This project will begin to establish a global and sustainable federation of data repositories for crystallography integrated into the community research data lifecycle: the eCrystals Federation, and builds on and is informed by three previous phases of work from the eBank Project (

eCrystals Federation

Repositories Enhancement Project

The eCrystals Federation will make a major contribution to the development of a repository-based e-infrastructure for research data by establishing a solid foundation of crystallography data repositories across an international group of partner sites, with metadata harvested by a number of aggregrator services. The issues of interoperability, repository deployment and preservation in a federation of data repositories are to be addressed through the testbed that this project will develop.  

Aims and objectives 

Partners will work together to: harmonise the metadata application profiles from repositories operating on different platforms (EPrints, DSpace, Fedora & ReciprocalNet); investigate aggregation issues arising from harvesting metadata from repositories within the networked information environments in other countries (EU, USA & Australia); enable the Federation of institutional archives to interoperate with international subject archives (IUCr and CCDC) and other third party harvesters; address areas of data curation, preservation and provenance by application to an operational Federation and through the provision of a testbed for the DRAMBORA Toolkit; provide a co-ordinated advocacy and training approach to repository deployment.

Project methodology

The project operations will be directed by Dr Simon Coles (NCS), assisted by Dr Liz Lyon (UKOLN), which will include engaging partners. An RA (Southampton) will be responsible for coordinating technical programming, including the implementation of new OREprotocols. Installation, training and advocacy at partner sites will be addressed by a member of NCS staff (Richard Stephenson, 50%). An RA (UKOLN) will be working on application profiles, terminology issues and service registries, whilst an RA (DCC, Manjula Patel, 50%) will be investigating preservation and curation issues. The Unilever Centre will develop DSpace repository software compliant with the federation application profile.   

Anticipated outputs and outcomes

The project will create an operational Federation of data repositories in the crystallography domain, which will test the effectiveness of the Federation Data Deposit Model, provide recommendations on preservation good practice for institutional data repositories and assess the socio-political and technical interactions between subject and institutional repositories and sustainable models for partnership. Broad outcomes arising from this are: a raised awareness and understanding amongst the research community and repository managers and enhanced understanding of the critical relationships and interactions between IRs, subject repositories, learned societies and data centres.

Technology / Standards used

OAIS Reference Model, OAI-PMH, DublinCore, OAI-ORE, DRAMBORA, PREMIS, DOI, InChI, IUPAC Nomenclature, PERL, XML.

Lead Institution

University of Southampton

Project partners

The project is led by the Universityof Southampton, with core partners at UKOLN (University of Bath), the Digital Curation Centre and the Unilever Centre (University of Cambridge).

Supporting partners:

Project Staff

Project Manager
  • Dr. Simon Coles, School of Chemistry, Universityof Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Tel: 02380596722, Fax: 02380596723
Project Team
  • School of Chemistry, Universityof Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ; UKOLN, University of Bath
  • DCC, Universityof Edinburgh
  • Unilever Centre, University of Cambridge. 

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