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What is MDF?

The Materials Data Facility (MDF) is set of data services built specifically to support materials science researchers. MDF consists of two synergistic services, data publication and data discovery (in development). The production-ready data publication service offers a scalable repository where materials scientists can publish, preserve, and share research data. The repository provides a focal point for the materials community, enabling publication and discovery of materials data of all sizes.

MDF is a pilot project funded by NIST, and serves as the first pilot community of the National Data Service.

Funded and supported by and

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Publication of large datasets

MDF offers researchers access to petabytes (PB) of reliable and high performance data storage via NCSA

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Customizable metadata descriptions

MDF collection owners can define and use their own materials-specific metadata schemas to describe their published datasets

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Flexible access control

Published datasets may be private, shared with a particular group of users, or shared publicly

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Flexible user-oriented curation workflows

MDF collection owners may optionally define curation workflows that require curator approval before data are published into their collection

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Choice of persistent identifier (DOI, Handle)

Researchers may choose different persistent identifiers (e.g. DOI, Handle) for their published datasets depending on their specific requirements. Existing institutional DOI or Handle shoulders may optionally be used to mint identifiers.

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Powerful search capabilities

All metadata is indexed and made accessible via access controlled search interfaces

How It Works

MDF is built upon scalable Globus data publication capabilities. These capabilities are delivered through a hosted service with metadata stored and indexed in the cloud and data storage provided by an allocation at NCSA or any other specified remote storage provider made accessible via Globus Connect.

Published datasets are organized by "communities" and their member "collections". A variety of specific policies can be set on communities or collections to manage:

  • Metadata (schema, requirements)
  • Access control (user and group based)
  • Curation workflow
  • Submission and distribution license
  • Storage endpoint
  • Persistent identifier provider (DOI, Handle)

MDF users can create and manage their own collections directly through the MDF website.

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How to Cite MDF

If you find MDF useful in your research, please cite the following paper:

Blaiszik, B., K. Chard, J. Pruyne, R. Ananthakrishnan, S. Tuecke, and I. Foster. "The Materials Data Facility: Data services to advance materials science research." JOM 68, no. 8 (2016): 2045-2052.

The Materials Data Facility is supported under financial assistance award 70NANB14H012 from U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology as part of the Center for Hierarchical Material Design (CHiMaD).