Mission & Vision

The vision of the Harvard Data Commons is to improve the researcher experience by automating the flow of research data from research computing environments to management, publication, discovery and preservation environments.

This will result in an increased ability to meeting sponsor requirements for:

  • Data integrity
  • Data provenance
  • Reproducibility of research

History & Current State

Since 2019, a collaborative team from divisions and schools across Harvard has been pursuing the idea of a Data Commons to support the lifecycle of research at Harvard. We are currently building a small proof of concept or “Harvard Data Commons Minimum Viable Product (MVP)” using internal capital funding to start connecting key systems in the research data lifecycle.

The Harvard Data Commons MVP initiated its work in July 2021 and is executing on its three primary objectives: 

  1. Automating the technical pipeline between the research computing infrastructures and Dataverse
  2. Enhancing Dataverse to support machine-actionable workflows of various types, and
  3. Automating connections between research systems and key library systems used for archiving and publication

In addition to the 7 members of the Harvard Data Commons leadership team, there are an additional 24 staff from across Harvard contributing to the effort in one way or another, making this an inspiring and true cross-institutional collaboration.