What is RD-Switchboard?

Research Data Switchboard (RD-Switchboard) allows cross platform discovery by connecting data sets from multiple registries. It is an open, collaborative project administered by Research Data Alliance's (RD-A) DDRI WorkGroup. The way RD-Switchboard operates is analogous to the discovery functions featured on online bookstores such as Amazon. These sites link items based on similar publishers, authors and related topics. In the case of RD-Switchboard, items are linked through co-authorship, joint funding, and research grants. The system aggregates these links from national and international registries utilising graph modeling technology to identify missing links between data sets.

DDRI Working Group

The Data Description Registry Interoperability (DDRI) Working Group of Research Data Alliance was formed to address the problem of discovery of research data across research infrastructures. The group has participants from the following organisations.

The group recommendation was published in Jan 2016, providing a method for connecting data sets using multi degrees of separation via publications and grants. You can find the recommendation at http://dx.doi.org/10.15497/RDA00003, with the following direct link for b2share: https://b2share.eudat.eu/record/392, and Citation information in XML: https://b2share.eudat.eu/record/392/export/xd?ln=en

How can RD-Switchboard help?

RD-Switchboard captures the footprint of the research life cycle, so that peer researchers can trace and follow a path to understand the research work. The outcome enables researchers and data providers to query related data sets to avoid duplicating efforts in creating research data, as well as stimulating novel ideas when joining the dots. The dataset can be used for further network analysis of research collaboration, enabling discovery of related research data where there is a chain of collaboration between authors, curators and data custodians.

Australian universities can potentially benefit from this project through the ability to:

  • Discover Australian datasets and related publications in international repositories including CERN, Dryad, da-ra and figshare. The list of international collaborators will be extended as the project community grows.
  • Animating the connections between research datasets, researchers and their research (grants and publications).

How does it work?

RD-Switchboard is based on a three-layer architecture that enables scalable harvesting, extendable graph creation and customisable machine readable interface. At the current stage the multiple harvesters are implemented and hosted on Amazon cloud to read information from Dryad, Research Data Australia (hosted by ANDS), INSPIREHEP (hosted by CERN), Dryad, ORCID and figshare. 

The graph creation layer uses ORCID, Scopus, DataCite and CrossRef online services to link the identifiers and complete the gaps. In addition, Google API has been implemented to explore the scholarly webpages for related information and missing links.

Data Provider Layer: This layer enables data providers to import metadata records into the platform using OAI-PMH protocol. RD-Switchboard Inference Components: This layer aggregates information, and uses Google API and other services to identify missing connections. Data Access Layer: This layer enables e-Infrastructure providers and research institutions  to find connections across data registries.

Data Provider Layer: This layer enables data providers to import metadata records into the platform using OAI-PMH protocol.

RD-Switchboard Inference Components: This layer aggregates information, and uses Google API and other services to identify missing connections.

Data Access Layer: This layer enables e-Infrastructure providers and research institutions  to find connections across data registries.

How to get involved?

You can get involved by contributing to the open source code at http://github.com/rd-switchboard, learn about the graph model schema at http://researchgraph.org/schema, joining the DDRI group: https://rd-alliance.org/groups/data-description-registry-interoperability.html, you can contact Amir Aryani (amir.aryani@ands.org.au)