D4Science Hybrid Data Infrastructure facilitating data sharing and research collaborations

D4Science is an organization offering an Hybrid Data Infrastructure since 2009 for seamless access and analysis to a wide spectrum of data including biological andecological data, geospatial data, statistical data and semi-structured data from multiple authoritative data providers and information systems.

“Modern science calls for innovative practices to facilitate research collaborations spanning institutions, disciplines, and countries. Paradigms such as cloud computing and social computing represent a new opportunity for individuals with scant resources, to participate in science. The D4Science.org Hybrid Data Infrastructure (HDI) combines these two paradigms with Virtual Research Environments in order to offer a large array of collaboration-oriented facilities as-a-Service” (The D4Science Research-Oriented Social Networking Facilities).

The long tail of research produces a bulk of scientific knowledge (data and information) though not always researchers have access to large-scale dedicated IT transporting this knowledge. 

D4Science.org HDI (i.e. an IT infrastructure built as a “system of systems” that integrates a disparate set of technologies including grid and cloud, services and information systems) offers a response to this issue. The D4Science (the first model of an application level e-Infrastructure) together with D4Science-II scientific application scenarios are served by innovative Virtual Research Environments VREs and services for users willing to acquire concrete understanding of the major features and capabilities of quality working environment.

Today, D4Science HDI is a proven self-sustained underlying data infrastructure which:

D4Science: Use Conditions

Upon registration (enter Shared Workspace, register and log in) and agreeing to the related Terms of Use, you can immediately use the storage space via the Workspace Service, the Email Service to send/receive data to other registered users, the Social Service to share and read news and posts with your connections and the Notification Service for user notifications. You can also apply to a moderated or public VRE.

The data and information made available through the Gateway (the access point to Infrastructure products and services) under terms described in the metadata accompanying each product (e.g. “license” or "constraints" field).

Except where otherwise noted (i.e. in case of primary requirement to comply with the data provider’s policy) this is the Creative Commons License. All derivative products produced and made publicly available through the Gateway are licensed under the Creative Commons License CC BY-SA.

Peolple working in the agriculture domain could try to access and look through data in the the following VREs:

Bionym: a virtual laboratory supporting a flexible and customizable taxonomic naming matching workflow empowered by interfacing with authoritative data sources, e.g. Catalogue of Life, FishBase, World Register of Marine Species.

Biodiversity Lab: a virtual laboratory where biologists, ecologists, and environmental scientists can easily perform data access, data harmonization, data preparation and data analytics


Ecological Niche Modelling is a VRE designed to provide facilities to perform prevision for species distributions along the world.

The VRE offers facilities to manage several versions of the same datasets, to process those datasets efficiently and to produce Probabilistic Niche Models redictive documents resulting in Earth maps .


D4Science VREs as Social computing Service

In D4Science VREs groups of geographically distributed scientists can transparently and seamlessly access and process shared sets of resources (data, tools and computing capabilities). To that end, D4Science VREs include a social networking area promoting innovative large scale  scientific collaboration patterns inspired by social computing and supported by the underlying infrastructure facilities.

(Source: The D4Science Offering – GreyGuide - CNR)

D4Science Gateway offers a way to share information by allowing users to post updates, including links to news articles and new derivative datasets, and to comment on content published by some of the Applications or Users. The D4Science social networking facilities will reshape the modern approach to communication, largely implemented by LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, by porting it to research communities. Empowering D4Science with scientific user communities, initiatives and projects.

The D4Science e-Infrastructures provide synergies across scientific communities which were in the past fragmented and which now benefit greatly from access to shared data streams that include satellite (ocean color and reef maps), climate, hydrographic and trade data.

The cooperation between Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO, The WorldFish Center and Environmental Monitoring at ESA provides a basis for enhanced modeling approaches and acts as a catalyst leading to further enlargement of the community to other groups such as oceanographers and economists. Moreover, D4Science is supporting a large array of diverse initiatives and projects, such as:



D4Science is supporting the SoBigData.eu Community by providing them with dedicated Virtual Research Environment enabling communication and collaboration among the community members.



BlueBRIDGE  addressing Blue Growth societal challenge by developing and deploying service-driven digital research environments, services and tools.

EUBrasil OpenBio


D4Science is providing the EUBrazilOpenBio Community with the resources to deploy and operate the EUBrazilOpenBio gateway and the underlying infrastructure. 

Supporting the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management and Conservation of Marine Living Resources


D4Science is providing the iMarine Community with the resources to deploy and operate the iMarine Gateway and the underlying infrastructure.



D4Science is supporting the Chimaera Community by hosting the homonymous portal and the rest of underlying services. This portal is a one stop center to access the three existing regional information systems about fisheries.

D4Science is supporting the AquaMaps service provider and data managers by offering the facilities for efficiently produce the species distribution maps for more than 17,000 species of fishes, marine mammals and invertebrates.


D4Science is supporting the FishBase service provider by offering a powerful and flexible service (BiOnym) for the efficient discovery of species taxa names.



D4Science is providing the PARTHENOS Community with the resources to deploy and operate the PARTHENOS Virtual Research Environment and the underlying infrastructure.


D4Science is providing the DESCRAMBLE Community with the resources to deploy and operate the DESCRAMBLE Virtual Research Environment and the underlying infrastructure.



D4Science is providing the European Geothermal Community with the resources to deploy and operate the European Geothermal Information Platform Pilot.



D4Science is providing the ARIADNE Community with the resources to deploy and operate the ARIADNE Virtual Research Environment.



D4Science is providing the ENVRI Community with the resources to deploy and operate the ENVRI Virtual Research Environment and the underlying Spatial Data Infrastructure.

D4Science provides a series of demonstrative applications for showing applications capacities and opportunities:

DocumentsWorkflow Virtual Research Environment

DocumentsWorkflow is a VRE designed to perform any Document life-cycle management.

By using this VRE, documents may go through several iterative phases, requiring concurrent access and several communication possibilities, e.g. to add comments, annotations and metadata. 

The iSearch VRE has been conceived to give users a showcase of the IR and Semantic Web facilities offered by iMarine and the D4Science Infrastructure. The Information Space is configured to access information objects coming from:
a selection of OAI-PMH collections;
OpenSearch providers like Bing and IRD Ecoscope;
FAO FishFinder Factsheets;
Knowledge bases FLOD, DBPedia, etc.

Scalable Data Mining: a virtual laboratory designed to apply cutting-edge data analytics  methods to biological, ecological, and environmental data.


Tabular Data Lab: a virtual laboratory conceived to provide its users with a working environment supporting the collaborative management of tabular data, i.e. any dataset that can be represented in a table format.


If you have any suggestions for D4Science infrastructure, just contact D4Science Team here.

If you have already used D4Science VREs, we would appreciate to hear your opinion on AIMS Portal!

Source: D4Science.org

Twitter @D4Dcience

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