The amount of data produced in the practice of science is growing rapidly. Despite the accumulation and demand for scientific data, relatively little is actually made available for the broader scientific community. We surmise that the root of the problem is the perceived difficulty to electronically publish scientific data and associated metadata in a way that makes it discoverable.
We propose to exploit Semantic Web technologies and practices to make (meta)data discoverable and easy to publish. We share our experiences in curating metadata to illustrate both the flexibility of our approach and the pain of discovering data in the current research environment. With little additional effort from data publishers, the difficulty of data discovery can be greatly reduced and the impact of research data greatly enhanced.
The Semantic Web is developed by following established Linked Data principles and recommended standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and the Web Ontology Language (OWL). RDF solves the structural integration problem, RDF Schema (RDFS) and OWL help solve the semantic integration problem, and Linked Data facilitates resource discovery.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute