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How to become a Member Node


The path to establishing a Member Node (MN) is divided into 4 phases, each having a set of activities to complete before moving on to the next phase. The Development phase is the most variable between organizations in terms of time and effort required, and depends on the chosen deployment route. Those using an existing Member Node software stack, for example, will mostly be involved in the relatively simple hardware and software configuration activities, while those choosing custom development will be involved in probably several development-testing iterations.

Below is an overview of the four phases. The detailed deployment process with technical information is available for those ready to begin planning their deployment.


MN Deployment Phase 1 Planning

By joining DataONE, you will be reaching a wider audience for the data you host, and will potentially need to adjust how it is presented to match the expectations of DataONE end users. In the planning phase, you will determine the best approach for implementation given your starting point.

Determine feasibility

Here, you get to understand the role of a Member Node organization in DataONE, and assess if it makes sense to join DataONE at this point.

Join DataONE

Once you determine to move forward with establishing a Member Node, register your interest with DataONE to get better access to our resources to help with your implementation.

Scope the implementation

Most organizations operate differently and come from unique starting points. In this step, you identify any technical hurdles you might have to jump, and determine your implementation approach.

Plan the implementation

If you have significant development to do, you will likely wish to plan how to proceed. This is also typically the time organizations allocate resources and materials.


MN Deployment Phase 2 Developing

After Planning is complete and before your node is ready for the Testing phase, you are in the Developing phase. Here you build, install, check your Member Node software and hardware, and register any formats your node will be using that are new to DataONE.

To simplify your development process, DataONE maintains a web-based testing service that can be used to check your method implementations and perform basic content checks. Once all of the required MN tests are passing you are ready for the Testing phase, where real-world tests are run.


MN Deployment Phase 3 Testing

Once the Member Node has passed the basic MN tests, it is ready for fuller testing in the context of a staging environment. In this phase, we are able to test MN - CN interactions and do comprehensive content testing. Assuming all goes well, the Member Node is registered into production (“going live”), we review everything in production, and mutually decide with your organization that the deployment is complete.


MN Deployment Phase 4 Operating

DataONE will announce your node’s deployment after testing is complete, and your node will enter day-to-day operational mode. Be sure to incorporate DataONE operational procedures into your existing ones. As a Member Node organization, you are an important part of the DataONE community, and are encouraged to participate in DataONE forums set up to gather feedback and guide future activities.

Find out more

If you have a general question about DataONE Member Nodes that our website does not answer, try looking through our community forum at ask.dataone.org. You might also consider posting to the forum for an answer.