Introducing the Freya Project
12 Jan 2018



The world contains vast amounts of digital information which is growing faster and being accessed more frequently than ever before.

Northern Lights

​​​​​​Northern Lights


Google alone conducts more than 3.6M searches1 every minute of every day.  It is crucial, therefore, to be able to identify the provenance of the data which is being published and, where relevant, to enable an individual's work to be recognised.

The FREYA Project, which is being coordinated by STFC, kicked-off with an inaugural meeting at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, in December 2017.  FREYA will provide the technology to support provenance and recognition for scientific work.  Its mission is to enable the emergence of a trustworthy e-infrastructure so that the potential of Open Science can be fully exploited.  The project will play a key role in the European Open Science Cloud2 (EOSC).

FREYA will build on the success of organisations such as DataCite, ORCiD and Crossref, which already have high-tech services in place for making research outputs easy to find, cite, link and assess.  The project will develop an infrastructure for persistent identifiers (PIDs) that will build on and enhance these services.

Simon Lambert from STFC's Scientific Computing Department is the FREYA Project Coordinator. He said, “In many areas of research persistent identifiers for publications, datasets and researchers themselves are widely used, so the idea is not new – but FREYA is taking it to a whole new level."

“The project will introduce PIDs for the next generation of software being developed, or to identify a particular beamline or instrument at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source3, for example. It will simplify the links between people, research outputs and funding; and it will support the provenance metadata about the people and organisations involved in conducting research."

The FREYA partners, which include Datacite, ORCiD, CERN, the British Library and others, will be working and engaging with stakeholders in the EOSC – particularly with the Research Data Alliance5   – to cement the standards and processes that will link the data correctly and enhance its reproducibility.

The FREYA Project is named after the warrior goddess of love and war in Norse mythology, and takes into account the work of two earlier projects, ODIN and THOR.  Legend says that when Freya and her Valkyries rode forth, their armour caused the eerily beautiful dancing lights known as the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. Hopefully FREYA will be equally admired!

More information:

​1Statistic from Domo's 5th edition of Data Never Sleeps

2European Open Science Cloud

3 DataCite

4ISIS Neutron and Muon Source

5Research Data Alliance (RDA)

Partners in FREYA:  

ANDS​British LibraryCERNCrossrefDANSDataCite


Contact: O'Sullivan, Marion (STFC,RAL,SC)