Developing the B2INST service for registering and persistently identifying instruments

B2INST is a community-driven solution for global and unique identification of instruments operated within science. Measuring instruments, such as sensors used in environmental science, DNA sequencers used in life sciences or microscopes used in medical domains, are widespread in most fields of applied sciences. B2INST will be offered as a public service which can be used by research communities and researchers to describe, register and reference instruments. The service is a joint development between EUDAT, DataCite and ePIC. It all started from the discussions ongoing in the RDA PIDINST working group session in the 14th Plenary in Helsinki in October 2019. This was at a time when the development of the metadata schema for the description of and attaching PIDs to instruments was already at a fairly advanced stage, as the working group had already been active for two years. At that point, the working group was close to finalising the metadata standard, but an essential part in the ecosystem was missing – a service for registering and assigning PIDs to instruments. From this point onwards, the idea of developing a service for this purpose started to crystallize. Several communities were already involved in this working group and also saw the clear need for a service like this. SURF, GWDG, DataCite and CSC are the partners co-developing the service. Mark van de Sanden is the Technical Coordinator in EUDAT and has been involved in this work since the very start, i.e. since early 2020. In this implementation story, Mark shares the experiences of developing the B2INST service and the future ambitions of the service.

Read the implementation story here or see the FAIRsFAIR website for additional implementation and adoption stories.