Open source data management for research

Build customized catalogs in the clouds to help you manage your research data.

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A scalable research data management system you can install in your own cloud.

Clowder is a research data management system designed to support any data format and multiple research domains. The core software has been in development for the past five years with funding from a variety of sources. Clowder is open source software and we are always looking for collaborators and contributions. You can try the demo site or start installing the software on your resources. If you have any questions please email us or join us on HipChat.

Built to be extensible

Clowder contains three major extension points: preprocessing, processing and previewing. When new data is added to the system, whether it is via the web front-end, or through the RESTful web services, preprocessing is off-loaded to extraction services for extracting appropriate data and metadata. The extraction services attempt to extract information and run preprocessing steps based on the type of the data, for example to create previews. This raw metadata is presented to the user in the Clowder web interface.

Extraction Bus

Extend the system by creating new extractors to analyse data. Many languages are supported.

Data Visualizations

You can use this theme as is, or you can make changes!

Rich Metadata

Support for both machine-created and user-created metadata.

Made with Love

Fluffy kitten is confused.

Funding Sources

  • NARA/NSF OCI – Understanding Data Intensive and CPU Intensive Services to Support Preservation and Reconstruction of Electronic Records
  • NSF CDI – Groupscope: Instrumenting Research on Interaction Networks in Complex Social Contexts
  • NSF EAR – Critical Zone Observatory Network for Intensively Managed Landscapes (IML-CZO)
  • NIH – Immunomodulatory and Regenerative Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Allografts
  • Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant – Great Lakes Monitoring
  • European Commission – Linking Scientific Computing in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean
  • XSEDE – Large Scale Video Analytics
  • NSF ACI – CIF21 DIBBs: Brown Dog
  • NSF ACI - Sustainable Environment through Actionable Data (SEAD)
  • NSF ACI - CIF21 DIBBs: T2-C2: Timely and Trusted Curator and Coordinator Data Building Blocks


A short list of publications related to Clowder:

  • C. Sophocleous, L. Marini, R. Georgiou, M. Elfarargy, and K. McHenry, “Medici 2: A Scalable Content Management System for Cultural Heritage Datasets,” in Code4Lib, 2017.
  • P. Nguyen, S. Konstanty, T. Nicholson, T. O’Brien, A. Schwartz-Duval, T. Spila, K. Nahrstedt, R. Campbell, I. Gupta, M. Chan, K. McHenry, and N. Paquin, "4CeeD: Real-time Acquisition and Analysis Framework for Materials-related Cyber-Physical Environments," in 17th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing, 2017.
  • Y. Zhao, E. Black, L. Marini, K. McHenry, N. Kenyon, R. Patil, A. Kajdacsy-Balla, and A. Bartholomew, "Automatic Glomerulus Extraction in Whole Slide Images Towards Computer Aided Diagnosis," 2016 IEEE 12th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science), 2016.
  • S. Padhy, J. Alameda, R. Kooper, R. Liu, S. P. Satheesan, I. Zharnitsky, G. Jansen, M. Dietze, P. Kumar, B. Minsker, C. Navarro, M. Slavenas, W. Sullivan, and K. McHenry, “An Architecture for Automatic Deployment of Brown Dog Services At Scale into Diverse Computing Infrastructures,” in XSEDE, 2016.
  • M. Slavenas, E. Wuerffel, P. Rodriguez, J. Will, and A. Craig, “Image Analysis and Infrastructure Support for Mining the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photography Collection,” in XSEDE, 2016.
  • S. Padhy, L. Diesendruck, R. Kooper, R. Liu, L. Marini, C. Navarro, M. Slavenas, I. Zharnitsky, M. Dietze, P. Kumar, B. Minsker, J. Lee, and K. McHenry, “Autocuration Cyberinfrastrucutre for Scientific Discovery and Preservation,” in IEEE eScience, 2015.
  • V. Kuhn, A. Craig, M. Simeone, S. P. Satheesan, and L. Marini, “The VAT: Enhanced Video Analysis,” in XSEDE, 2015.
  • M. Poole, N. Lambert, S. Satheesan, A. Das, A. Yahja, and M. Hasegawa-Johnson, “GroupScope: A Framework and Tools for Large Scale Study of Social Processes,” in International Conference on Computational Social Science, 2015.
  • J. Myers, M. Hedstrom, D. Akmon, S. Payette, B. A. Plale, I. Kouper, S. McCaulay, R. McDonald, I. Suriarachchi, A. Varadharaju, P. Kumar, M. Elag, J. Lee, R. Kooper, and L. Marini, ``Towards Sustainable Curation and Preservation: The SEAD Project's Data Services Approach", in 2015 IEEE 11th International Conference on e-Science, 2015.
  • L.Marini, R.Kooper, J.Futrelle, J.Plutchak, A.Craig, T.McLaren, and J. Myers, “Medici: A scalable multimedia environment for research,” in The Microsoft e-Science Workshop, 2010.
  • More

Special thanks

We are very thankful to the following companies for letting us use their wonderful software for free to develop Clowder under an open source license:
  • JetBrains for kindly giving us an open source license for their awesome IntelliJ IDEA
  • Atlassian for kindly giving us an open source license to their software development products that make our daily efforts so much easier
  • YourKit for kindly giving us an open source license for their YourKit Java Profiler, for those times when things get really tough
  • Balsamiq Mockups for kindly giving us an open source license for their rapid wireframing tool that makes iterating over designs so much faster and enjoyable