News and announcements

Metadata and README lecture - 13.09.2022

On the 13th of September, 2022, ELIXIR-Estonia will hold a data management lecture: Metadata and README. This lecture will be held in English. 

In general, metadata is the descriptive information about your data. However, what exactly is metadata, and how much of it should be included with your data? 

Good metadata can make up for human fallibilities. People forget and misplace things and leave research projects with their knowledge of the research methodology and the data. Metadata ensures that we will be able to find the data, use it, preserve and reuse it in the future.

  • Finding Data: Metadata makes it much easier to find relevant data. Most searches are done using text (like a Google search), so formats like audio, images, and video are limited unless text metadata is available. Metadata also makes text documents easier to find because it explains exactly what the document is about.
  • Using Data: To use a dataset, researchers need to understand how the data is structured, definitions of terms used, how it was collected, and how it should be read.
  • Reusing Data: Researchers often want to reuse data collected for another project for their own project. The data still needs to be found and used, but often at a higher level of trust and understanding. Reusing data usually requires careful preservation and documentation of the metadata.

This means that the metadata provides additional information that helps data consumers better to understand the meaning and the structure of the dataset and to clarify other issues, such as rights and license terms, the organization that generated the data, data quality, data access methods, and the update schedule of datasets. Additionally, metadata also gives information about the data in general. What an actual metadata file includes varies between disciplines and types of data you are working with. However, the documentation for your data should contain the minimum information required to be able to reuse (or understand) the data described. 

In the lecture, we will be going over what exactly metadata is, the minimum information that should be included with each of the scientific results you are sharing, and how exactly you can write a README file. 


Information about the lecture

Dates: 13th of September, 2022 at 14:15 (lecture, 2h)

Place: Delta Building, r1022 (Narva mnt 18), TARTU

Register: CLOSED

Registration closes at 23:59 on 08.09.2022 or when the course gets full.


Learning outcomes for the participants: 

  • Understands the importance of good data management
  • Knows what metadata means in data files
  • Knows how to add metadata to the data
  • Knows what should be included in the README file
  • Can write a simple README file to accompany the data


F2F lectures will take place at the Delta building in Tartu (Narva mnt 18, Tartu). 

Parking: You can park for free for 3h in the parking lot of the University of Tartu Academic Sports Club. 

We do ask you to register for the lecture responsibly. If you can’t attend the course, please let us know as soon as possible via email at


"Bring Your Own Data Management Plan” workshop - Invitations only

According to the Estonian Research Council funding agreement, all the projects that have started from 2022 have to submit a data management plan (DMP) within the first 6 months. Since this will be a new thing for a lot of researchers, University of Tartu, University of Tartu Library,  ELIXIR Estonia and The Estonian Research Council will be doing a data management writing course for this purpose. This workshop will be with invitations only. “Bring Your Own Data Management Plan” workshop (in English) will consist of two sessions: one online introduction and one face-to-face writing session. The writing sessions will be held both in Tartu and in Tallinn. 

The online session will be held 20th of May at 11:00 - 14:30, with one 15 min break in between the sessions. Within this time, Tiiu Tarkpea will give an overview of Open Science in Estonia. We have also invited people from the Estonian Research Council, so they can answer your questions in person. Additionally, there are also two DMP writing tool introductions: DMPonline by Tiiu Tarkpea (University of Tartu Library) and Data Stewardship Wizard by Federico Bianchini (ELIXIR Norway). 

After that you can pick from two face-to-face sessions, in case you need any help with the writing of the DMP part (participation not mandatory). The 26th of May (14:00-17:00) session will be held in Tartu and the 6th of June (14:00-17:00) session will be held at Tallinn (the precise location will be sent with an email). In this, we will be talking about the theory of different aspects of the DMP, giving more practical advice  and there will be two 1h writing sessions, where you can write most of your DMP. Also, if you have any questions, the organizers (Tiiu Tarkpea and Heleri Inno) will help as best as they can. 


The registration information should arrive through the Grant Office, via invitations only.

In case of questions, you can contact ELIXIR Estonia ( 


Useful materials: 


Virtual meeting: Handling Pandemic Omics Data in the Nordics

A two-days online meeting that will bring perspectives on Nordic infrastructures and approaches used to handle SARS-Cov-2 sequencing data. The event will take place on 18-19 May 2022 from 09:00-13:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time). The meeting is organised by members of ELIXIR Norway, ELIXIR Estonia, and SciLifeLab Data Centre.


The current COVID-19 pandemic has understandably received considerable attention worldwide over the last few years. As it spread across the globe, the pandemic posed significant challenges for society, governmental bodies, healthcare systems, and research communities. Unprecedented efforts were necessary to generate, handle, and report the sheer amount of complex data required to be able to understand how SARS-CoV-2 was spreading, and develop efficient policies to fight the pandemic. I

n this online event, we will focus on how the Nordic region handled omics data. We will focus in particular on how sequencing efforts were coordinated, how data was managed and shared, and how data was used and communicated to different groups. We will also discuss the importance of the FAIR principles in pandemic data management, and which tools and pipelines facilitated efforts. We also hope to identify key resources that have wider applicability and can be reused further.

You can register for the event in here:

The meeting programme is available here:

ELIXIR launches new Toxicology Community

ELIXIR launches a new community to represent the field of toxicology, which is the study of the negative consequences of the interaction of chemicals and living things and the safety of those chemicals. 

ELIXIR Communities bring together experts across ELIXIR Nodes and external partners to coordinate activities within specific life science domains. The addition of toxicology brings the number of Communities in ELIXIR to thirteen, spanning domains such as human data, plant sciences and marine metagenomics and technologies such as Galaxy and proteomics. 

More information at