Author: Riina Salmivalli, CSC
Demand for following FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles has been around for some years now, and as we know it is not going to disappear. Actually building on FAIR principles is more and more demanded in research data management, also in infrastructure and service development side. From top-down perspective Open Science agenda of European Commission contains the ambition to make FAIR data sharing the default for scientific research by 2020.
So how can a researcher make sure being on board of this development? Researchers need practical solutions to ensure FAIRness of their research data and services they use in managing research data. Many viable solutions have been created within Research Data Alliance (RDA) to support research data practitioners in becoming more FAIR, yet we see more room for active Finnish participation.
Linking Finns to global RDA scene
RDA Europe project has from the beginning of March 2018 entered a new era of network of national nodes, and the Finnish node hosted at CSC will function as an interface for Finnish research data practitioners and RDA global community. The national node model was one of the many topics presented in the 11th RDA Plenary in Berlin on 21–23 March 2018.
The Finnish node is a networked hub of experts from the CSC knowledge pool that are here to support in the usage of FAIR data functions created in RDA, and to function as a link facilitating Finnish participation to the global RDA activities.
The initial nodes are established in Finland, Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, UK, Germany, France and Italy. The aim is to foster the existing national RDA networks to create a European network of RDA nodes to enhance member state cooperation and support of RDA in many European countries. The ultimate goal is that the nodes will enhance European participation within RDA Global.
Where are the Finns in RDA?
Finland has been one of the first countries participating in building RDA since 2012. At the moment there are more than 140 individual members from Finland. When looking at this number of participants, one can be happy with somewhat equal distribution of participants representing all domains and professions. Yet we expect the national node to activate Finnish participation and support Finns in finding their place in global RDA activities.
By Finnish node we want to promote the thinking and acceptance that active participation in RDA activities and the adoption of RDA outputs will also promote one’s own research work and professional growth. Science needs networks of professionals willing to share their expertise and knowledge to affect how research data matters are dealt with.
The expert work of RDA happens in Working and Interest Groups that are open for everyone: these groups consist of experts around the globe gathered around specific topic or a concrete problem to solve. At the moment there are Finns chairing five different groups, but since groups are evolving over time and new groups are established, there is all time and room for more active participation.
The latest meeting of the Finnish RDA Node was organised in Espoo on June 6th 2018. See the event website for presentations and #RDAFinland on Twitter.