With over 7500 members from 137 countries, RDA can be hard to navigate for newcomers. Our member spotlight feature helps you to get to know some of the community that you may run into at events. This month we meet Sarah Jones, Associate Director at the Digital Curation Centre.
Sarah is a familiar face at RDA, having attended 7 of the last 12 plenaries. The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) has been involved from the outset and was one of the first organisational members. Its focus is on building capability and skills for digital curation and research data management. As such, the RDA is a key vehicle for connecting with the wider international community and collaborating on shared solutions. DCC outputs such as the disciplinary metadata standards catalogue have acted as inputs to RDA work, and have been enriched and made sustainable via the international collaboration.
Sarah’s role in RDA is varied. She is co-chair of the Active Data Management Plans IG and the CODATA/RDA Data Science Schools IG, and is a mentor on the Early Career and Engagement IG. Data Management Planning is her main area of activity in DCC. Sarah coordinates work on the DMPonline service, and in collaboration with UC3 colleagues, supports an active international developer community on the open source DMPRoadmap codebase. She also regularly delivers training and has been involved in the CODATA data science schools since the initial planning stages to delivering regional schools in South America and Africa. RDA has grown rapidly over the years and it can be quite a daunting forum for newcomers who are unsure what sessions to attend or who to speak to. This is why Sarah volunteered to be be a mentor in the ECEIG. She’s keen to help people build their networks and put you in touch with the right person to answer your queries, so say hi and ask for links if you see her!
The DCC is one of five core partners in the RDA Europe project. Sarah leads a work package to engage European participants in the RDA and has been busy writing calls for new nodes and adoption grants. The project is growing a network of national/regional nodes across Europe to help foster engagement in the RDA, and offers a number of grants to support ambassadors, adoption and plenary attendance. For current opportunities open to European members, see the grants page. DCC colleagues are also involved in the administration of RDA by supporting the Secretariat, helping to run plenaries and contributing to general dissemination.
In a personal capacity Sarah has been busy with all things FAIR and EOSC over the past two years. She was rapporteur on the European Commission’s FAIR Data Expert Group and also contributed to another group investigating how the EOSC could support transport research. The Report and Action Plan on Turning FAIR into Reality will be a key input to help shape work over coming years. At the end of 2018, Sarah was announced as an independent expert on the EOSC Executive Board. She will help bridge between the FAIR group and the implementation of its recommendations in the EOSC. She is also keen to ensure that the work that goes on in Europe aligns with parallel international initiatives so we create a user-friendly and well functioning global Open Science commons. The RDA is a critical forum for this to happen.
You can connect with Sarah and follow her work at: