Title: Towards a Digital Infrastructure for Engineering Materials Data
Authors: AUSTIN TIMOTHY
Citation: Materials Discovery vol. 3 p. 1 - 12
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC99591
ISSN: 2352-9245
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC99591
DOI: 10.1016/j.md.2015.12.003
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The industrial and research sectors make significant investments in developing and producing engineering materials. These materials are manufactured and qualified in accordance with a body of testing and product standards that have evolved over many decades to meet ever more demanding requirements. Yet the very significant volume of data that result from these activities remains largely unavailable. While efforts to establish a digital infrastructure for engineering materials data can be traced back more than three decades, widespread adoption of machine-readable formats to enable the routine transfer of engineering materials data has yet to be realized. Given the reliance on electronic systems in all aspects of engineering materials development, manufacture, and qualification, it is an anomaly that simply preserving and transferring engineering materials data remains an issue. This anomaly is accentuated by the fact that in recent years other business domains have benefited from the integration of web technologies into established business models. To address these shortcomings a digital infrastructure is needed that allows and encourages the seamless transfer of engineering materials data between different systems. It is in this context that renewed efforts to develop standard formats for engineering materials data are taking place in the frame of CEN Workshops. While building on prior activities at ASTM and ISO, this work leverages existing product and testing standards with a view to engaging the engineering materials community. With preliminary technical specifications having already been demonstrated to streamline the data transfer process, attention is turning to the long-standing challenge of promoting a culture of data sharing. Whereas previously the motivations for researchers and industrial organizations to share data were lacking, the initial impacts of the DataCite framework for data citation on the utilization of the European Commission materials database hosted at http://odin.jrc.eu.europa.eu are suggestive of a sea-change in data sharing and reuse. This paper describes the status of the work to develop data formats for engineering materials in the frame of CEN Workshops and reports on the added value of data citation beyond simply ensuring that data creators are properly accredited for their work. The outcome of work to enable the European Commission materials database to support standards compliant data formats and data citation has been that barriers to systems integration have been considerably reduced and, irrespective of the level of confidentiality, organizations in both the industrial and research sectors now routinely enable their data sets for citation. Together with recent innovations in digital publishing, a renewed interest in the development of standards for engineering materials data offers new prospects for discovery, exchange, and reuse of engineering materials data. Taken along with other data centric initiatives, such as physics-based and multi-scale modelling, open data, and linked data, it can reasonably be argued that standard data formats and data publishing herald a transition towards a digital infrastructure for engineering materials data.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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