European Registry of Materials: global, unique identifiers for (undisclosed) nanomaterials


Data management of nanomaterials and nanosafety data needs to operate under the FAIR (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability) principles and this requires a unique, global identifier per nanomaterial. Existing identifiers may not always be applicable, or sufficient to definitively identify the specific nanomaterial utilised in a particular study, resulting in the use of textual descriptions in research project communications and reporting. To ensure that internal project documentation can later be linked to publicly released data and knowledge for the specific nanomaterials, or even to specific batches and variants of nanomaterials utilised in that project, a new identifier is proposed: the European Registry of Materials Identifier. We here describe the background to this new identifier, including FAIR interoperability as defined by FAIRSharing, and the CHEMINF ontology, how it complements other identifiers such as CAS numbers and the ongoing efforts to extend the InChI identifier to cover nanomaterials, and provide examples of its use in various H2020-funded nanosafety projects.