The BAM Data Store

Piloting an OpenBIS-Based Research Data Infrastructure in Materials Science and Engineering




Research Data Infrastructure, ELN, openBIS, Materials Science and Engineering


As a partner in several NFDI consortia, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM, German federal institute for materials science and testing) contributes to research data standardization efforts in various domains of materials science and engineering (MSE). To implement a central research data management (RDM) infrastructure that meets the requirements of MSE groups at BAM, we initiated the Data Store pilot project in 2021. The resulting infrastructure should enable researchers to digitally document research processes and store related data in a standardized and interoperable manner. As a software solution, we chose openBIS, an open-source framework that is increasingly being used for RDM in MSE communities.

The pilot project was conducted for one year with five research groups across different organizational units and MSE disciplines. The main results are presented for the use case “nanoPlattform”. The group registered experimental steps and linked associated instruments and chemicals in the Data Store to ensure full traceability of data related to the synthesis of ~400 nanomaterials. The system also supported researchers in implementing RDM practices in their workflows, e.g., by automating data import and documentation and by integrating infrastructure for data analysis.

Based on the promising results of the pilot phase, we will roll out the Data Store as the central RDM infrastructure of BAM starting in 2023. We further aim to develop openBIS plugins, metadata standards, and RDM workflows to contribute to the openBIS community and to foster RDM in MSE.


M. D. Wilkinson et al., “The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship,” Sci Data, vol. 3, no. 1, Art. no. 1, Mar. 2016, doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.18.

A. Bauch et al., “openBIS: a flexible framework for managing and analyzing complex data in biology research,” BMC Bioinformatics, vol. 12, no. 1, p. 468, Dec. 2011, doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-12-468.

C. Barillari, D. S. M. Ottoz, J. M. Fuentes-Serna, C. Ramakrishnan, B. Rinn, and F. Rudolf, “openBIS ELN-LIMS: an open-source database for academic laboratories,” Bioinformatics, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 638–640, Feb. 2016, doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btv606.

European Organization For Nuclear Research and OpenAIRE, “Zenodo.” CERN, 2013. doi: 10.25495/7GXK-RD71.

M. Beg et al., “Using Jupyter for reproducible scientific workflows,” Comput. Sci. Eng., vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 36–46, Mar. 2021, doi: 10.1109/MCSE.2021.3052101.

“BAM-N012 - Nanomaterialien - Referenzmaterialien.” (accessed Apr. 18, 2023).



Received 2023-04-20
Accepted 2023-06-29
Published 2023-09-07