From Passive to Active, From Generic to Focussed: How Can an Institutional Data Archive Remain Relevant in a Rapidly Evolving Landscape?

  • Maria J. Cruz Delft University of Technology
  • Jasmin Böhmer Delft University of Technology
  • Egbert Gramsbergen Delft University of Technology
  • Marta Teperek Delft University of Technology
  • Alastair Dunning Delft University of Technology
  • Madeleine de Smaele Delft University of Technology


Founded in 2008 as an initiative of the libraries of three of the four technical universities in the Netherlands, the 4TU.Centre for Research Data (4TU.Research Data) has provided a fully operational, cross-institutional, long-term archive since 2010, storing data from all subjects in applied sciences and engineering. Presently, over 90% of the data in the archive is geoscientific data coded in netCDF (Network Common Data Form) – a data format and data model that, although generic, is mostly used in climate, ocean and atmospheric sciences. In this practice paper, we explore the question of how 4TU.Research Data can stay relevant and forward-looking in a rapidly evolving research data management landscape. In particular, we describe the motivation behind this question and how we propose to address it.

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