RSpace + iRODS

A Scalable, Flexible and Versatile Solution That Facilitates Data and Metadata Interoperability and is Suitable for Deployment in Conjunction With a Wide Range of E-infrastructures and Research Commons


  • Rory Macneil Research Space
  • Terrell Russell Renaissance Computing Institute image/svg+xml



Data, Metadata, Interoperability, FAIR Research Commons


Research infrastructures enabling scalable sharing of data are proliferating, at the institutional, project/consortium and national/international levels.  Many of these are domain-specific, but there also is a growing focus on Research Commons that enable general data sharing across domains.  Examples include the EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure in Europe, the Gakunin RDM platform in Japan, and the Research Commons planned by Canada’s Digital Research Alliance (DRA).

In some cases, such as Gakunin RDM, Research Commons are architected as an integrated set of complementary services, but in most existing and planned Research Commons a disparate set of unconnected services is offered.  This paper describes the integration between RSpace, an active content management digital research platform, and iRODS, a policy-driven data management platform, and explains how it is designed to serve as a flexible connecting component that ties together other services that make up a Research Commons.

The paper discusses how, by tying together otherwise unconnected services, inclusion of RSpace + iRODS in Research Commons enables streamlined flows of data and metadata between services, enhancing FAIR principles.  This will be illustrated by considering inclusion of RSpace + iRODS in the two specific examples of Canada’s proposed Research Commons and the EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure.  In both cases the interaction between RSpace, iRODS, and individual services provided  by the Commons will be discussed, and a comparison will be made between the two Commons and the benefits derived from the inclusion of RSpace + iRODS.


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Received 2023-04-25
Accepted 2023-06-29
Published 2023-09-07