AnIML: Overview

AnIML as a project was instigated to solve problems with existing data standards and take advantage of the recent development of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML).  Simply stated the goal of the ASTM working group is to

"Develop an analytical data standard that can be used to store data from any analytical instrument"

Reason for starting AnIML

Standards for scientific data are extremely important to progress in the collection an usage of that data.  AnIML was started out of a need to modernized existing data standards (e.g. JCAMP-DX, netCDF), build a standard around evolving XML technologies, and provide a unifying format for scientists to save and keep their data.

Mission Statement

Our goal is to serve as the open-source development platform for a new XML standard for Analytical Chemistry Information. The project is a collaborative effort between many groups and individuals and is sanctioned by the ASTM under subcommittee E13.15.

The AnIML Working Group Members

  • Gary Kramer (NIST) 
  • Burkhard Schaefer (BSSN Software) 
  • Mark Bean (GlaxoSmithKline) 
  • Maren Fiege (Waters) - Informatics Senior Product Manager; involved with AnIML since 2003; interested in improving availability and sharing of electronic data through scientific data management systems and data standard formats. Maren has contributed to the development of the core and technique schemas as well as a couple of technique definitions and headed the task group that developed the Chromatography technique definition.
  • Stuart Chalk (UNF) - Associate Professor of Chemistry, involved with AnIML since 2004, interested in markup languages and XML technologies for Chemical applications.  Stuart has contributed to the organization of data in the core and technique schemas, implemented JCAMP-DX to AnIML converters, explored AnIML data visualization using XSL and SVG, and developed this website.

AnIML 1.0 Deliverables

  • Core Schema - Fundamental framework for AnIML documents
  • Technique Schema - Fundamental framework for technique definition and extension documents
  • AnIML Technique Definition Documents (ATDD) - Rules for content of specific technique file
  • AnIML Naming and Design Rules - Specifies rules about data element structure for interoperability
  • Standard Practice for AnIML Files - Describes how the specification is supposed to work
  • How to Create a Technique Definition Document - Guidelines for creating new technique definition documents

In addition, the working group has produced the following documents on the requirements for the AnIML specification

AnIML is not intended to be a rigid, high burden standard.  Rather the design is intended to outline logical structures for data storage for instrument data that allow easy data interchange.