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The University of Southampton

Southampton to support UK Higher Education cloud-based services

Published: 29 June 2011

Two University of Southampton chemists have received a £1 million grant to develop a generic e-lab notebook for recording and sharing academic data nationally.

Jeremy Frey and Simon Coles are leading the project to advance the data management tool as part of a new programme to support the infrastructure of UK universities and colleges.

Southampton is one of a number of universities involved in the HEFCE-funded UMF Shared Services and the Cloud Programme, which is managed by the JISC to deliver cloud-based services for UK education and research. The £12.5 million programme is part of a suite of activities under the University Modernisation Fund (UMF), a HEFCE fund that aims to help universities and colleges deliver better efficiency and value for money through the development of shared services.

Jeremy says: “Our research efforts in e-science started nearly a decade ago with the CombeChem project, which uses the semantic web and grid computing to measure, store and re-use information on thousands of chemical compounds. Now we have the opportunity to take our research into useful tools and services for the wider community.”

Simon adds: “Providing tools to facilitate data management in research projects is now essential if researchers are to meet the needs of both funders and the expectations of the wider public for transparency, responsibility, collaboration and maximising the return on the investment in research by enabling reliable re-use of research outputs.”

The notebook will enable researchers to plan experiments, note observations, file health and safety measures and store and share data all online and from the lab. Users will be able to sign up as individuals, research groups or institutions, with the ability to control access to share within a closed group or make the material openly available.

Jeremy and Simon will work in collaboration with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), digital information organisation UKOLN, the University of Bath and Charles Beagrie Ltd to develop the service.

The project builds on prototype software already in use at the University of Southampton in a range of projects from Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Engineering. For more information:

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