As the size and complexity of scientific datasets and the corresponding information stores grow, standards for collecting, describing, formatting, submitting and exchanging information are playing an increasingly active role. Several initiatives occupy strategic positions in the international scenario, both within and across domains. However, the job of harmonising reporting standards is still very much a work in progress; both software interoperability and the data integration remain challenging as things stand.
The status quo with respect to standardization initiatives is summarized here, with particular emphasis on the motivation for, and the challenges of, ongoing synergistic activities amongst the academic community focused on the creation of truly interoperable standards.
Groups generating standards should engage with ongoing cross-domain activities to simplify the integration of heterogeneous data sets to the greatest possible extent.