COPO is a portal for plant scientists to describe, store and retrieve data more easily. Data description is critical to increase the value of the data itself, allowing scientists (and online search tools) to better understand its relevance.
COPO assists scientists with labelling and tagging their work, in other words 'contextualising research', so that it is found at the right time and place. It seeks to make it easy for scientists to share their results, by making helpful suggestions for what information you might want to submit, based on past submissions and similar workflows from other scientists. It will also provide a way to get credit for work, such as source code or research data which don’t typically get citations in scientific papers, even though they are crucial for actually undertaking research.
Publications, data, images, and other ‘research objects’ can be submitted through COPO to remote long-term storage repositories. By providing a helpful graphical user interface (GUI), COPO relieves much of the eye-watering formatting burden required for preparing the information that goes alongside the research data.
In technical terms, COPO creates, aggregates and describes research objects. It normalises metadata to specific controlled vocabularies (ontologies), assisting with integration and standardisation of data through consistent terminology, boosting reproducibility and impact of research.
COPO leverages the work carried out by collaborators at the Oxford e-Research Centre on the Investigation/Study/Assay (ISA) software suite for managing and converting between metadata formats or objects. The objects themselves are stored in remote repositories that fit the kind of data the user is submitting, such as DNA sequence data in the EMBL-EBI European Nucleotide Archive, and Figshare (for figures, images, PDF manuscripts etc.).