Data exchange requires that also annoations, metadata, are exchanged. In oder to allow interoperability we need both a common (meta) data model, the format in which the metadata are exchanged, and a common terminology.
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 four entities (Property, Section, Value, RootSection) 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.