Data management and digitalisation

Strategy for marine research

The DAM’s task is to develop an integrated, reliable and sustainable data management concept for the research environment, together with the member institutions, and to coordinate the open and uniform access to it in line with FAIR principles. This is to be done in close coordination with, and in addition to, the planned National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).

Working within a network of non-university research institutions and universities and maintaining a close dialogue with them, while also taking into account the mission of the Helmholtz Association, the DAM is developing standards that facilitate access to and use of decentralised data sets. The aim is to integrate but also to consolidate existing repositories and joint services and to strengthen links with national, European and international platforms.

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 a data portal, as well as strategies for improving the capacities for data acquisition, evaluation and management.

Research Vessel SONNE | Picture: MARUM, University of Bremen
The Research Fleet

German marine research has a modern and efficient fleet of research vessels which are used for a variety of tasks and applications. Remote-controlled underwater vehicles, mobile seabed drilling rigs and systems anchored to the seafloor for long-term data acquisition are also deployed from research vessels.

Pilot 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 (AWI / CAU / CEN / GEOMAR / HZG / ICBM / IOW / MARUM) 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.

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.

National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)

Furthermore, the DAM is participating in the development of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). The DAM is an important component of the proposal for a National Research Data Infrastructure for Earth System Science (NFDI4Earth), which was submitted by the TU Dresden as the applying institution and Prof. Lars Bernard as the spokesperson of NFDI4Earth. Within NFDI4Earth, the DAM represents a case study in heterogeneous and interdisciplinary data. If approved, the DAM will also contribute to networking within earth system research.

The pilot project, taking into account HGF activities and the integration with the NFDI will lay the foundations for the tasks which the core area is expected to fulfil under the administrative agreement and the statutes.

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The federal government and the regional governments of the five Northern German federal states are supporting and funding the current establishment of the DAM. In addition, the DAM is supported by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

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