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31 May 2019

RDA Engaging Researchers with Research Data: peeping through the team’s activities

The RDA project “Engaging Researchers with Research Data - What works?”, part of the Libraries for Research Rata Interest Group,  aims to collect information on data engagement activities undertaken by different stakeholders, to possibly identify patterns relevant to the type and size of organisations mapped to specific requirements and difficulties encountered in successfully running these activities.

Ultimately, the project will produce a handbook of diverse case studies to support stakeholders decisions, contributing to building a better understanding of how FAIR and open research data policies are/can be successfully implemented globally. Still, there is observed to be a gap between perceived benefit of data sharing and actual practice (dilemma of data sharing).

Preliminary outcomes of the team’s work were presented at the Plenary 13 meeting in Philadelphia, during the Libraries for Research Data Interest Group session, by Helena Andreassen, Raman Ganguly and Andrea Medina-Smith. The presentation gave an insight to the survey conducted, being one of the core activities of the project. It acknowledged the importance of a collection of engagement activities by communicating to the audience the overwhelming interest that the survey got from the international community: 216 answers were received at the 1st call for participation! Among respondents, the survey counts 60 funders and 80 institutions.



For more information on the history of the project, how it was formulated and who is involved, please check this blogpost.

To facilitate analysis of those data and to effectively respond to both qualitative and quantitative needs when translating data into information, the group is divided in two sub-groups: one dedicated to quantitative analysis and one working on qualitative issues. Out of 216 responses, 88 cases from 50 independent institutions, offered thorough descriptions of activities aiming at increasing researchers' engagement with research data. Current work of the groups include categorisation of these cases per activity type as well as assignment of tags to ease classification and discovery, in a matrix style approach.

The RDA engaging researchers with research data team, being half way there reaching the projects’ objectives, is now focusing on:

  • Splitting data analysis into qualitative and quantitative branches, cleaning and structuring data accordingly.

  • Preparing for a booksprint in order to create the handbook. The booksprint is expected to take place 10-12 July in the Netherlands.

  • Preparing for RDA 14th plenary in Helsinki where the final output of their work will be presented.


The team is also examining the possibility of collaborating with the BoF Research Data Management in Institutions initiative in the near future.


Slides from the P14 presentation can be found here.

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