Research Data Switchboard

What is RD-Switchboard?

Research Data Switchboard (RD-Switchboard) allows cross-platform discovery by connecting data sets from multiple registries. It is an open, collaborative project created by Research Data Alliance's (RD-A) DDRI Working Group. The way RD-Switchboard operates is analogous to the discovery functions featured on online bookstores such as Amazon. These sites link items based on similar publishers, authors and related topics. In the case of RD-Switchboard, items are linked through co-authorship, joint funding, and research grants. The system aggregates these links from national and international registries utilising graph modelling technology to identify missing links between datasets.

How does it work?

RD-Switchboard is based on a three-layer architecture that enables scalable harvesting, extendable graph creation and customisable machine-readable interface. At the current stage, the multiple harvesters are implemented and hosted on Amazon cloud to read information from Dryad, Research Data Australia (hosted by ANDS), INSPIRE-HEP (hosted by CERN), Dryad, ORCID and figshare. 

The graph creation layer uses ORCID, Scopus, DataCite and CrossRef online services to link the identifiers and complete the gaps. In addition, Google API has been implemented to explore the scholarly web pages for related information and missing links.

Research Data Switchboard Architecture

  • Data Provider Layer: This layer enables data providers to import metadata records into the platform using OAI-PMH protocol.
  • RD-Switchboard Inference Components: This layer aggregates information, and uses Google API and other services to identify missing connections.
  • Data Access Layer: This layer enables e-Infrastructure providers and research institutions to find connections across data registries.

How to access the source code?

The source code for RD-Switchboard is available at