e-Lab Research Objects

Research Objects are the work objects of an e-Lab, and can be seen as a common currency, facilitating exchange and interoperation between e-Lab services. They could also be referred to as know as Reproducible Research Objects, Scientific Objects and EMOs (encapsulated myExperiment Objects). A Research Object aggregates digital content representing study, people, methods, materials and results.

A Research Object is more than just a packaging mechanism as it has some purpose, reason or rationale for the aggregation – it is the a story about an investigation (or experiment, or process).

Essential properties of a research object can include:

  • the definition of the problem motivating the research;
  • the research question;
  • the design of the investigation;
  • the investigators;
  • the ethical approval, governance and support for the research;
  • the population or material studied, and the conditions under which they were studied;
  • the measurements observed, derived or collected from databases;
  • a record of the steps used to transform the data into results (e.g. statistical scripts, or bioinformatic workflows);
  • the results in numbers, words and pictures;
  • finished documents about the results (e.g. papers, reports and slide-decks)