Data exchange requires that annotations, metadata, are also shared. In order to allow interoperability both a common (meta) data model, the format in which the metadata are exchanged, and a common terminology are required.
Here, we briefly describe the odML data model. It is based on
the idea of key-value pairs like
temperature = 26°C.
The model is as simple as possible while being flexible, allowing interoperability, and being customizable. The model defines three entities (Property, Section, Document) whose relations and elements are shown in the figure below.
Property and Section are the core entities. A Section contains Properties and can further have subsection thus building a tree-like structure. The model does not constrain the content, which offers the flexibility essential for comprehensive annotation of neuroscience data.