HMC Evaluation: First feedback


Three years after its founding, the Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration, HMC for short, underwent a thorough review by an external, international evaluation committee on 4 and 5 May 2023 and was put through its paces.

The Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration is one of five platforms of the Helmholtz Incubator. Under the motto "Better metadata for better science", HMC promotes the qualitative enrichment of research data by means of metadata. Its main goal is to make the depth and breadth of research data produced by Helmholtz centres findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) for the entire scientific community in Helmholtz and beyond. Further, HMC works on a sustainable, distributed, semantically enriched Helmholtz data space that should enable scientists to seamlessly share and re-use their data in new ways.

The panel consisted of nine international experts from the fields of research, metadata and Open Science, accompanied by the President of the Helmholtz Association, Prof. Dr. Otmar D. Wiestler, and representatives of the Helmholtz Head Office. Representatives from the Scientific Advisory Board and the Steering Board of HMC as well as members of other Helmholtz Platforms, such as HIFIS, were also present to provide a comprehensive picture of the landscape HMC is embedded into.

During the event at GEOMAR in Kiel, HMC staff as well as representatives of funded HMC projects presented the numerous activities, progress and achievements as well as plans for a possible future development in talks and posters. The panel asked tough questions and engaged in lively discussions about the use cases presented in the poster presentations, which showed how deeply they had delved into HMC's metadata matter and how much they are interested in HMC.

Overall, the reviewers were very impressed by HMC, and a first reaction was formulated during the review event: The panel acknowledged HMC's impressive start and highlighted HMC as a "model for other federated, de-centralized research structures", and finally "strongly recommend the continuation of the platform". They also gave advice and their approval of HMC’s future plans.

Where do we go from here?

On July 14th, we will present the impressions and results of the evaluation to our HMC staff and projects as part of our internal HMC Dialogue series and invite them to discuss these and the next steps. In addition, the final results were just provided to HMC. Further, just two weeks ago the Helmholtz Senate discussed the progress of all Helmholtz Platforms and gave a very strong recommendation for their continuation. Finally, the Helmholtz General Assembly will make the final decision on the continuation of the HMC as well as its sister platforms.

We will keep you informed.