Please Note: further content e.g. recordings, slides etc. will be added after the townhall has concluded

Interoperability is a huge issue in the physical sciences. There are so many different scientific data formats, and both people and software use a wide array of different types of formats. Research workflows often require data in different formats throughout the project lifecycle and the conversions can be complex or time-consuming steps. Ultimately we are not going to persuade such a large diverse community to make all of their data available in the same format, nor are we going to convince the software manufacturers to do this, but, what we can do, is to create a service that will enable users to easily convert between these different data formats, in a bid to tackle this issue head on.
This work explores the use of file formats in scientific research, in particular how we can provide a “one-stop shop” for documentation and conversion of file formats which integrates a range of conversion capabilities seamlessly into one service. This particularly focuses on making an useable accessible service which incorporates:

  • Database of format conversions
  • Lookup and conversion tool via a simple web interface
  • (In future) Comprehensive documentation about different file formats

This demonstrator currently has a beta service running which can used to explore the conversion functionality. The team are looking for feedback and community input into this development, in particularly with suggestions for new formats and conversions that may not yet have been integrated into the tool.

The Team members at the June Townhall

Ray Whorley

Samantha Pearman-Kanza