Letter to the HDF User Community

Lindsay Powers – The HDF Group

The HDF Group provides free, open-source software that is widely used in government, academia and industry. The goal of The HDF Group is to ensure the sustainable development of HDF (Hierarchical Data Format) technologies and the ongoing accessibility of HDF-stored data because users and organizations have mission-critical systems and archives relying on these technologies. These users and organizations are a critical element of the HDF community and an important source of new and innovative uses of, and sustainability for, the HDF platforms, libraries and tools.

We want to create a sustainability model for the open access platforms and libraries that can serve these diverse communities in the future use and preservation of their data. As a step towards engaging this community, we are seeking partners for a National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network (RCN).

The National Science Foundation supports RCNs in order to foster collaboration and communication among scientists and technologists in the areas of research coordination, education and training, collaborative technologies, and standards development. Our vision of this RCN is to develop a core community of experienced and dedicated HDF users to:

  1. Foster education and training of new and existing users through development of teaching modules, workshops and other mechanisms for sharing knowledge and experience,
  2. Provide a forum for sharing tools and techniques related to HDF technologies,
  3. Convene diverse users to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and
  4. Formalize a community of committed HDF users invested in the sustainability of HDF products.

HDF data platforms are used for many different reasons (flexibility, big data, complex data, compatibility with tools etc.), across numerous scientific, operational and commercial disciplines, and we believe that the variety of users have much to learn from each other. The RCN also provides a great mechanism for The HDF Group to better understand its user community and to respond to users needs.

We expect the RCN to have a lifespan of up to 3 years. The RCN grant is primarily intended to support collaborative activities and not independent research, see the program guidelines for more details.

We hope that you will join us in our efforts toward this important mission. Please contact Lindsay Powers at by July 1, 2015 if you are interested in participating in the RCN.

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