The Unified Data Model team is delighted to announce the first release of the now-open UDM file format specification which will facilitate the exchange of information about chemical reactions. The new update consists of a definition of the UDM file format (as an XML schema document), several sample datasets (a big “thank you” to Elsevier and InfoChem), and sample source code (in Python and Java) that demonstrate the conversion to the UDM file format and validation of UDM files.

The original unified representation of chemical reactions was co-developed by Elsevier and Roche with contributions from other pharmaceutical companies. It was donated to The Pistoia Alliance in 2017  with the aim of extending the model to support additional requirements, and to increase its adoption as a vendor-agnostic experimental reaction/data format standard.

The current release is compatible with the original version created by Elsevier; it will remove the previous uncertainty around the units of measurement used for individual numerical values and documents fundamental entities.

The project team is continuing to work on a next version of the UDM, which will introduce several enhancements needed for better representation of experiments captured in electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs). We are grateful to the entire project team for their contributions and to our funders (BIOVIA, Elsevier, GSK, Novartis, Roche) who helped to make this first milestone happen.