The OM Mapping Group

The RDA TAB has been working together with the RDA Working Groups/Interest Groups on a model for clustering the thematic areas. At the RDA plenaries attendees have had difficulties to recognize the focus or working paths of the 50+ Working and Interest groups, which has been communicated to the RDA Council, TAB, OAB and Secretariat. To be able to answer these questions and concerns the RDA TAB has completed a working on clustering the Working and Interest Groups in a 2D map.

At the RDA Organisational Assembly meeting (Organisational & Affiliated Members) during Plenary 5 in San Diego on Monday 9th March 2015 Beth Plale from the RDA TAB presented the  clustering results. After a lively discussion it was decided to establish a small RDA OM group to make a similar cluster based on the RDA Organisational & Affilited members and to map that on the RDA TAB cluster to see how well the RDA organizations & affiliated members support the thematic areas. It is suggested that the output is presented at the Plenary 6 in Paris 23 - 25.9.2015.


  • Jill Kowalchuk
  • Leif Laaksonen (Chairperson)
  • Mustapha Mokrane
  • Amy Nurnberger
  • Ross Wilkinson
  • Stephen Wolff

Background documents:

  • ToR for the group [link]
  • Cluster document by TAB [link]

A summary from the discussion(s) over mail so far indicates:

  • The goal of the mapping should be focusing on the adoption of WG deliverables and in particular the role of organisational and affiliates members.
  • Clustering and mapping are seen as a way to go but the dimensions need a lot more attention as it is most likely not feasible/useful to use the same dimensions TAB has been using for the OMs/AMs.
  • Suggested dimensions could include the following dimensions, but crucially would include a means of describing the organisation in terms of adoption:
    • Nature (from non-profit/public to profit/commercial)
    • Enforcement (from legally to non-legally binding)
    • Coverage (from local/national to regional/international)
    • Perhaps other categorizations

A draft series of questions compiled by Leif with the aim to describe the organisation in therms of adoption:

  • Data Provider
  • Does your organisation provide data and able to adopt data providing RDA recommendations?
  • What type of data does your organisation provide
    • Discplinary data
    • Multidiscplinary data
  • Does your organisation have data providing needs that are not being met?
  • Does your organisation support  data provider  and able to recommend adoption of data providing RDA recommendations?
  • Data Consumer
  • Does your organisation consume data and able to adopt data consuming RDA recommendations?
  • Does your organisation have data consumption needs that are not being met?
  • Does your organisation consume  data provider  and able to recommend adoption of data consuming RDA recommendations?
  • What type of data does your organisation consume
    • Discplinary data
    • Multidiscplinary data

A comment bringing the discussion back to the original suggestion

About clustering:  If there's one property RDA has, it's diversity.  IETF had the same property, and managed it by a one-dimensional clustering into "Areas"; RDA's diversity is in a sense richer than that, and the TAB's 2-D clustering of IGs and WGs makes I think perfect sense.  Introducing an entirely different set of cluster descriptions for the O and A members might (in fact probably would) make the relationships among those members easier to grasp and communicate, BUT it could not in any way help anyone understand how the OAMs relate to the fundamental work of the RDA.

It seems to me that mapping the OAMs onto the same plane as the IGs and WGs conveys the possibility for understanding how the OAMs most naturally connect with what RDA is all about.  It may be, as Mustapha suggests, that many organizations will place themselves in the center of the diagram, but (using the example I know best) I believe Internet2 fits in Q1 on the strength of our being a community-driven organization with particular strengths in engagement, consensus, and collaboration, AND we also fit into Q3 because of actually being a fabric, housing identity management solutions, and generally being a utility for data providers.  But I can make only weak argument for putting Internet2 into Q2 or Q4.  So I would say, looking at the list of OAMs, that we would not be alone in fitting into more than one quadrant.  But how many would fit into all four and thus convey NO information?

All suggestions make a lot of sense the real question is how much effort we can put into this! Starting from a rather small and quick excercise this is now rapidly turning into a major effort.

Next step is to organize a quick meeting, which will be challenging due to the geographical coverage.

Suggested meetings:

  1. Thursday 23 April
    07:00 - Washington DC, 13:00 - Central Europe Summer Time, 20:00 - Tokyo, 21:00 - Canberra
    Short observations from the meeting  [link]
  2. Tuesday 28 April
    17:00 - Washington DC, 23:00 - Central Europe Summer Time, 06:00 - Tokyo, 07:00 - Canberra

Proposed agenda

  1. Call to Order
  2. Business Arising from the Discussion so far
  3. Steps to complete the mapping Exercise
    • If a common view is achieved in step 2)
    • What to do?
    • Who will do?
    • When?
  4. Other Business
  5. Next meeting
  6. Termination