We recently hosted the the first MaRDI workshop with 25 in-person and a total of 38 online participants. MaRDI is an acronym for the German Mathematical Research Data Initiative. This initiative is realized by fifteen big research institutions across Germany, with the WIAS in Berlin taking the leadership and the University of Leipzig and the MPI MiS as local partners. The consortium had been awarded funding in the second round of the Bund-/Ländervereinbarung zur Förderung der Nationalen Forschungsdateninfrastruktur earlier this year. Its designated goal is to develop research-data standards and infrastructure for the mathematical community and to establish the FAIR principles for scientific research. In the near future, MaRDI will set up an online portal as a long-term and one-stop access point for findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable research data.
The consortium members met over three intense days, discussing all matters pertaining to mathematical research-data needs. Questions of how to properly listen to the mathematical community, how to communicate with each other, and how to actually start with a project of this size were central to the workshop. On day one and two, every single task area - from hands-on scientific leaders to community outreach and governance - presented their individual challenges and creative ideas. How to cite software in computer algebra, how to benchmark algorithms in scientific computing and machine learning, how to establish standards together with neighboring disciplines and with international partners, and how to search for a formula are just a fraction of the important questions asked and noted. The director of the NFDI society reported about the progress of the entire funding body, and next-generation peer review was discussed with partners from Springer and EMS press. The third workshop day then closed with input from the mentor consortium NFDI4Ing and from the excellence cluster Structures and with a colloquium talk by MaRDI member and DMV president Ilka Agricola. The take-home message after all these external lessons learned and internal debates about communication and next steps was accurately coined as #HauptsacheAnfangen.