Organisational Advisory Board meeting minutes
25 November 2014, 9 pm UTC
(16:00 Washington DC time, 21:00 London time, 06:00 Tokyo time Nov 26th, 08:00 Canberra time Nov 26th)
Present: Aaron Addison, Amy Nurnberger, Andrew Treloar, David Baker, Fabrizio Gagliardi, Greg Tananbaum, Juan Bicarregui, Kathleen Fontaine, Laurel Haak, Leif Laaksonen, Malcolm Wolski, Mark Parsons, Nick Jones, Ross Wilkinson, Siddeswara Guru, Stefan Kramer, Stephen Wolff, Walter Stewart, Fotis Karagiannis (minute-taker)
- Call to Order
- Roll call and introductions
- Minutes of the meeting in Amsterdam at Plenary 4
- No comments during the call. Comments can be received via e-mail to Fotis until the January meeting.
- Business Arising from the minutes
- Review of the outputs from the first working groups to report out and likely next generation of outputs – Andrew Treloar, TAB co-chair (see attachments at the bottom, as well as this summary - RDA Outputs as of November 2014)
Andrew continued with the plans for the next outputs coming up (next six months slide) with a disclaimer that this is not an exhaustive, neither 100% accurate list:
A short intro about adoption and increasing membership was given by Walter. Andrew went through the summary presentation (see slides). The 3 WGs marked with red in the second slide (Data Foundation and Terminology, Data Type Registries and PID Information Types), have completed in P4, while the Practical policy one was slightly delayed.
Discussion on the first 3 WGs’ outputs:
- On a question on the status of the Data Type Registries (DTR) WG it was noted that the outputs (DTR software) are on Github hosted at Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), Virginia, USA and are looking for early adopters. It was not clear whether Github was openly accessible for potential adopters. [According to the prepared brochure the software will become available for download around the end of 2014 and that interested adopters should check the DTR WG’s web page at https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/data-type-registries-wg.html]. It was also added that the information for the RDA PID Information Type (PIT) Working Group is already using the first DTR prototype version in its API.
- Regarding the Data Foundation and Terminology (DFT) Walter said that RDA Canada have also come up with a Glossary and that they will compare it with the RDA terminology and come up with some comments/suggestions. He added that the DFT outputs needs to be used, being pretty easy for adoption, and that in general RDA should be “eating its own dogfood” validating its own products. On this point it was stated that the WG chairs are aware of this, however effort should be made to promote this to the IG chairs/groups also (although more challenging) and that this conformance can be brought into the TAB for discussion. It was also noted that the Data Description Registry Interoperability (DDRI) WG is already using the vocabulary.
Andrew continued with the plans for the next outputs coming up (next six months slide) with a disclaimer that this is not an exhaustive, neither 100% accurate list:
- Practical Policy WG, a basic set of practical policies encoded as machine actionable rules to enhance trust. iRODs will be using this. Careful not to be Trojan horse. It was noted that there is already the two pager for the Practical Policy group available.
- Metadata Standards Directory WG, so we can describe similar things consistently. There is potential to grow significantly. Maps all of the available standards and builds a directory. Identify minimal set of metadata.
- Data Citation WG, a methodology for making dynamic data citable (now being more focused). It was added that there will be an Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) workshop to evaluate the adoption. The WG is confident that they will be delivering by March.
- Data Description Registry Interoperability WG, a set of tools and software for cross-platform discovery of data among registries and repositories.
- Wheat Data Interoperability WG, describing terms and easing interoperability across wheat data (on semantics, making sure we talk about the same things). It was noted that all previous WGs were IT related ones and that this is disciplinary one.
- RDA/WDS Publishing Data Bibliometrics WG, defining metrics and services (i.e. what needs to be build and what is available already, but not build services) for better data citations, quality, discoverability and reuse.
- RDA/WDS Publishing Data Services, a pilot article–data cross-referencing service
- RDA/WDS Publishing Data Workflows, a reference model for data publishing workflows, plus pilot implementations (but again not a working service).
- Repository Audit and Certification DSA–WDS Partnership, a global framework for repository certification, working on an existing EU FP7 project.
Andrew stated that there may be a couple of others also, not included in the presentation.
On the discussion that followed the following points were raised:
- The bottom-up vs. top-down debate and that there may have been some tensions. It was stated that the TAB is dealing with this, in particular how to encourage people who care to be involved, especially for the ones who do this as part of daily business. Andrew stated that sometimes the outcomes may not be perfect, especially if one had a full view from the top. However, a recent activity being planned is to analyse and map the RDA WG/IGs space in areas (clustering) and identify important areas missing. Initiatives can then be undertaken from volunteers to fill the gaps. Still this cannot be considered effectively top-down, rather complementing the bottom-up. It was stated that it would also be good to build a question that asks more open-ended "needs" questions.
- The exact term of the outputs (e.g. outputs vs. products). Mark stated that there was a Task Force defining outputs and Intellectual Property (IP) a year ago, and after quite some debate, they settled with the term “Recommendations”. Mark added that we see them broadly as documents: working papers, policies (for RDA), recommendations, and implementations (more snippets of code rather than software). It was also clarified that the involved organisations own the related code.
- OAB members made varying comments, stating that recommendations is overall good, as the way how they are used may vary quite significantly and that recommendations also implies the voluntary nature that is intended. W3C uses also recommendations for their outputs.
- On the challenging topic of adoption by varying organisations and the role of the different RDA bodies the following were pointed out:
- Andrew stated that the role for TAB is to feed such questions (on adoption) back to the WG/IGs providing guidance in what they are doing and identifying opportunities. The guidelines for WG/IG chairs were also brought up as very useful.
- Walter stated that OA/OAB has a clear role in driving adoption also, and that this is very strongly linked (symbiotic) with membership!
- Juan mentioned that there may be two rounds of consultation on RDA recommendations, one internal (within RDA) and one external (beyond RDA). There may be more effort needed to facilitate adoption (before actual adoption), such as registries or other basic foundations.
- There are different levels of organisations who can act as adopters. There may be on-going projects that can jump on the outputs earlier, while organisations may want to see more a ready service.
- A survey (questionnaire) about Recommendations’ adoption can be considered. Barriers for adoption for organisations can be also included there. A pathway for adoption (what further work is required for adoption after the end of a WG) can be also prepared.
- The role of regional (e.g. RDA Europe) vs. global RDA constituents was raised and it was stated that adoption has to happen at all levels/scales. However, a coherent plan with identified responsibilities could ease the adoption process. And OAB can play a role in this.
- Mark stated that an Open Repository for the Recommendations is being planned, to be maintained by the secretariat. Currently the appropriate tools are being selected. Secretariat tracks the adoption and then Herman Stehouwer (RDA secretariat member) will take a role as a social-technical liaison to facilitate adoption, providing direct support and training to organisations trying to adopt (acting as a kind of helpdesk). Furthermore, there are efforts in the secretariat and the regional constituents to facilitate dissemination.
Kathy Fontaine referred to an RDA US adoption call with a budget of 50K USD including travel looking at one of the areas (practical policy), which can stimulate adoption.
6. Adoption Day at Plenary 5 – Kathy Fontaine
Kathy mentioned that there is an adoption day planned on 8 March 2015, the day before the RDA 5 plenary start. She said that there is an overall goal for this, namely to raise awareness outside of the original WGs, which may not necessarily be outside RDA. She reminded that each WG was formed with a proposed adopter already. She encouraged OAB members to raise awareness of the RDA outputs and invite interested persons or organisations within or outside RDA to the adoption day.
In more details, it was stated, that in the adoption day the outputs will be presented (i.e. what the outputs are) and they will be explained and its use will be demonstrated. There will be time to talk with the WG representatives in a trade atmosphere and get into the details and see how customisable they can be. Finally, effort will be made to investigate what other problems are out there, which can be covered by existing or new WGs.
Kathy then explained that applicants selected out of the RDA US call (mentioned in the previous agenda item), will also talk during the Adoption day. This will hopefully encourage new organisations to join RDA. Kathy invited OA/OAB members to come to the adoption day. A hand-out will be prepared for the Adoption day and it was also proposed to put together a hand-out why to become an organisational member.
Regarding the evaluation of the products it was stated that evaluation needs to be done with an eye towards adoption and that OAB should come with a set of questions around adoption.
The following comments were made:
- Re. the eligibility of the RDA US call on adoption it was stated that it is for non-governmental bodies.
- Walter stated that he will be already on Saturday for the RDA Leadership meeting (Council, TAB, OAB, Secretariat joint meeting).
- Coordination for adoption may have positive results.
- The skeleton of the RDA P5 programme was enquired and it was agreed to add to the minutes the presentation given by Kathy in the RDA P5 Programme and Organisation Committee (See Kathy’s presentation at the P5 PC kick-off)
- March 7 – RDA Leadership Strategic Planning session (follow-on from post P4 meeting)
- March 8 – Adoption Day activities and SDSC tour
- March 9 – Plenary and break-outs all day; evening reception
- March 10 – Plenary and break-outs all day; evening social
- March 11 – Plenary and break-outs all day
- March 12 – available for post P5 organizational group meetings, etc.
7. What can the OAB do to drive adoption? – All
Walter summarised that from the previous discussions it was clear that a questionnaire focused on recommendations that are out or coming soon should be prepared. Questions included may be how these would be used, or what barriers exist, is output “X” applicable to your organization.
ACTION: OAB Chairs to prepare a draft questionnaire based on the minutes by the 10th of December. Comments should be received by the first week of January. The next meeting will take place on the 3rd week of January.
Andrew stated that he will be in summer vacation during next meeting, but he will try to have TAB represented. ACTION: Andrew to find a TAB replacement for the next OA(B) meeting.
Leif proposed to include feedback received in various events organised such as a recent RDA Germany one. He noted that there will be also a RDA related event in Helsinki in Finland covering both industry and research areas, aiming to disseminate RDA more widely and that the questionnaire can be also presented. It was agreed that the questionnaire will be discussed inside the OA first, and the re-crafted version can go to the wider group.
The idea of appointing an adoption liaison from the OAB for each WG was also aired .
8. How can we use the OAB outputs to drive membership?
Walter stated that there was already some discussions on this in previous meetings, and that Amy and Michael have worked on this.
Amy confirmed that they did a bit of thinking, reaching out to other members of the OA; however, there was NO enthusiastic engagement, especially as the outputs aren’t in ready-to-market condition. It was added that the secretartiat and TAB are in better position to lead this. Michael agreed that this needs to be tasked to the Secretariat with a more proactive role, creating a database of contacts to reach out and making a targeted campaign. The added-value for joining needs to be highlighted (possibly in a hand-out), together with some success stories (when they become available). The OA(B) members can of course support this effort.
Walter stated that in Mark’s recent visit in Canada, he made a presentation where he stated that although RDA is 18 months old, it has already results! The best strategy is to highlight results and adoption. Also targeted membership for adoption should be sought, and related questions should be included in the questionnaire: who should be a member or can adopt the outputs.
In the discussion that followed the following points were raised:
- It was clarified that WGs have to propose adopters during the submission of their case statement.
- Individual organisational members can adopt, not all.
- Success stories/primes (successful adoption stories) should be showcased to be able attract a broader range of OMs and industrial OMs in particular.
- Committing to adoption may be too big to ask; rather in the case statements an adoption plan is requested (rather signatories for adoption)
- There is difference in individual vs. organisational members joining and there is a tension between individual and organisational members joining. The benefits of being an org member need to be highlighted:
- Opportunity to have your org ahead in the curve, influence or drive things (on what’s happening), serve your needs better. However, it won’t resonate with all orgs but certainly for those that have capacity.
- Visibility may be an important reason also, and access to a broader or higher audience, i.e. international reach. The visibility is not quantifiable. But again many orgs do not have the bandwidth for it, so that value proposition is still theoretical. Small organisations may still want to follow things.
- The membership fees were also kept low, easing organisations to join.
- RDA may be pushing too hard on outputs. Some bridges and underlying technologies are very good, but we do not have a diverse set of outputs.
- If all current organisational members were encouraged to issue releases about their joining RDA, this would help the visibility mentioned as a motivation to join.
ACTION: Walter concluded that it needs to be thought who can really profit from such foundational recommendations and 3-4 targeted organisations need to be identified.
However, it was not clear who should be leading this whole targeted marketing thing, including success stories.
ACTION: The OAB Chairs need to discuss with the RDA Secretary General on such a responsibility for the targeted marketing for organisational membership.
9. The Organisational Assembly at Plenary 5
- Walter reminded that the format used in the Amsterdam plenary was having two sessions, one open (to attract new members) and one closed to the ones who signed. It was agreed to sustain the same model.
DECISION: Use the same two session format in San Diego plenary: An open and a closed one. It was proposed to discuss the questionnaire for adoption in the closed meeting.
It was proposed to consider making mandatory for the WG/IGs chairs’ organisations to join RDA as org members, however, OA is not seen as an output organisation, rather advises the RDA. This can be discussed further.
- It was proposed to include this topic in the January agenda. Possibly similar to the Amsterdam sessions. Open meeting may include OAB chairs report on what was accomplished (including an introduction to OA(B)), followed by a panel. Reports from Council and TAB can be also included in one of the sessions.
ACTION: Include in the January meeting the topic of the agenda for the San Diego meeting.
Walter asked the Programme Committee and the local hosts to consider organising the OA(B) sessions in the afternoon of Monday the 9th of March 2015.
10. Any other Business
Walter reminded that, following the rotation of friendly meetings to EU and US, the next meeting will be organised in the EU-friendly timeslot (mid-day UTC/London time). After some discussion it was agreed to organise the next video call in the week of the 19th of January 2015.
Action: Fotis to create a doodle poll for the week of the 19th of January 2015. It was noted that 19 January is a holiday in the US.
It was also suggested that for future GoToMeetings, it would be good to return to the model used in the past "raising your hand" by turning on your camera. In the absence of that, we see lots of chat on the side, and video of people who don't say anything.
The meeting was closed at 10:39pm UTC.