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15 May 2020

RDA and the 15th RDA Plenary - views of an Early Career Researcher

First of all, I would like to thank RDA Europe for this opportunity, making possible for me, as a grantee, to participate in such a globally important conference, like RDA Plenary. In this regard, I am glad to share some personal thoughts, in a specific scientific context, and among a great community which is totally engaged in progress achievement.

I have to recognize that the 15th Plenary had happened in a very particular time, the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented situation maybe for many of us, which makes it more valuable and visible at scientific level.

My personal belief, after the RDA 15th Plenary Meeting (initially planned to be held in Melbourne, Australia, during 18-20 March 2020, but due to the actual pandemic context, it was reorganized at virtual level), is that Research Data Alliance (RDA) in all its meanings represents a powerful tool for open science, and an excellent „knowledge hub” which actively and creatively engages scientists from different research fields, and from all over the world, but with a strongly shared characteristic, namely PASSION FOR SCIENCE, to collaborate by making use of their professional experience, while creating a sort of „idea incubator”, by mainstreaming highly intelligent approaches in all sectors.

RDA provides a great infrastructure for scientists to lively interact for the most globally and burning problems (e.g. SARS-CoV-2), and to jointly overcome possible risks (e.g. from the actual virus outbreak), to shape the future scientific objectives, implicitly the global financial allocations for Research & Development, and some of them being highly valuable information for building up even global politics.

The importance of such a well connected scientific space, which RDA is currently offering, in my particular case, and from an early-career researcher’s point of view, could be translated to the followings:

  • More visibility in the scientific community, personal and institutional;
  • Professional experience acknowledged;
  • Opportunity to be part of a global scientific network, in which there is a real-time possibility to actively collaborate with other researchers, by making use of smart and rapid communication tools;
  • Access to scientific data;
  • Benefit from the information, in terms of what is actually happening at a scientific global level;
  • Opportunity to be part of scientific development;
  • Opportunity to be helpful by sharing the knowledge (in a voluntarily manner) for the common benefits of the world community.

Furthermore, due to some environmental background, including legal issues in the field, I am considering some extra benefits, which are shaping my personal and professional development, because the scientific information, in particular related to microbiology, biotechnology, biodiversity and legal compliance in the field, represent a focus area, and not only at individual level, but also further, biodiversity having to be carefully managed as a life-sustaining natural resource, which is very important for our daily lives. In this regard, such a big scientific information network is expected to provide opportunities, and also, to ensure the legal aspects of data sharing, a field in which I have much to learn and to practice. At the same time, in our modern world, digitalisation of work is an emerging issue, which I am glad to see it approached within RDA Working Groups, and to exercise my skills by improving the general knowledge, to maintain it updated, but not the last to share useful information in my scientific community.

Another personal belief is that RDA could represent an excellent base-line for global and strategic development, connecting experts in a modern working environment, in which valuable knowledge is shared to advance the scientific progress, and hopefully to help politics in particular topics.

Nonetheless, I would definitely and strongly recommend RDA to any researcher which is passioned about scientific advancements, but in particular to the young researchers, because it enhances the professional development. If you want to be scientifically updated, with reliable information, and to be part of global development, you should engage in RDA activities. Be SMART.


Caterina Tomulescu
National Institute for Chemical-Pharmaceutical R & D,
ICCF Bucharest, Romania

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