Data Discovery Paradigms IG


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
TAB Liaison: 
Andrew Treloar
Case Statement: 
IG Established

RDA Interest Group Charter

Name of Interest Group:  Data Discovery Paradigms IG


The F.A.I.R. Principles, i.e. that data should be “Findable, Accessible, Interpretable and Reusable”, have become a key theme of Open Science. To comply with the first of these criteria, being Findable, we need a data infrastructure that supports users in discovering research data regardless of its location or the manner in which it is stored, described and exposed. This is a significant and growing challenge, as the number of research data repositories, and the need for cross-disciplinary data discovery, increases. This interest group aims to explore common elements and shared issues that those who search for data, and who build systems that enable data search, share.


The objectives for this interest group are to provide a forum where representatives from across the spectrum of stakeholders and roles pertaining to data search can discuss issues related to improving data discovery. The goal is to deliver guidelines and recommendations that can be adopted by data repositories, infrastructure developers, data producers and data users to improve the discovery and use of research data.

Key questions the IG wishes to address:

At RDAP8, we identified a long list of topics pertaining to data discovery, which were then voted by the group members to a shortlist of 10 topics. The top 5 of these have been selected as the key Task Forces which the group is focusing on (linked to the wiki page for each Task Force). Three of the Task Forces were officially closed at the RDA P11 after producing the corresponding outputs; these were:

The Interest Group currently has three active Task Forces: 

For more details on the full list of potential task forces and the process followed in selecting them, please see the page on Task Forces.


Related Activities:

  • NASA’s WG on Search Relevancy – focus is on improving search result relevance for EOSDIS data
  • ESIP’s Information Quality Cluster and NASA’s WG on Data Quality are both addressing ways of capturing and conveying quality information
  • ESIP's Semantic Technologies Cluster which is working on guidelines for using
  • W3C’s Best Practices for Spatial Data on the Web aims to improve discoverability and accessibility of geodata

Other RDA IGs whose activities are of interest and who we will interact with:

  • Metadata
  • Registries
  • Brokering
  • PIDs
  • Research data collections


The Data Discovery Paradigms Interest Group is open to all members and encourages active participation through the Task Force mechanism. Task Forces have phone conferences on a regular basis. To become active in either the Task Forces or propose other activities for the IG, please contact the Chairs. 



File RDADataSearchInterestGroup.docx29.04 KB

Recent Activity

31 Mar 2019

Metadata Joint Meeting at RDA P13

*Joint Session Metadata IG, Metadata Standards Catalog WG, Data in Context
*Thursday, April 5, 2019*
*Breakout 8 1100-1230 EDT*
*Collaborative session notes*:
*Short introduction describing the scope of the groups and if any previous
The Metadata Interest Group serves as an umbrella group for all aspects of

14 Mar 2019

Reminder: 14 March (8pm UTC), RDA DDP Schemas TF meeting

Dear Members of the RDA DDP IG and ESIP- semanticweb,
This is a reminder we have a schemas TF meeting at 8pm UTC (1pm PDT/9pm
CET/7am AEST) 14th of March. Sorry for the late notice, and cross-posting.
Here is the agenda:
* Discuss how to analysis the survey
Current practices in using schemas to describe research datasets.
* Discuss the schemas BoF session

13 Mar 2019

Re: Update on data/metadata granularity TF (RDA Data Discovery Paradigms IG)

Hi Chris,
I think we are still wrestling a little with the definitions so that we can have a common interpretation, although we made a little headway. It's true that the word is borrowed from the physical world, so that's interesting to think about more. I come from a mathematical background too, so I do appreciate the abstractions although we still need to anchor ourselves somehow. There is always a danger in extending the meaning of a term though.

01 Mar 2019

Re: Update on data/metadata granularity TF (RDA Data Discovery Paradigms IG)

Dear all,
thank you for indicating your availability on the doodle poll. Ultimately,
the most convenient day/time for all involved is the following:
- *March 7th, 2019 at 20:00 UTC*
The connection details are available below.
The agenda of the call will involve a discussion on the dimension of
data/metadata granularity, as currently captured in this document:

27 Feb 2019

Survey on current practices in using schemas to describe research datasets

Dear Members of the RDA DDP IG and ESIP- semanticweb,
I am writing to invite you to participate in a survey.
*As you may be aware, there is widespread and growing use of metadata
schemas such as to describe research data,
add structured metadata to landing pages so that they can be indexed by,
and searchable through web search engines. If you have adopted or extended
metadata schema in some way, have undertaken a crosswalk from a metadata
schema to, or have conducted preliminary exploration of

14 Feb 2019

RE: extension for (geo)sciences

Ø we have also found the need for defining more cross-cutting types such as LabProtocol and Sample
You might also take a look at the W3C Semantic Sensor Network ontology -
which has classes for `Procedure` and `Sample` (continuant) as well as `Sampling` (occurrent)

13 Feb 2019

Re: extension for (geo)sciences

Hi Alasdair,
Thanks for connecting the dots. I’m glad we are coming together on this. From the ESIP Semantic Technologies side, this was our intention for this coming 6 months.
I want to state that Adam Shepherd and Doug Fils have spearheaded the work through their hard work. It is looking great but needs to be reviewed by a wide community.
Some more responses inline…
The documentation is really nice, and very easy to follow.