Publishing Materials Data—Critical issues

For end-users

  • Ease-of-use and speed—I want to find the information that I need, quickly
  • A familiar, standardized user-interface, ideally a web browser—I don't want to learn a new system
  • Distributed access—I want to use this from my PC
  • Data pedigree and context—I don't just want an item of data or a piece of information, I want to understand it and know where it came from. For example, I may want an image linked to explanatory text, or a derived property linked to the source data
  • Software tools for searching, material comparison, and reporting—I don't just want to see the data, I want to use it
  • Easy data export—I want to use data in my computer-aided engineering software
  • Unit system conversion—I want the data in the units that I use
  • Contributing data to the database via the web—I want to participate in a community

For publishers

  • Handling of data in any format—I want to mix varied information and documents: text, numbers, spreadsheets, images, graphs, charts...
  • Smart linking—I want to be able to connect related information in a simple way that is clear to the user
  • Access control—I want to expose different data to different users
  • Security—I only want a specific community of users to see this data
  • Ease of publishing—I want to be able to add data in a straightforward manner from multiple locations
  • Analysis and publishing tools—I want fast conversion of data in Excel spreadsheets to published graphs on the web