BoF Data Search


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Date & time: Tuesday 1st March - 16:30 - 18:00 - Working Meeting Session 3

Group name: Birds of a Feather Session on Data Search

Meeting title: Birds of a Feather Session on Data Search

Please give a short introduction describing the scope of the group and if any previous activities

If research data is to be reused, it needs to be discovered first. Yet most datasets reside in distributed databases, that have non standard or inaccessible interfaces, and there are no efforts to improve cross-disciplinary retrieval. We propose starting a new RDA group (either a WG or an IG) on research data search. Tasks could include: surveying common search frameworks, API’s and tools; assessing existing standards (metadata, data format, exchange protocols) and developing recommendations to improve data search and interoperability between various efforts.


Please list the meeting objectives

The goal of the BoF session on research data search was to assess interest in starting an RDA WG or IG on Data Search within the RDA and plan next steps. The session attracted 41 people, with additional participants who could not expressing interest.


There were 9 lightning talks presented (available slides are appended to this page):
16:30 ­ 17:00: Demo¹s/lightning talks (max 5 slides/5 mins/person), including:

​17:00 ­ 18:00: Discussion:

What could a WG on DataSearch accomplish?

  • Shared vision on components to develop independently, e.g. shared access APIs to data repositoriesor system as a whole
  • Common standards for evaluating success/performance of system components or system as a whole
  • Design a set of evaluation metrics for data search engines (e.g. F-value, 'user happiness' metrics etc)
  • Define use cases or 'competency questions' for research data search
  • What are common exchange formats to enhance discoverability?

Potential next steps:


Audience: Please specify who is your target audience and how they should prepare for the meeting

Managers of data repositories, Information Retrieval and database researchers, publishers, librarians and scholars with an interest in creating interoperable systems for querying research data across repositories and technologies.

Group chairs serving as contact person:

Anita de Waard, Elsevier Research Data Management
Siri Jodha Sing Khalsa, University of Colorado/NSIDC