Thematic reference centers providing expertise for individual scientific fields

Updated at: 12/02/2024

The new National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures includes the provision for assessment of the candidate infrastructures' practices, tools and skills for managing the whole data lifecycle. In some scientific fields, one or more infrastructures have been designated as the data management and dissemination specialists for the whole scientific community. These infrastructures are part of an international ecosystem and contribute to the definition and adoption of standards for data description and dissemination in their given field.

In this way, these infrastructures constitute the first reference centers covering a part of these disciplinary fields:


Astronomy and astrophysics

Earth System et Environment 


Humanities and Social Sciences

    ➡ Registry/repository:

➡ Registry/repository:



What is a thematic reference center ? 

These thematic reference centers are both national and disciplinary in scope. They support data management and dissemination work in a scientific thematic area.

These centers are led by scientific communities who structure the centers' work and mechanisms to provide support for data management, processing, sharing and opening in their given scientific field. Recherche Data Gouv's thematic reference centers:

  • define the appropriate international data description standards in their thematic field;
  • define the appropriate international data dissemination standards (openness, embargo period, restricted access) in their thematic field;
  • define and disseminate best practices for data collection, documentation, processing and dissemination in their thematic field;
  • compile and manage a list of national and/or international reference data repositories in their thematic field. Researchers in that field will be asked to deposit their data in these repositories which are to be harvested by Recherche Data Gouv;
  • contribute to defining the thematic tree data structure of the Recherche Data Gouv repository;
  • support the collaborative work of the specialised thematic centers with Recherche Data Gouv;
  • support inclusion in and compliance with the international ecosystem.

Some research communities have been pioneers in structuring centers of this kind. They have developed specialised research infrastructures dedicated to their whole scientific community. These infrastructures provide computing services for data collection, processing, storage, sharing and opening. They also work on defining the appropriate international data description and dissemination standards in their given field.