Case studies

The RECODE project will make use of 5 case studies to support its research activities and recommendations. These case studies cover five different fields:

  1. Physics
  2. Health
  3. Bioengineering
  4. Earth sciences
  5. Archaeology




Field: Physics

Case: Particle Physics and Particle Astrophysics (PPPA) Group (University of Sheffield)

The PPPA’s experimental work falls into five main categories: experimental high energy physics, neutrino physics including neutrino factory R&D, the search for dark matter, neutrino astrophysics, and applied particle physics, primarily for security applications.

Members of the PPPA group are members of ATLAS, which is the world’s largest physics experiment and operates at the 27km Large Hadron Collider located at CERN in Geneva. The ATLAS Collaboration comprises over 2500 members from 169 universities in 37 countries. The Sheffield ATLAS group has been active in all aspects of the experiment, from its design and construction through to the analysis of the final data. An increasingly important aspect the group’s work is the development of software for processing and understanding the data produced by ATLAS. The Sheffield group are heavily involved in the development of software for reconstructing the properties of particles produced in ATLAS, and is also very active in the analysis of ATLAS physics data. Analysis of the vast quantities of data produced each year by ATLAS cannot be accomplished with a single desktop computer, or even with a single large supercomputer. Instead thousands of machines around the world must be utilised, connected via the internet to form a ‘virtual’ computer called the Grid. The Sheffield machine is now one of the most effective sites delivering data-processing to ATLAS.

Case Study Focus: Storage and processing Big Data

This case study will provide the RECODE consortium with information on the issues involved in collecting, disseminating, storing and processing large quantities of numerical data from experiments which may have tens or even hundreds of academic partners. Data management and preservation issues will require an in-depth understanding before ODA is implemented throughout the various disciplines.


Field: Health

Case: FP7 Project EVA (Markers for emphysema versus airway disease in COPD)

The EVA project brings together clinical medicine, radiology and image analysis and genetics including gene expression analysis, laboratory diagnostics and bioinformatics. The consortium consists of 13 partners, including ten clinical partners, who provide cases and samples and two partners, to analyse the samples. COPD patients and healthy volunteers who take part in the project are given a complete health check, including lung function tests. In order to determine the type of COPD a computed tomography (CT) examination will be carried out on patients. A bronchoscopy will be conducted on both patients and healthy volunteers in order to obtain a brush sample and to rinse a part of the lung with fluid. A blood sample will also be taken.

Case study focus:  Ethics and data Security in OA

This case study will supply RECODE with information on issues regarding ethics and data security, which may arise when access to sensitive research data is opened up.  In particular, this applies to personal information accompanying clinical and social science data, where researchers have a duty to protect respondents/patients anonymity and confidentiality.


Field: Bioengineering

Case: Bioengineering Institute, Auckland NZ, and Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) Community

Over the past decade, clinical medicine and biomedical science have been transformed by the emergence of revolutionary new technologies. Developments in imaging enable us to develop a characterisation of structure and function in cells, tissues organs and the living body in exquisite detail. For this information to be integrated, comprehensive models of human biology based on quantitative descriptions of anatomic structure and biophysical processes which reach down to the genetic level, need to be developed. The Auckland Bioengineering Institute plays a leading role in this initiative and also in the novel exploitation of imaging technologies.  The VPH Network of Excellence is a project which aims to help support and progress European research in biomedical modelling and simulation of the human body. This will improve the ability to predict, diagnose and treat disease, and have a dramatic impact on the future of healthcare, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Case study focus: Sharing complex data and models. Issues of repeatability

This case study will enable RECODE to identify information relating to how sharing and opening up access to complex data, derived from models is best carried out.  It is important to understand that without the models that yield the data, there may be issues with repeatability of research. This may give rise to a number of issues, which need to be explored in detail.


Field: Earth Sciences

Case: Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)

GEOSS is a global and flexible network of content providers, allowing a wide variety of users to access an extraordinary range of information at their desk, including decision-support tools for decision makers. GEOSS enables users to access and analyse health-related data, manage water resources, predict weather and conserve biodiversity, among a host of other applications.

This ‘system of systems’ will proactively link together existing and planned observing systems around the world and support the development of new systems where gaps currently exist. It will promote common technical standards so that data from the thousands of different instruments, for example precipitation and land-use information sources from a number of countries or regions, can be combined into coherent data sets.

Case study focus: Interoperability in OA

This case study will provide RECODE with information regarding the importance of technical and multidisciplinary interoperability in ODA and what the challenges are in sharing, and providing open access to research data from a variety of sources, and in a variety of formats.


Field: Archaeology

Case: Open Context

Open Context (OC) is a free, open access resource for the electronic publication of diverse types of research datasets from archaeology and related disciplines. OC specialises in the review, documentation, and publication of research data contributed by scholars. OC is a free and open access service and all members of the public are welcome to use and reuse this content. All contributions to OC are monitored by a professional editorial staff to make sure contributions only stem from professional field research programs. The main focus of Open Context is to deliver primary data in cultural heritage related fields. However, it demonstrates some applications in other disciplines, including the geological sciences and public health.  OC offers services, such as editorial review, interoperable and distributed systems, data preparation, archiving and preservation. It furthermore offers version control and collaboration tools.

Case study focus: Deposition, accessibility and preservation of data in OA

This case study will provide RECODE with useful information regarding attitudes, practices and policies within the ecosystem of archaeology, as well as significant information regarding the technical approaches adopted for the deposition of, accessibility to and preservation of the data it contains.