Research Data Management in Engineering - Data Provenance and Research Software in Engineering

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22 Jul 2020
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

The meeting objectives of the session is to promote current RDM topics like data provenance and research software from the perspective of the engineering community. The topics will be briefly introduced and discussed in breakout rooms to attract further interested parties. If possible, groups should be formed at the end of the session to further advance the respective topic.

Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative Notes Link:


Preliminary agenda:

  • Activities and status so far (15 min):

    • Online seminar series Metadata/Data Annotation 

    • DMP for engineering disciplines 

    • PIDs for Instruments within engineering 

  • Presentation on “Provenance on engineering data” (Gretchen Greene (NIST), 10 min)

The RDA has long been a proponent of the value in capturing provenance for research data. Why is this important for Engineering? Engineering thrives most often when there is a system level approach for conducting research with interconnected processes and data sources of varying nature. In this discussion we share key concepts, known/existing provenance models, and explore ideas where provenance information can support what’s missing in navigating the data space in engineering research (and yes this includes software!) 

  • Presentation on “Research software for engineers” (Sibylle Hermann (University of Stuttgart), Santosh Ilamparuthi (TU Delft), 20 min)

Research results in engineering are often software or are based on software. However, most engineers are not trained in software development. Software engineering principles can not be fully adopted for research software, because software development is not the actual goal itself, it is the means to an end.

In engineering sciences in particular, obstacles for sharing code are that code is developed within industrial cooperation with confidentiality agreements in place and the widespread use of commercial software such as Matlab.

The following questions are intended to be addressed:

- Which software development skills are needed by engineers?

- How can research software be better documented and shared in the engineering context?

- What basic conditions do we need to achieve FAIR research software in engineering?


  • Group work like a world cafe (30 min. total)

    • breakout room on the topics “engineering data provenance” and “research software in engineering”

    • after half the time the participants swap breakout rooms so that everyone has the opportunity to discuss both topics

  • 3-minute-pitches from the breakout rooms (6 min. total)

  • Closure, discussion on next steps (10 min.)

Target Audience: 

This meeting is open to all participants and encourages in particular practitioners, researchers and other experts as well as community representatives in engineering disciplines. Particularly, but not exclusively, the meeting welcomes members from the following backgrounds:

  • Scientists involved in engineering science

  • Industrial representatives from major and minor companies representing engineering science and the industry sector

  • Practitioners of software engineering for the industry sector

  • Policy-makers for non-disclosure agreements & legal experts

  • HPC and distributed computing experts

  • RDM support staff working closely with researchers in engineering science

  • Representatives from European and International engineering associations

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The “Research Data Management in Engineering” Interest Group (IG RDM4Eng) seeks to bring together scientific and industrial stakeholders from all relevant sectors. The IG RDMinEng will provide its scientific and industrial members with the opportunity to discuss and improve the legal and technological challenges to the adoption of FAIR data and software management in Engineering, to share knowledge, opinions and experiences, and form or participate in existing Working Groups to address these challenges.

At P12 in Gaborone, Botswana, a first session has been organized to foster the discussion about data sharing and research data management challenges in engineering. With more than 40 persons the meeting room was crowded demonstrating a huge interest in this topic. Since P13 the IG is successfully organising a session each plenary. At P14 the idea of setting up focus groups on “Engineering-specific DMP”, “Metadata for Engineering”, “Data Annotation” and “Engineering and Open Science” was formed. The Joint Session at P15 with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Data IG let the IG moving forward on the topic metadata and annotation. At the moment the IG is running an online seminar series on “Metadata for Engineering” and “Data Annotation” from July to October 2020.
The focus group on Engineering-specific DMP was integrated into a future WG on “Discipline-specific Guidance for DMP” (under preparation).

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Paula Martinez-Lavanchy, Daniela Hausen, Nikola Vasiljevic, Gretchen Greene, Sibylle Hermann, TBA