Smart Research Framework (SRF) – Cloud-based Collaborative Notebook Systems

This project aims to deploy existing services developed by the University of Southampton (LabTrove, Blog3 and LabBroker) to a shared virtual infrastructure/cloud to provide tools for research data management.

Providing tools to facilitate data management in research projects is now essential if researchers are to meet the needs of both funders and the expectations of the wider public for transparency, responsibility, collaboration and maximising the return on the investment in research by enabling reliable re-use of research outputs. The LabTrove VM service has demonstrated these features in a range of projects from Chemistry, Physics and Engineering and is being investigated in environmental and medical contexts. While the service has been running for more than 3 years, it needs to be made more robust, and some features added, to encourage wider take-up. The Blog3 demo service has demonstrated that where a deeper semantic base is available in the researcher community a further level of integration is possible. This service needs to be brought from the demo to prototype and production level, integrating software and systems from other data management projects (I2S2, WebTracks and oreChem). In the laboratory context a key feature of LabTrove and Blog3 is the integration with experimental equipment and computational services, this is achieved using the LabBroker middleware service; this service will also be brought to a wider community. Operating via the Software as a Service model will allow us to bring these three robust services together and deliver them to the wider community as the “Smart Research Framework” whilst providing the underlying software as Open Source to facilitate further development.

Start date: 
05/2011
End date: 
03/2012