day in marine research – from information on water temperature and current velocities to species population counts and indicators on the use and pollution of coasts and seas. As data collection is time-consuming and cost-intensive, the DAM wants to contribute to the long-term and sustainable preservation and utilization of this research data for science and society as part of its activities.

Research vessel SONNE at sea
Research Vessel SONNE | ©MARUM

The research fleet

The German marine research community has a modern and efficient fleet of research vessels for a wide range of tasks and applications. Remote-controlled underwater vehicles, mobile seabed drilling equipment and systems anchored to the seabed for long-term data collection are also deployed from research vessels.

Coordinated data management for marine research

Together with its member institutions, the DAM is developing an integrated, reliable and sustainable data management concept for the research landscape and is coordinating open and standardized access according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This is to take place in close coordination with and in addition to the planned National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). In a network and close dialogue with the non-university research institutions and universities, taking into account the mission of the Helmholtz Association, the DAM develops standards that facilitate access to and use of decentralized data sets. The aim is to integrate and consolidate existing repositories and shared services and to strengthen links to national, European and international platforms.

Activities in the core area of data management and digitization include in particular

Marine Data Poprtal

The DAM is improving the capacity for systematic data collection and data evaluation for shipping expeditions and observatories, and developing suitable guidelines for the research environment. To this end, the marine research institutions of the Helmholtz Association are developing and implementing the data portal, as well as strategies for improving the capacities for data acquisition, evaluation and management.

Project “Underway” Research Data

With its pilot project Underway Research Data, DAM has begun the task of bringing together the data management activities of its member institutions with regard to underway data. The aim of the pilot project is to exploit the full potential of German research vessels as mobile measuring platforms. Permanently installed sensors are continuously collecting valuable data, which has not until now been systematically checked for quality and sustainably made available.

Workflows will now be developed and established in the community to ensure that quality-controlled underway data is shared in line with FAIR principles. At the same time, the German Marine Research Portal will be expanded to simplify access to and the visualisation of marine research data. The DAM office will coordinate the networking and harmonisation together with the middle management of the member institutions.

Visualization of different measurement systems in marine research
A variety of different measuring systems are used in marine research and the data obtained from them is combined. | Picture: HZG_COSYNA/Glynn Gorick

Those activities of the Helmholtz Association in this field that are relevant to the DAM are also being taken into account. The HGF is already putting in place measures for a common data and information infrastructure for earth system science. For this purpose, the historically separate data repositories of marine, terrestrial and atmospheric research, including the interdisciplinary fields of climate and biodiversity research, are being merged to create an open, interconnected information infrastructure.

Data repositories maintained by the marine research institutions AWI / GEOMAR / HZG are being merged to form a “MARE Hub”. The DAM and the above-mentioned HGF institutions can mutually benefit from these developments: the data and information infrastructure MARE Hub will be available to the DAM while the DAM will provide complementary services for the entire marine research community.

Proposal “Underway” Research Data

The first application for the pilot project “Underway”-research data was approved in June 2019. The pilot project ran until the end of 2020. The continuation of the project was approved for an additional two years (2021-2022) in November 2020. The approved second phase of the project has been running since 01.01.2023 and will end on 31.12.2025.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Gauvain Wiemer
Head of the core areas “Data Management and Digitization” and “Infrastructures”

Proposal Underway Research Data2019-2020 (in German): pdf
Proposal Underway Research Data 2021-2022 (in German): pdf
Proposal Underway Research Data 2023-2025 (in German): pdf

National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)

The DAM is involved in the development process of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI): In the National Research Data Infrastructure for Earth System Research (NFDI4Earth), the DAM is anchored as an important building block. In the NFDI4Earth, the DAM is a showcase for heterogeneous and interdisciplinary data. Through its participation in the NFDI4Earth Academy, the DAM supports young scientists at the interface between Earth system science and data science.

The “Underway” research data project, the consideration of HGF activities and the integration into the NFDI lay the foundations for the tasks that the core area is to fulfill according to the administrative agreement and statutes.

Further documents of the core area

DAM Research Data Guideline as of 05/2021 (in German): pdf
Paper on the conceptual design of a data infrastructure for the marine research landscape as of 05/2021 (in German): pdf
Concept paper “Data management and digitalization” as of 09/2022 (in German): PDF


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Our Sponsors

The federal government and the governments of the five northern German states support the current development and sponsor the DAM.