Psychological Data Community of Practice Agreement

27 Jun 2022

Psychological Data Community of Practice Agreement

Aligning with RDA’s mission, the purpose of the Psychology RDA Community of Practice (CoP) is to raise awareness of the importance of data sharing, and to provide support with respect to the technical skills needed for FAIR data sharing, within the Psychology community. This CoP brings together Psychology researchers with an interest in open, transparent, and reproducible research methods and practices. The CoP will link with the equivalent CoPs in cogent disciplines (e.g., Neuroscience) and with other organisations such as the UK Reproducibility Network, EOSC, the Software Sustainability Institute, Open Life Sciences, and The Carpentries. This CoP will facilitate the sharing of effective practice, expertise, and computational tools that support FAIR data sharing.


User scenario(s) or use case(s)
This CoP has emerged as a result of the increasing emphasis in the adoption of open and reproducible research practices by funders, national, and international bodies. The focus of the CoP will be primarily on Early Career Researchers who may not have the local support in place that is needed for the successful adoption of effective and transparent data management and research management practices.


The main objectives associated with this CoP are in terms of providing researchers with the technical skills needed in order to implement transparent research practices within their own workflows. These practices include (but are not limited to) pre-registration of research protocols, the use of open source software for data collection and analysis, reproducible analysis pipelines (including reproducing system-level dependencies), FAIR data, and reproducible analysis code associated with research outputs.


Value Proposition
This CoP is aimed at providing Early Career Researchers with the knowledge and skills needed in order to produce open, FAIR, and transparent research workflows that will increase the proportion of research results that are fully reproducible by other researchers.


This CoP has been proposed by Andrew Stewart (University of Manchester), Etienne Roesch (University of Reading) and Jim Grange (Keele University). All thee are institutional leads for open and transparent research practices, and sit on the Institutional Leads group of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN). They are all co-investigators on the 5-year Research England Development (RED) Fund programme of research “Growing and Embedding Open Research in Institutional Practice and Culture”. This £8.5m project aims to increase the skills base amongst UK researchers (across disciplines) to allow them to adopt transparent research practices in their own programmes of research. Andrew is also a Fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute (whose focus is on the recognition of the importance of research software, including the provision of best-practice software development skills, in research in the research environment). Both Andrew and Etienne are qualified Carpentry Instructors. This CoP will interact closely with the UKRN and the SSI. It will also interact with partners such as ELIXIR-UK (the co-lead for which sits on our advisory board). Initial activity of this CoP will be funded via the RDA/EOSC Community of Practice award, and via interactions with other Psychologists within the UKRN.


The main focus of this CoP will be to provide Psychologists with the knowledge and technical skills needed to adopt effective and open data and research management practices.


Operational Mechanisms
The CoP will be led in the first instance by Andrew Stewart (University of Manchester), Etienne Roesch (University of Reading), and Jim Grange (Keele University) with an advisory board composed of Carole Goble (University of Manchester), Rachael Ainsworth (University of Manchester), and Shoaib Sufi (University of Manchester). The CoP will primarily on-line on a monthly basis initially. The first year’s worth of activities will focus on skills training in the tools needed for the adoption of open and reproducible research practices.


Please see the complete Agreement attached for the timeline and potential group members and supporting organisations.


Review period start: 
Monday, 27 June, 2022 to Wednesday, 3 August, 2022
PDF icon Psychology_RDA_CoP_updated.pdf73.38 KB
  • Nancy Kassam-Adams's picture

    Author: Nancy Kassam-Adams

    Date: 11 Jul, 2022

    I am thrilled to see that there is a proposed Psychology COP - thank you so much for getting this going!  For this COP statement, I am in full agreement with the need to build skills and capacity, and like the idea of focusing on early career researchers. 

    However, I would not focus solely on open data & reproducibilty - I believe it would be useful to add the concepts of FAIR data and FAIR data practices, for several reasons. 

    - In many areas of psychology, making data accessible is possible even when those data cannot be nade fully open. 

    - Re-usability - ie the ability to ask new questions, often via integrating data from multiple sources - complements reproducibility, and is an important goal for data sharing.   

    - Metadata practices are integral to FAIR data, and are fundamental to re-use of all kinds - for reproduciblity as well as novel re-use.  Metadata knowledge and skills are a key component of the capacity we need to build.

    FAIR and Open are not the same, but they are complementary. Each is a dimension, and the skills / capacities involved are greatly overlapping. 

    I am a psychologist, working to promote FAIR data practices within the field of traumatic stress (see more here:  Happy to chat, and happy to be involved in this COP. 

  • Andrew Stewart's picture

    Author: Andrew Stewart

    Date: 12 Jul, 2022

    Many thanks for your comments, enthusiasm, and support, Nancy. Yes, I absolutely agree that FAIR needs to be central to this CoP. We have good links with the FAIR community - Carole Goble is on our advisory board. It's really interesting reading about how you've been promoting FAIR practices in your own research area. We'd be delighted for you to be involved with this CoP!

  • Nancy Kassam-Adams's picture

    Author: Nancy Kassam-Adams

    Date: 28 Jul, 2022

    Thanks Andrew!  Happy to be in touch offline about any ways that I can be involved.  (

  • Rebecca Koskela's picture

    Author: Rebecca Koskela

    Date: 28 Jul, 2022

    As noted in the instructions for creating a Community of Practice:

    • “To create a CoP, an Agreement must be submitted to the Secretariat (via or through the "Initiate a New Grouplink on the RDA website) from at least one existing RDA IG or WG that have produced RDA-endorsed Recommendations and/or Supporting Outputs. The Agreement will then undergo a six-week community review by RDA’s Technical Advisory BoardOrganisational Advisory BoardRegional Advisory Board, and member community.  At that point, RDA RDA Council will review and if it has met all requirements, the group will be approved and established as an official RDA CoP.”
    • “It is recommended that at least three Co-Chairs from at least three different continents lead a CoP.”
    • It is recommended that CoPs have representatives from at least 10 countries across at least 3 continents, including from the Global South.”
    • “As referenced in the Creating a CoP section, each CoP requires at least one associated IG or WG, although it is not a requirement for CoP members to be a member of any existing RDA group.”

    This proposed CoP does not fulfill the basic requirement that there was an existing RDA IG or WG with a RDA-endorsed Recommendation and/or Supporting Output.  The existing CoP, IGAD, did meet all of these requirements. This is an interesting project but they should consider an alternative route into RDA rather than a Community of Practice, perhaps as a Working Group or Interest Group.

    Because the group does not meet the CoP requirements, I do not think it should be approved as a Community of Practice.

  • Francoise Genova's picture

    Author: Francoise Genova

    Date: 03 Aug, 2022

    It is always good to see a new community willing to join the RDA to fulfil the community's own needs, and the CoP proposal brings up a new very interesting subject. However, I agree with Rebecca Koskela's comment that the proposal does not fulfil the basic requirements for a CoP. The current starting point for a new thematic community in RDA is to propose an Interest Group or eventually a Working Group if the work plan is to prepare deliverables on an 18-month period.

    The two CoP proposals brought back to my mind several questions I got during the last months, from people willing to start thematic activities in the RDA who were thinking to propose a CoP. My answer has been the one I recalled above, to start with an Interest Group, eventually with the objective to propose a CoP when the first results will be obtained. But it seems that an RDA Group with a name refering to "Community" would be much more appealing than just an Interest Group for the people willing to start such an activity. It may also be in the interest of the RDA to identify better its thematic Groups. Would it make sense to think about a sub-category of IGs which could be called "Community Interest Groups" or something similar?

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