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The current phase of PSDI, Phase 2, which started in January 2024 continues to build upon the work carried out in The Pilot and Phase 1 of the project. The PSDI initiative is funded through EPSRC DRI funding (EP/X032701/1 and EP/X032663/1).

This phase of PSDI will start with the second half of the initial 30-month development (started in Phase 1). This will lead to the launch of version 1 of PSDI in March 2025. PSDI will then continue in a dual mode, maintaining the operational services of version 1 and continued development to provide further services.

Work Packages

This work is broken down into seven work packages, covering technical elements, content and social aspects of the project. The image below outlines the key aspects of each workpackage, with a more in-depth description given further down.

WP1. Gateway

This workpackage will be responsible for the front-end services available through PSDI. It will develop and operate the User Gateway through which users interact with PSDI, and the Administration Gateway through which the system is managed.

WP2. Platform

This workpackage will be responsible for delivering and operating the scalable and secure hardware and system software platform upon which the PSDI services will run. It will specify, procure and install the hardware; install and maintain the operating systems and cloud environment; maintain the data storage and database systems, including virtualisation, object storage, caching, ingest and access APIs, data movement and data backup.

WP3. Data Services

This workpackage will be responsible for services definition, development and extension. This includes services for Data Indexing and Search, Data Versioning, Data Sharing and Publication, Near-Storage Data Processing, scientific workflow systems connected to external data services and HPC, and auxiliary services such as ELN finder or data format conversion.

WP4. Content

PSDI will surface and connect data from three different types of source: external (open), internal and licensed data. This workpackage is concerned with developing the partnerships, systems and processes to promote the growth and connectivity of these different types of data collections.

WP5. Governance

The governance work package will ensure a cohesive project that meets the aims of the DRI programme, is responsive to the community, and adheres to the principles of public life in the use of public funds. The investigators, through the Management Board, will provide the executive role responsible for the PSDI functions, and an Advisory Board will provide national and international community perspectives for PSDI and, together with the Management Board, interact with the UKRI/EPSRC DRI overall programme.

WP6. Management

Effective management is critical in coordination of this complex endeavour to deliver a functional national data infrastructure. This workpackage focuses on oversight and coordination of day-to-day project operations, ensuring that task work proceeds in an efficient and timely manner to produce deliverables.

WP7. Community

In this and future phases, PSDI must grow from being an exemplar set of data resources, tools and services to become a fully-fledged ecosystem providing support across the physical sciences domain and integrate with DRI projects in other domains. This requires advocacy, engaging with existing communities and nurturing new communities, to define and promote the necessary coverage and utility.

Phase 2 Pathfinders

Pathfinders are a means to focus some development activity in key strategic areas and explored and established exemplar approaches and systems that can be folded into the PSDI infrastructure and act as a template or starting point to bring in further domains, data types, techniques and user communities in future phases.

The Phase 2 pathfinders build upon or combining the ones from Phase 1, as well as adding new ones. Phase 2 currently has 6 pathfinders,

  • PF1: Experimental Data Capture
  • PF2: Process Recording and Data Collections
  • PF4: Data Infrastructure and Tooling for Biomolecular Simulation
  • PF5: Data to Knowledge
  • PF6: Collaborative Computational Project for NMR Crystallography
  • PF7: Reproducible Computational Workflows

More information about these pathfinders can be found on the Phase 2 Pathfinders Page.