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26 Jul 2016

Reflections of an RDA Secretariat member

Dear friends,

It still feels like yesterday when I joined the RDA efforts in late 2012. It is hard to believe that four years have already passed. However, looking back, the amount of work that we managed to complete together in an international context is quite staggering. As I write this RDA has already produced 12 Recommendations, of which half are currently endorsed*.

In these four years I have seen (and helped) RDA become an organisation with a transparent and working governance structure. That is not to say there is not room for improvement. However most obvious improvements would need to be enabled by having more people available to do the day to day background work, for instance to support the groups and TAB more in their endeavours. We have been very flexible and remarkably effective considering the amount of available capacity.

Initially the working groups where technical in nature. Quickly though they where joined by some groups with more social deliverables, such as the WDS/DSA working group on certification. Additionally many of our groups are joined groups with our Affiliate Organisational Members**, such as CODATA, WDS, and DataCite. Showing that improving the exchange of (research) data does not just involve technology, but also social solutions and working together towards this common goal.

The point is that I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve in only a few short years.

I hope that you all will continue to achieve the same level of success and in the future realise:

  • a better leveraging of our expert _volunteer_ effort (in the groups and TAB) by offering more support,
  • further cooperation with our organisational and affiliate organisational members, and
  • a more effective embedding of our results and future developments within the local contexts and thereby increasing our further impact locally.

In closing, it is been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you all in such an active capacity, as you might know I am leaving my current positions in the RDA Europe project as well as the RDA Global Secretariat. I will still be active as a regular RDA member in a few groups and will follow the future developments with great interest.



*) Our view is that the measure for Endorsement is adoption. Getting adopted, and documenting adoption are things that typically take a while after the Recommendation is delivered.

**) Affiliate Organisational Members are organisations with whom RDA has a MoU.

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