Workshop on “Global Scientific Data Infrastructures: The Findability Challenge”
by Costantino Thanos
It is well-known that the scientific world is creating an unimaginably vast amount of rapidly increasing digital data. Among the members of the academic research community, there is growing consensus that e-science practices should be congruent with open-science and that scientific data should be freely accessible. However, in a networked open-science world, a big challenge faced by researchers is findability. Findability means the ease with which data/information/knowledge and tools/services for specific purposes can be discovered, and takes into account relevant aspects of the attributes, context and provenance of the data, the functionality and deployability of the tools and services, and profiles and goals of the searcher, etc. On the contrary, the current Internet search paradigm is characterized by a lack of context, with search being conducted independently of data provenance, professional profiles, and work goals. Enabling findability is thus of paramount importance for the next generation of global research data infrastructures.