Provisioning and sustaining research workspaces and repositories - progress on ReDBox 2
presentationposted on 15.05.2019 by Michael Lynch, Peter Sefton, Andrew White
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ReDBox 2 is an open source end-to-end integrated research data management platform, designed around a researcher-centric view of the world, providing useful services that allow researchers to create and link workspaces, helping to meet their compliance obligations to track data as well as making research more efficient, by making it easy to move data between workspaces, including ‘moving’ data by reference.
ReDBox was originally seed-funded by the Australian government in 2010 and is now selfsupporting through a subscription based support model offered by QCIF, an Australian eResearch organization. ReDBox 2 is highly customisable supporting the research data lifecycle though the following out of the box functionality:
● Data management planning, to allow researchers to plan for and track where data will be and then where it is, before and during a research project.
● Workspace provisioning. a Workspace is an abstraction which covers such diverse data management venues as an electronic lab notebook, a project in a git system such as gitlab, a project in a domain specific repository such as the Omero microscopy repository software, or a plain-old fileshare.
● Archival descriptions of data and the ability to write data to a range of long-term storage spaces, including a highly scalable static file-based repository system based on the emerging “Oxford Common File Layout” standard.
● Data publication integrated with data planning and archiving, with a metadata review workflow.
● A simple scalable repository for research data that can be hosted on a file-system, without the API bottlenecks inherent in most repository software.
The project was presented at eResearch NZ 2018 as a work in progress. In this presentation we will demonstrate the first full release of the application, in the form of the UTS Stash system, and show the integrated end-to-end data management across multiple workspace services and highlight how it has been received by both researchers and other stakeholders within the University.
NOTE: This presentation is related to another submitted by Peter Sefton on DataCrate packaging - they could be folded together if necessary/
ReDBox has been in existence for almost 9 years starting out as a simple data management repository and is the most widely used research data management platform in Australian Universities. UTS has moved through earlier versions of ReDBox to ReDBox 2. The presentation will include an overview of the process of upgrading the UTS Stash system and the obstacles which needed to be overcome in the migration of any system to a new and modern architecture.
ReDBox is built with modern technologies using an architecture of interconnecting components which can be swapped in and customised by an institutions based on their requirements. This allows the expansion of its workspace provisioning by allowing a software developer or administrator to create workspace provisioner plugins. The presentation will provide a brief overview of how this approach provides a flexible approach to the new generation of data repositories more suited to the business needs of the institution and minimising extraneous data entry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Mike Lynch is an eResearch Analyst in the eResearch Support Group at UTS. His work involves solution design, information architecture and software development supporting research data management. His other interests include data visualisation and functional programming languages.