The beginning of April 2019 marked also the week of the 13th RDA Plenary that took place in Philadelphia, USA. Once again, this major biannual event of all research data aficionados attracted 433 participants from 33 countries, who spent their time in more than 60 sessions, working meetings, BoFs and, of course, lots of caffeine-driven discussions in the halls of the Loews Hotel.
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The last breakout slot of Thirteenth RDA Plenary Meeting saw a joint meeting between some long-running groups with a shared interest in metadata: the Metadata Interest Group, the Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group and the Data In Context Interest Group.
Plenary 13 in Philadelphia was already (!) my 5th as participant, and 4th as group chair of the Agrisemantics Working Group.
I am not the typical early career researcher. I am not particularly young; nor is this my first time attending an RDA plenary. I am, however, at an early stage in what I consider to be my third career - working as a PhD researcher at the Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) in the Netherlands. Thanks to the RDA Europe Early Career Researcher grant program, I was able to attend the 13th RDA Plenary in Philadelphia, where I connected with the work of RDA and its members at a deeper level than I have before.
Being an early career researcher in research data management, with a background in the social sciences and humanities no less, comes with certain advantages when attending an RDA plenary meeting for the first time, especially when that meeting’s overarching topic is data and responsibility.