This past March, representatives from the international data community convened in San Diego, California to attend the Research Data Alliance’s (RDA) 5th Plenary Meeting. With the theme “Adopt a Deliverable", approximately four hundred attendees celebrated the support RDA has received in its first two years as a global organization and collaborated on new ways to foster an open environment of data sharing and exchange.
With support from the European Commission, the Australian government and the United States (U.S.) National Science Foundation (NSF), RDA has grown from a core group of committed agencies to a community that now comprises more than 2,600 members from more than 90 countries, all dedicated to pragmatically removing the barriers to data sharing and raising awareness of those challenges among regions, disciplines, and professions.
Hosted by the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, the first day of the Meeting was titled “Adoption Day” and highlighted several organizations’ success stories related to the adoption of RDA’s outputs, which are data types and schemas, pieces of software and recommendations developed by RDA Working Groups to remove barriers related to the sharing of data among researchers. From the European region, adopters included the European Collaborative Data Infrastructure (EUDAT), Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN), and the German Climate Computing Center. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Deep Carbon Observatory, Kent State University, and Washington University St. Louis represented the U.S. region.
Additional Meeting activities took place at the Paradise Point Hotel in San Diego and comprised a combination of breakout sessions and plenaries focused on topics including but not limited to big data, training, data fabric, interoperability, data stewardship, and metadata standards. Video recordings and presentations for the plenary sessions are available in the programme page, while photos from the meeting are available in the photo gallery.
Keynote speakers featured Margaret Leinen, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences, Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dean of the School of Marine Sciences at the UC San Diego; Stephen Friend, President, Co-founder, and Director of Sage Bionetworks; and Naoyuki Tsunematsu, Principal Adviser, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan.
Several RDA working groups also reported on their recent deliverables. A summary of these outcomes is provided below:
Scalable Dynamic Data Citation Working Group
This group developed a dynamic-data citation methodology that supports efficient processing of data and linking from publications and enables researchers to reference precise subsets of changing data. Existing adopters include CODATA, OpenAire, Datacite, W3C and other related standards.
Metadata Standards Directory Working Group
A Prototype Metadata Standards Directory and use cases were developed within this group that enable information to be maintained transparently and with full version control. The Digital Curation Centre whose initial metadata directory was taken up has adopted this deliverable.
Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group
This group implemented a common framework for wheat data terminology to enable interoperability between distinct data collections. The Wheat Initiative Wheat Information System has adopted this framework.
Data Description Registry Interoperability Working Group
Systems and graph technologies were implemented by this group that link data across multiple registries to facilitate search and discovery. Existing collaborators include the Australian National Data Service, CERN, DANS, DataCite, DataPASS, Thomson Reuters, Cornell and others.
Visit RDA’s website at https://rd-alliance.org for more information about this Meeting, the next Plenary Meeting (to be held in September in Paris, France, 21-25), RDA’s adopters, and deliverables.