NSI: Nanotechnology Knowledge Infrastructure (NKI) Data Readiness Levels discussion draft

Subject Area:
NNI Publications and Reports
Author: NSI NKI
Publication Date: May. 9 2013


A critical aspect of sharing data is an understanding of the maturity or quality of the data. Representatives from the collaborating agencies of the NKI Signature Initiative have developed a nomenclature for communicating the maturity of data. Analogous to Technology Readiness Levels, the Data Readiness Levels provide a shorthand method for conveying coarse assessments of data from experiments or model predictions for use in improving analytical methods and validating or calibrating models, and for comparisons with legacy datasets. Data Readiness Levels (DRLs) are seven graded definitions (0-6) of data quality and data maturity. DRLs provide common, simple descriptors of data quality and maturity. Unlike Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), DRLs are augmented with metadata qualifiers that enable further assessment, reproduction, or use of the data by others. Metadata vary by discipline, as well measurement or computational considerations. The use of both DRL levels and metadata qualifiers provide a common basis for a peer-reviewed “literature” to support informed data sharing, to augment data citation in print publications, and to accelerate the translation of research to design and manufacture. 

Nanotechnology Fact

Nanotechnology has the potential to create many new jobs across a variety of sectors. While some jobs, will require an advanced degree, a 2014 study funded by the National Science Foundation points out that 2-yr and 4-yr training with access to continuing and technical education will be sufficient for many of the future positions in nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, and beyond.                                                                                                             

Previous estimates stated that 6 million nanotechnology jobs will be needed by 2020, with 2 million of those jobs in the United States (Roco, Mirkin, and Hersam 2010). According to the U.S. News/Raytheon analysis, the number of STEM jobs increased 20 percent between 2000 and 2014. Looking ahead, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2012 and 2022, employment in occupations that NSF classifies as science and engineering (S&E) will increase 15 percent. To find out about nanotechnology programs at college and graduate levels, see College and Graduate Programs. If you are interested in 2-year degrees or training programs, see Associate Degrees, Certificates, & Job Info.


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