Schematic diagram showing how loose coupling between content repositories has been used to provide a distributed content management system. The data management system allows for the ad-hoc linking of items between repositories, using URIs. This allows for the simple linkage of items between any of the repositories. Generally laboratory scientists generate data and organize it directly within the "instrumentation layer". Once the data is available pipelines are built which query and retrieve experimental data from the instrumentation layer, the subsequent analysis results are stored in the analysis layer (including any logging information and intermediate results). The aggregation system allows for indexing of large data files so that subsets of information can be retrieved. The organizational layer allows for the results of analysis (or sub sets available through the aggregation system) and raw experiment results to be combined with additional research information.