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23 Jun 2020

RDA Hackathon on maDMPs – the beginning of a new series?

RDA Hackathon on machine-actionable Data Management Plans (maDMPs) took place between 27th and 29th May 2020, and gathered 71 participants from 21 countries from all around the world. With this blog post, we would like to summarize the event and share some insights on the feedback we received as organizers (RDA Austria).

Goals of the hackathon

The common goal of the hackathon was to apply and test the RDA Common Standard for maDMPs in a variety of settings. Although the specific topics were determined by the participants, the range of topics can be grouped into the following categories:

  • Integration of DMP tools, e.g. exchanging maDMPs between DMP tools
  • Other integrations, e.g. exchange of maDMPs between other services, such as repositories, etc.
  • Mapping of maDMPs to funder templates, e.g. Science Europe, NSF, etc.
  • New serializations, e.g. OWL ontology

Pre-hackathon collection of topics

Before the hackathon, everyone had a chance to contribute a topic and to look for others willing to work on the same challenge. Furthermore, there was a pitching session that was an open video conference in which everyone could explain his/her idea. Based on that, participants formed 12 groups.

Communication during the hackathon

At each of the three days, there was a meeting in which each group reported their progress. Furthermore, we used Slack for direct or group discussions. Each group had the freedom to define the most suitable way of communicating internally, while there was still a possibility for others to connect with the group via the common channels. The results produced by each group were tracked in a shared spreadsheet.

Hackathon results

To learn about the outcomes of the hackathon, please visit the hackathon website where you can find a recording of the Grand Finale session in which every group presented their outputs. The recording includes live demonstrations. You can also find in the website a list of links to the resources describing the results, e.g. reports, slides, code, etc. We are currently working on a workshop report to bring all the information into one document and we will let the community know as soon as the report is published – stay tuned!

Public vote

The results produced by each group participating in the hackathon were subject to an open public vote. There were three categories:

  • Innovation – the most innovative use of the RDA Common Standard for maDMPs
  • Collaboration – the most diverse team that brings various perspectives, stakeholders, etc.
  • Impact – the highest potential impact of the proposed solution

DMP Ninjas (Diamadis Tziotziosv, Georgios Kakaletris, Georgios Kalabokis, Elli Papadopoulou, and Adil Hasan) won the vote in each of the categories. Congratulations, Ninjas!

Feedback received from participants

We conducted a survey at the end of the hackathon and the feedback received from the participants was very positive. Thank you! 

The majority of answers rated the event very good or excellent. The responses also indicated that the event was well organized and that its duration was about right. What is especially positive is the fact that all respondents stated that they are very or extremely likely to attend a similar event in the future. Maybe the ‘RDA hackathon on maDMPs’ was in fact ‘The first RDA hackathon on maDMPs’?

We also received some hints about details that will for sure be useful in the future. We are really grateful for them! Thank you!

There was one comment though that we would like to address in public: “no free pizzas and drinks at the hackathon”. Indeed, free pizza and drinks are part and parcel of each traditional hackathon. Unfortunately, there is no virtual equivalent of pizza that we know of. We considered using food delivery companies to get pizza delivered to all participants around the world. After thorough investigations, we realised it may not work out to ensure that all participants, located on different continents, in different time zones, can get warm pizza at the same time. Maybe next time we can make it happen! Sorry for that!


Next steps

We believe that the work started at the hackathon is going to continue. Our confidence is based on two observations. First, participants of the hackathon were extremely enthusiastic and have deep understanding of the challenge we are solving together. This was manifested by discussions at the hackathon which were factual and exceeded chit-chat on perceived needs. Second, the participants were experts representing institutions, tool providers, infrastructure operators, etc. who are in position to ensure that the work started in this hackathon will continue and will be deployed in live systems.

Staying in touch

Please visit the hackathon website for the summary of results and to get in touch with individual members to ask for more information on specific topics. In case you are interested in the RDA common standard for maDMPs, please visit the recommendation website. If you would like to participate in the similar events like this hackathon, please subscribe to the DMP Common Standards WG to be notified on similar events in the future. If you are considering adopting the recommendation, please also let us know! We do not have to organise another hackathon to talk to each other, right?

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