We summarized answers to frequent questions here:

What is Makersite?

Makersite is a product innovation platform that provides data and expertise to people that create, produce or research products.

Who is Makersite for?

Makersite is for anyone who cares about products and how they are made. Every day, over 20m engineers, designers and producers are out to create, grow or procure tomorrows products. Thousands of researchers, scientists and consultants advise on impacts and innovation. Makersite brings everyone together to purposefully exchange that know-how in a network.

How does Makersite help?

Makersite models the economic, environmental and social effects of alternative designs across value chains. This greatly increases the ability of product teams to innovate, while reducing costs, risks or environmental impacts. Because a lot (but not all) of the know-how is open and networked, the data on Makersite expands continuously. Like Wikipedia, this benefits everyone.

How does Makersite work?

Makersite is the largest database in the cloud of how things are made, what they’re made of and the impacts of making them.
Makersite hosts thousands of generic product models and industrial processes. The platform constantly associates relevant, “live” data (i.e. costs) from multiple sources to those models for analysis (“analytic layers”). Since millions of data points are available already, Makersite can produce results very fast.
To benefit, simply configure your specific product from an existing template (or create a new one) and use pre-configured analytic layers (or add new ones). Once connected, users stay continuously updated, can model alternative designs and collaborate on the platform with stakeholders.

What is unique about Makersite?

Makersite is different in many ways, but three stand out: fast, connected, secure.

Fast.

  • Get started quickly: As a cloud application, no software deployments are necessary. The use of a simple XLS plug-in or an Application Program Interface (API) allows import and export of data into existing systems.
  • Lower information requirements: Starting with just a BOM or a recipe, Makersite can enrich designs with market, cost or sustainability information before designs have been finalized.
  • Computation speed: its advanced architecture can render computationally intensive calculations in seconds, that would usually take days or weeks to complete.
  • Dynamic changes: once models are created, they are automatically reused in subsequent analyses. Through a live model of the product and its value-chain, changes are dynamically reflected in all derivative models.

Connected.

  • Sharing: product recipes and compositions can be openly shared (or protected), like GitHub does for software.
  • Open: Makersite is uniquely capable of hosting both open and restricted data. Makersite data is open by default under CC BY unless stated otherwise. This means open, public data sources remain open for the community to build on.
  • Extensible: Anyone can add or connect data. Makersite has many pre-configured analytic layers for a quick start, but the system is open for additional data sources and analytics.

Secure.

  • Security: while Makersite is open by default, whatever data is confidential will remain so. You can hide their data from the global repository, yet remain connected to it. This enables open collaboration and sharing, while protecting IP.
  • Data object protection: Makersite is the only platform capable of keeping single data objects private, while publishing recipes or BOMs. This means you can calculate and publish an impact, without having to fully disclose how your product is made.
I'm a consultant. Is Makersite for me?

If you provide consulting around an area of expertise and generate data as part of your business, Makersite is great for you. Open an account and publish data you are comfortable sharing. You can share data openly (using CC BY) or share under your own terms. That way you provide value to the community and get found for your expertise at the same time. Inquiries will go directly to you. Its a great way to generate interest in your services.

I'm an academic institution. Is Makersite for me?

Absolutely. You can use Makersite as an individual researcher or as an institution. As an academic institution you probably have already published data. You can share that data connected to other data around how things are made. That’s what’s unique about the site. For example, if your research is in materials or processes, Makersite can contribute other dimensions such as water or energy use, or the products that may benefit from your research.

I'm a commercial data provider. Is Makersite for me?

Yes! Typically, data providers are specialists in a certain domain (Materials, Chemicals, LCA, Costs, Compliance, etc). Makersite is about connection between specialist data sources. Publish the “headline” data that provides the connection, such as product or process names, industries, countries etc. That way you generate value and get found as a source. If users want to go deep with your data they can contact you directly. Its a great way to generate interest in your services. Contact us for more under team@makersite.net.

Is your data open?

Yes, data on Makersite is open under CC BY unless stated otherwise. The reason that not every data set is licensed under the same terms is that there are so many different licensing schemes, including “open” ones. Makersite uses CC BY open as the default, but if someone wishes to participate under different terms they can do so. We think its better to first have data available and connected, rather than sort out a plethora of legal terms.

If I share data, what happens with it?

By default, your data is open on Makersite, unless you chose to make it confidential. Either way, Makersite lets you share know-how, data and tools with others. You can share within your team or the global community, and in return, benefit from their contributions.

What if I already transferred copyrights to data elsewhere?

If you agreed to a non-exclusive transfer of copyright, you don’t need to revoke what you have submitted elsewhere. You can do the same on Makersite.

If you did agree to an exclusive transfer of copyright, you may still be able to contribute. For example, if you have transferred the copyrights of a scientific paper to a publisher, you can still provide a link to your work. You can also add factual, scientific data you produced. Scientific facts are not protected by copyright. However, please take legal advice if you are not sure about copyrights.

Will contribution to makersite cost me anything?

No, contribution and usage of basic functions on Makersite is are free.

Do you pay for data?

We may. Some data may be missing or has extra value for users. In that case we may procure it for everyone’s benefit through our royalties scheme. Data must be approved and live on the platform to be eligible for the royalty pool. Our royalties scheme is usage based. This is comparable to modern music streaming services: the more an artist gets listened to, the higher his/her royalty payments. Check out the royalty calculator below (indicative only).

How are Royalties calculated in detail?

Data providers under the royalty scheme will receive royalties based on the following formula:

Royalty pool x data usage / total data usage.

The royalty pool is money set aside for selected data contributors. It is set as a balanced share of our total costs and investments. We foresee to revisit the size of the royalty pool with time. That said, we guarantee that a minimum percentage of revenues gets paid out.

Who covers the cost for Makersite?

Everycs ltd. is the company that provides the infrastructure and support for Makersite. While everyone can use Makersite for free, companies may require professional support, consultancy and enterprise features that are part of Everycs’ commercial business.

What is a Creative Commons license?

We make use of the Creative Commons (“CC”) legal framework. It’s a transparent, global framework that provides a standard, machine searchable treatment of data licenses. Specifically, you agree that your contribution is a CC Attribution (CC BY) license. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you.

A prominent example of CC is Wikipedia. Wikipedia allows content to legally flow in and out with ease, enabling one of the great cultural resources of the digital revolution to legally interact with endless contributions from the world community.

Go here if you would like to find out more: https://creativecommons.org/

What are the terms?

If you are transferring the rights to publish your data under a Creative Commons license, you remain the owner of your data and can publish it anywhere else (e.g. at work, scientific journal, public study, PhD thesis, etc.). The exact text of this agreement are as follows:

“I confirm to hold the copyright to the uploaded data and to be entitled to dispose of these copyrights. I hereby transfer the non-exclusive right of use of the uploaded data to Makersite under a creative commons CC-BY licence, including but not limited to the right to publish, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, modify, change, complete and otherwise use the contributed data in electronic and print form and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages, and to license or permit others to do so. This transfer of non-exclusive right of use cannot be withdrawn. I maintain the right to use the transferred data for my own scientific work as well as to use it with third parties on a non-exclusive basis, including for commercial purposes.”

Are you an LCA database?

No, we are not a Life Cycle Assessment (“LCA”) database. We do however make use of Unit Process data, found in LCA. Unit Processes and Unit Operations data with inputs and outputs are very useful for Makersite. If you have UP data you’d like to contribute, please do. We encourage uploads of datasets in EcoSpold format, but spreadsheets work fine, too.

What format works and data quality is expected for Unit Processes?

Data should be product, process or resource related. It contains a description of processes/unit operations’ input/outputs, product properties or impacts. Unit processes/unit operations are defined as an independent processes or activities that transform a given input into an output. For example, turning copper and zinc into brass, growing crops from seeds, transporting a good from one place to another, synthesizing a chemical, etc. Datasets should be well documented, scientifically researched and detailed at the unit process level. As a data provider you must gather the necessary data, consisting of process inputs, outputs and impacts. The data collection process needs to be documented and sources referenced in the documentation please.

How can I get in touch?

If you have data which you would like to submit, please open a submission form in Makersite. It will guide you through the process.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to use the discussion forum on Makersite. That way everyone benefits.
To contact team Makersite please mail us at team@makersite.net or use the contact form on the website. We look forward to hearing from you.

Can I keep part of my data confidential?

Yes, data submissions can be kept confidential. At first data is always confidential by default. You can then choose to publish your data openly or publish but restrict access. Access can be restricted by data-set, by user group and even by data object.  You can choose:

  • Partial data publication. For example, the recipe of a soda drink may contain proprietary data (the flavor mix) as well as public data (the water content). Makersite uniquely allows you to publish the entire recipe (to get results) while part-protecting individual line items (such as a % or particular quantity within the flavor mix).
  • You can also restrict data access to a group, such as team members, your suppliers, etc.

We do not support anonymous data submissions.  Makersite’s principle is that data can be associated to its creator for questions, comments, feedback etc.

Can I get academic recognition?

Yes, absolutely. We transparently provide citations for data sets in Makersite. You can also link to your research or academic work that supports your data.

How do I connect data with CAD, PLM or other product design tools?

You can connect to Makersite through file uploads (f.ex. csv file), Makersite’s own input screens in a browser or the Makersite.net API. The use of an Application Program Interface (API) to access and use the Makersite.net application allows import and export of data into CAD or PLM systems. Please contact team@makersite.net if you are interested in this option.

How do I create a submission file for Unit Process data?

You can easily contribute by using our input screens. We have designed them to be easy to use. The site provides detailed instructions when you open them.

If you wish to submit Unit Process data sets using LCA tools, there are also several options available on the market to produce them (f.ex. SimaPro Software, OpenLCA). For LCA toots please note that we prefer EcoSpold format because of its Unit Process detail. LCI data is less useful.

Spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel work fine, too.

 

How do you control data quality?

We employ three mechanisms for quality assurance: editorial reviews (subject matter experts), social mechanisms (you, the community) and algorithms (our computers’ intelligence).

Just like Wikipedia, data is always transparent and subject to improvement. We don’t believe in closed “black box” committees and hierarchical approval processes.

What happens after submission and acceptance of my data?

After acceptance of your data into the global model, your data will help power the data platform. It will support many people around the world make better decisions and better products. You will be visible as the author of your data and will hopefully remain an active author by updating your data. Others may contact you with questions, suggestions or opportunities to use your expertise, should you chose to be available for that.

I’m named as an author but have not signed up yet. How come?

If you have published work, our search engines may have picked up on your work and inventoried it. All you need to do is confirm that you are the author of the data and allow Makersite to use it. If you do not want Makersite to use your data, flag it and we will delete what we have (unless its public anyway).