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About IsoMemo

Bringing isotopic data together

About the initiative

IsoMemo is not a database but an initiative that brings together independent repositories of isotopic data within the fields of archaeology, ecology, and environmental & life sciences.


Partners with own platforms

Several of the IsoMemo partners make available their data via their own online databases often employing user friendly graphical interfaces. Links to their websites are available via the IsoMemo partner directory.

Partners without a platform

Data collectors that do not have their own online space may be given a webspace via the Pandora data platform. This contains several useful features including, data repository with multiple  data curation options, DOI assignment, membership and membership role management, among others.


All linked via Pandora

All IsoMemo partners with a Pandora space are linked via the IsoMemo network.


Each IsoMemo partner is responsible for defining own metadata requirements. However, via our search engine we make an effort to map their data so that different datasets can be directly compared.

Open Access

IsoMemo is a collaborative effort bringing together scientists who contribute and use of isotopic data. Users are able to freely submit and/or download data from/to the different databases within the IsoMemo network. IsoMemo requests that all of its partners provide their data as Open Access and include recognition of data collection and compilation efforts via references and DOIs.

Technical aspects

IsoMemo website

The IsoMemo website is implemented using HTML5 and CSS to describe the presentation of the HTML files. The employed client-side language is JavaScript while PHP is employed on the server-side.


Data is stored by IsoMemo partners at different repositories. Additional storing capabilities are offered by the Pandora data platform managed by the Max Planck Data and Computing Facility. Data made available via the IsoMemo search engine is backed up at regular intervals.


Pandora platform

Assignment of DOIs to datasets is made via the Pandora data platform managed by the Max Planck Library.

IsoMemo search

The IsoMemo search engine is developed in R language and it includes a browser-based Shiny interface.

Partnership model

IsoMemo is a partnership-based initiative that brings together a group of independent isotopic databases.  Rather than a hierarchical model, IsoMemo adopts a distributive model among equal partners from different research fields. This model provides flexibility since different scientific fields have specific needs (e.g. metadata requirements) that cannot be accommodated within a one size-fit-all approach of a single central repository of data.

In this respect, IsoMemo functions as a network of data repositories directing users and producers of isotopic data to appropriate partners. Nonetheless, IsoMemo also promotes the definition of common data standards and data sharing among partners. Our initiative paves the way for carrying out interdisciplinary Big Data research projects. To aid with data sharing, IsoMemo is also developing Open Source search tools.