INF Data Infrastructure and Data Communication Environments

People Involved

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Thomas Walter

University of Tübingen, Central Data Administration

Prof. Dr. Peter Grathwohl

University of Tübingen, Hydrogeochemistry


Albrecht Baur, MSc

University of Tübingen, Central Data Administration (until 02/2020)

Research Questions and General Approach

Research Questions

CAMPOS generates large amounts of data of various kind and relies on data interoperability between its projects and with the whole research community covering CAMPOS. The challenge for the INF Project lies in managing easy access to all data associated to CAMPOS using existing data formats where appropriate, and creating new research data formats where necessary. The final goal is an accepted data management environment for CAMPOS that can - furthermore - be transferred to similar interdisciplinary environmental-science projects.

To achieve this, the INF project

  • supplies a central platform for common data storage, management and backup of all projects within CAMPOS and, more importantly,
  • provides additional services for data interoperability and exchange, for common data analysis tasks and for managing project workflows, thus increasing overall ease of data usage.

Key objectives are:

  • Access to data for all researchers by supplying a central storage platform with integrated user and data access management.
  • Data management services that rely on defined data and metadata formats and a common naming convention.
  • Data analysis services that use the centralized data management infrastructure.
  • Data interoperability within CAMPOS and to external researchers and the whole research community, interfacing with existing other information infrastructures outside CAMPOS.
  • Sustainable storage of all relevant data generated within CAMPOS to guarantee the availability of the data for data publication, the reuse of data, and the verification of scientific results.
  • Full access to data, and map-based visualization of existing data.

General Approach of INF

All data in CAMPOS are centrally stored together with the necessary metadata, e.g. explaining the generation of the data, their quality status or the measurement device calibration. Common metadata standards have been defined in collaboration with the users and all researchers have been trained in using the databases for data storage, analysis, and retrieval. Geographic annotation of the data  supports web-based interfaces for data retrieval at individual research sites.

Based on the well-known research-data life cycle of data creation, data analysis, and data publishing, an adaption to both the researchers’ project workflow and the technical data life-cycle will be achieved. A central platform for services and data storage was implemented which offer the necessary tools, for all life-cycle tasks and aspects, to all participating CAMPOS researchers.

Schematic illustration of the research data life cycle.


Data Management Framework



Finkel, M., Baur, A., Weber, T., Osenbrück, K., Rügner, H., Leven, C., Schwientek, M., Schlögl, J., Hahn, U., Streck, T., Cirpka, O.A., Walter, T., Grathwohl, P. (2020): Managing collaborative research data for integrated, interdisciplinary environmental research. Earth Science Informatics. doi: 10.1007/s12145-020-00441-0