An integrated national infrastructure NMDC addressing interoperability, data documentation, archiving, providing data access has been established. The infrastructure simplifies the technical obstacles scientists encounter when finding and using data from various sources. In addition, the infrastructure provides a cost-effective interface for data providers. NMDC is ensuring proper stewardship for data, both in the short and long term, uncovering the potential hidden in historical data sets by documenting and storing them in a long-term archive. The project has undertaken efforts in data archaeology to mobilize data that was previously unavailable before the establishment of the research infrastructure.
Establishing NMDC has shown the importance of standardization of data collection processes, data storage/exchange formats e.g. The marine data at each partner institution is managed differently. The NMDC infrastructure helps making data available and ensures that data undergo a standardization process including a metadata enriching process. The 16 partners have successfully worked together in making this possible and all partners have made their data go through a standardization process before being released in the infrastructure. The work has identified a long list of possible data that could be made available using the infrastructure.
Marine research is by nature multi-disciplinary, combining physical, geological, chemical and biological knowledge and data. Norway has jurisdiction over vast ocean areas and marine industries like offshore oil and gas, shipping, fisheries, and aquaculture are both economically and culturally important.
At present Norway lacks an integrated system for exchange of marine data between institutions, hampering efficiency and impeding the development of marine sciences. This proposal presents a novel marine research infrastructure: The Norwegian Marine Data Centre (NMDC), which will act as the coordination unit for marine data in Norwegian waters. The NMDC will provide seamless access to historical and contemporary marine data, greatly increasing efficiency of marine science in Norway facilitating generation of high quality research.
Successful accessibility to all marine data in Norway can only be accomplished through close cooperation between data originators. The research infrastructure covers interoperability, data documentation, archiving and both data provider and user issues. It is a national initiative building on 15 Norwegian institutions in a concerted effort to make marine data available for national and international research use. The partners represent the universities, university colleges, research institutions and other relevant sectors. As the major national marine data infrastructure, NMDCs European role is envisaged as a component of and contribution to European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The OECD's principles for free and unrestricted access to research data will act as an underlying principle for data access.