User-centric database design

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A human-centered approach

All citizens have a stake in the transformation of the energy system and, therefore, in the digitalisation aspects connected to the process. In the fundamental changes of decentralising, decarbonising, and restructuring the energy sector, citizens should have a say in the transition process and how the relevant transition policies are designed and implemented. In addition, people are affected as customers of the energy market who demand a reliable and affordable provision of energy services. More and more citizens also become prosumers, producing energy, selling electricity, and offering a range of energy services.

To best realise a transition that benefits society, the digitalisation of the energy sector needs to incorporate, first and foremost, a human-centred design. Only by meeting people's needs will the transition be able to benefit citizens. Moreover, this aspect is critical for them to accept the multiple changes the transition entails and actively engage as citizens and prosumers in the energy market and society.

Tools are not available, but there is a vast literature on user-centric design principles and co-creation practices. It is recommended to organize stakeholder workshops to inquire user needs and develop user-centric query scenarios for the data. See also Use Case 2 for an example from the FAIRification of a database on citizen-led energy initiatives, and Arghandeh Paudler, Wierling & Schwanitz (2022) on a general overview on realizing a human-centered digitalization of the energy sector.

A gender-sensitive approach

The IT and low carbon energy research domains are fields, where female researchers are notoriously underrepresented (UNESCO 2019, Women in Science). Despite this fact, the preparation of EERAdata revealed that many female researchers are pioneering opening and FAIRification activities in the energy and other domains. Therefore, this new and emerging research field provides an excellent opportunity to improve gender balance in science.

Follow the EERAdata gender-sensitive approach.

User-centered implementation in EERAdata

In order to create the maximum impact from energy research data in these respects, one of the core issues is to meet the needs of potential users. Therefore, we strongly suggest to start the FAIRification process deliberately with user-centric database design, comprising,

View the full FAIRification workflow