Wouter Addink

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23 April 2020 2150 reads
RDA EU Ambassador for Natural Sciences

Wouter Addink is coordinating the DiSSCo technical architecture development based on the concept of Digital Objects (DO) developed in RDA. He is translating the DO concept to Digital Specimen for the natural scientific collections domain. In RDA he is chair of the Biodiversity Data Integration IG and he is working group chair in MOBILISE, an EU COST Action to create a network of scientists and to provide training and short scientific missions in collections. In TDWG Biodiversity Standards he is European representative and in GBIF he is Biodiversity Open Data Ambassador to promote best practices in open sharing of biodiversity data, as well as the node manager for DiSSCo.



The focus of the work was to identify the current needs of the international biodiversity and geodiversity data community for a discipline-specific group (Biodiversity Data Integration IG),  and to identify and engage key people in becoming active in the Biodiversity Data Integration IG and reactivate the IG in a collaborative effort. This directly impacts the engagement of the biodiversity data community in RDA. The work also involved presenting RDA outputs and how these can be used for natural scientific collections in the DiSSCo research infrastructure and to introduce the benefits of RDA and Open data in general to the biological sciences community.



  • FAIR Digital Object and Natural Science Collections data - Adoption Story that describes how DiSSCo adopts the RDA Recommendations on Virtual Layers, Basic Vocabularies and Metadata Standards for Attribution of Physical and Digital Collections Stewardship.
  • Designing a European Research Infrastructure for Natural Science Collections: Incorporating FAIR Digital Objects and RDA outputs - Paper currently under review submitted to the CODATA Data Science Journal 
  • RDA and Biodiversityprovides the Biodiversity community with information about relevant groups and outputs in RDA and explains the value of RDA to the biodiversity community
  • International data sharing and data integration through RDA - Presentation at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Global Nodes Meeting (October, 2019)
  • RDA and Biodiversity data - Presentation at the Consortium of European taxonomic Facilities (CETAF) Information Science & Technology Commission (ISTC) meeting (21 April 2020)




Coordinating the RDA Biodiversity Data Interoperability IG (co-chair)

Working sessions (co-chair)


Wider biodiversity community engagement with the RDA groups  

One of the recommendations from the community was to improve the engagement of biodiversity data aggregators in the group. This led to iDigBio becoming a member and delivering a new chair for the BDI IG. This also improved the geographical coverage and gender balance of the chairs. Following a presentation for GBIF nodes, new GBIF contacts joined the group and also the executive secretary from CETAF joined the interest group.

The Biodiversity and Geodiversity data community in DiSSCo has been involved in several RDA interest groups and task groups and RDA outputs were adopted and incorporated in the DiSSCo Data management plan and Conceptual Design Blueprint for the DiSSCo digitisation infrastructure - as detialed in the FAIR Digital Object and Natural Science Collections data Adoption Story.

As another engagement activity, a new IG session is planned for RDA P16 which will discuss setting up a new joint WG for Open Digital Specimen under the BDI IG and TDWG. The session will also present biodiversity community work in the RDA COVID-19.


September 2020