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Follow-up Report on the First CoRDI – Conference on Research Data Infrastructure

September 21st, 2023 | by
Coscine lecture at the CorDI with Katja Jansen

Source: Own illustration

For the first time, the “Conference on Research Data Infrastructure” took place in Karlsruhe from 12 to 14 September 2023. The conference was organised by the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) Association in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and brought together national and international experts from various research fields and research data management infrastructures under the motto “Connecting Communities”. With numerous scientific talks, discussions, guest lectures, poster presentations and networking opportunities, the event focused on the comprehensive use of research data. Find out how Coscine integrated into the conference in this blog post.



The conference spanned three days and highlighted various aspects of research data management (RDM) and the collaborative development of an efficient research data infrastructure for Germany and beyond. The goal was to raise awareness of the need to use research data more widely to expand knowledge, drive innovation, and maximize the resulting societal benefits. In addition, the conference served for personal exchange among each other and thus offered best opportunities for networking.


Coscine – Star of the Conference

On September 13, Coscine was presented in the morning program. With about 200 participants, our colleague Katja Jansen answered all questions and suggestions. Contents of the presentation included general information about Coscine and, the timeline of important milestones and achievements, the implementation of new requirements as well as an outlook into the future of Coscine and


Achievements and Milestones

The development of Coscine as an open source platform started in 2018, and then in 2020 the pilot phase officially started at RWTH Aachen University, accompanied by continuous improvements in terms of usability and the user interface design. Two years later, a new user interface was introduced and the onboarding process for users from selected universities and universities of applied sciences began.  In addition, the Jards platform was implemented for the review processes of storage requests, as well as an application profile generator (AIMS). As of April 2023, Coscine is in regular operation and Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) are assigned not only for resources but also for projects. Starting in 2024, new features are planned, including improvements based on community feedback. and will also be introduced to further expand the platform at the state level. is a project offered to all universities and colleges in the network. This includes 42 universities and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This project is based on an open source GitLab repository that serves as a common platform for collaboration and development of this software.

A central element of will be the ability to create issues. This will allow users to document problems, requirements or ideas and discuss them in a structured framework. This will facilitate communication and collaboration between the different universities and colleges of the network. These issues should be able to be used for a variety of purposes, from bug tracking to planning new features and improvements.

Another important concept in is the use of Epics to organize and track large-scale requirements. Epics are collections of issues that represent a common goal or larger initiative. This will allow universities and colleges to better structure complex projects and track progress at a higher level.


In the future, the use of will offer the members of the network the opportunity to contribute their requirements and ideas in an open and transparent framework. By sharing a GitLab project, they can pool resources and know-how to continuously improve the software and meet the needs of educational institutions.


Coscine Outlook

Coscine is under continuous development to provide researchers with the best possible research data management. We are currently working on several features that will contribute to the optimization of the platform. For example, a new version of the API is expected to be released in late September / early October 2023. This update will further enhance the functionality of the platform. In addition, efforts will be made to integrate all universities and universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia into the Coscine network. Contracts and technical requirements are important to ensure a seamless integration. At the same time, the focus is on continuous improvement of the platform by the community, using the SAFe process (Scaled Agile Framework) and GitLab as collaboration tools.

The planned rollout of will enable all universities and universities of applied sciences in North Rhine-Westphalia to use it. This extension is expected to be available from the end of 2024. Since July 2023, a dedicated Jards instance has been available, which can be used to perform independent evaluations of storage applications in the future. In addition, Coscine will provide the ability to use cloud storage and Sciebo to efficiently store research data. The use of electronic laboratory notebooks such as eLabFTW will enable electronic documentation of laboratory work and experiments in the future. Another perspective is to foster exchange and collaboration with other universities and data stewards. In this way, feedback can be collected and solutions to problems that arise can be found jointly.



The “Conference on Research Data Infrastructure” in Karlsruhe marked a significant step in the advancement of research data infrastructure in Germany. We appreciate the opportunity to present Coscine and to have had valuable conversations with a variety of stakeholders. Their valuable feedback will accompany us on our journey home and will be incorporated into our work.


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Responsible for the content of this article is Arlinda Ujkani.

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