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25 Apr 2017

My experience as an RDA early career

The 9th Plenary Meeting took place in Barcelona, (Spain), I had the opportunity to assist thanks to the early career program, whose aim is to introduce young researchers and scientists in activities of RDA giving them the opportunity to participate in Working Group and Interest Group activities.

This has been a great experience: I had the opportunity to discover what RDA is really, meet and mix with open data experts and present a poster to explain my work related with ontologies, RDF and the use of Semantic MediaWiki to make querys in SPARQL language.

The first day there was a session, RDA for Newcomers at Plenary 9” , where information related to how RDA works, experience from previous early career grantees, and how to get involved in RDA were covered.

During these days I attended many sessions and I've taken notes about new tools, links of interest and different types of information that can be useful to my future work. One of the sessions that I attended was “IG Geospatial”, in which discussions on Geospatial Data Science took place, talking about the possible formats to save data in and the use of SOSA (Sensor Observatio Sampling Actuator Ontology). Another session I found useful for my work was “Domain Vocabularies: Improved Semantics for Domain Vocabulary Development & Standardization”, in this sessions the speakers talked about topics related to vocabulary, the things we should keep in mind when creating an ontology, some examples of use, and the semantic part of data.

All the early career fellows are assigned a couple of sessions in which they have to take notes and help the speakers in what they need. I was assigned “ WG Data Type Registries & #2: Data Type Registries WG Progress Reports and Outlook” and “ IG Repository Platforms for Research Data: experiences with research data repositories in different institutions and domains”.

In the first one, an overview of the activities of the group was given, interpretation and use of datasets was discussed, including how to describe them in a form that both humans and machines can understand. The aim of this was to create a data type registry where we can share and evaluate it in an easy way. To understand better what this is about, we need to know that a data type is a unique and resolvable identifier which resolves characterization of structures, conventions, semantics, and representations of data and serves as a shortcut for humans and machines to understand and process data. So, a data type registry is a low-level infrastructure with wide applicability to record and disseminate type records that assign unique and resolvable identifiers to type records.

In the second of my assigned sessions, the speakers talked about different data repositories used in differents institutions and domains. Some of the platforms explained were:

  • OpARA: an instituional repository that collects, preserves and distributes digital material. It allows researchers to upload their data and create distributed groups of almost all scientific disciplines.
  • Dendro: an open source platform to help researchers describe their datasets and organize datasets using domain specific ontologies.
  • Hydra: a multi-institutional collaboration repository developed to hold, manage, preserve and provide access to digital materials generated through research.

In conclusion, assisting to this Plenary has been a great experience where I had the opportunity of know how RDA works, getting to know different working groups. At a personal level, I have learnt a lot of things about the use of data, anfd sharing and preserving data openly. I also had the opportunity to show my work to the rest of the community, meet experts in this field and obtain a global vision of all developments in the area of open data.

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