Recording and analyzing research data usually requires a high level of expertise and resources from scientists. Once processed, data are typically stored on institutional servers or websites where they are difficult or impossible to find for other scientists. In recent years, however, there has been an increased drive to make research data publicly available. Open access to research data will benefit scientific progress by promoting re-use and secondary analysis of existing data sets. It will furthermore provide important performance indicators for publicly funded research projects.
In close collaboration with partners from academia and industry, ETH Scientific IT Services is developing a publication platform for open research data in Switzerland (ORD@CH), based on the open-source data publication system CKAN. The ORD@CH platform will provide a meta-data catalog for the publication of research data from life sciences, social sciences as well as humanities, other domains may follow later. This work is done as project of the CRUS program P-2; Scientific information: access, processing and management (Web Site). In the framework of this national project, SIS has already developed tools for the rapid publication of data maintained in openBIS, our in-house data management solution. Once data have been published with openBIS, meta-data can be easily extracted and added to the ORD@CH catalog. The ORD@CH platform is hosted by SIS and will be operational as a pilot project in spring 2015. From 2016 onwards, the platform is planned to be continued as a permanent infrastructure for sharing open research data in Switzerland.