The MyTardis and MicroTardis Project

One component of ANDS Metadata Stores Project involves the capture of brain imaging metadata, through the implementation of Tardis software linked to the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre's (BPsyC) state of the art instrumentation. Customisation of the new BPsyC-Tardis system is a collaboration between Swinburne University and VeRSI, and addresses the specific needs of BpsyC researchers. The sensitive nature of the data and the legislation governing data retention often restricts data sharing in this field. Consequently the main driver for BPsyC-Tardis is the need for secure data storage, while still allowing collaborative sharing. Phase I development facilitates automatic capture, initial processing and storage of magnetoencephalographgy (MEG) non-invasive 'brain scanning' data, and the accompanying external metadata - for example audio and visual trigger information.

A similar system was implemented for the Centre for Quantum Optics and Science (CQOS - formerly CAOUS). Phase I development of CAOUS-Tardis facilitates the collection, initial processing and storage of data from the Renishaw In Via Raman Spectrometer and Olympus IX81 Confocal Microscope, and the their accompanying external metadata; for example information about cell and bacteria samples. Phase II development will include data ingestion from the Bruker Contour GT-K1 Optical Surface Profiles.

Ok, so it's not in anyway related to THE TARDIS (insert gratuitous picture on the right), but the concept is similar. MyTardis makes it simple to store and share seemingly large datasets with collaborators inside or external to their institution, with an easy to use sharing interface. Later on, they can open up access to their data, providing a DOI in their research paper for anyone to access. This approach has seen data in MyTardis referenced in journals such as Science, Nature, PNAS, Plos One and more.

MyTardis was developed by researchers and software developers at Monash University: Androulakis S, Schmidberger J, Bate MA, Degori R, Beitz A, Keong C, Cameron B, McGowan S, Porter CJ, Harrison A, Hunter J, Martin JL, Kobe B, Dobson RC, Parker MW, Whisstock JC, Gray J, Treloar A, Groenewegen D, Dickson N, Buckle AM. (2008) Federated repositories of X-ray diffraction images. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. Jul;64(Pt 7):810-4.