During the course of my master’s degree in Information Science, I got involved in the TAIL research project which gave me the opportunity to contribute to the development of research data management tools and to start my research career. I have joined the RDM community in 2016 and, from that moment on, RDA was one of the places where I could find many answers to my questions related to the RDM activities. I always followed several Interest and Working groups related to metadata, vocabularies, data citation, data repositories and data management plans, among others, and looked to meeting the senior experts of those groups in person, speaking with them and sharing my ideas and work.
I was happy to be one of the RDA Europe Early Career grant winners for P14. I participated in the various sessions of the Plenary and met a vast quantity of interesting people - professionals of their trade. Since the beginning of the Plenary, we were encouraged and immersed in the collective work with the RDA experts, and we were lucky to talk to Alex DeHaven, Hugh Shanahan, Sandra Gesing, Amy Nurnberger, Sarah Ramdeen, among others. During this conversation, I was able to ask them about their experiences related to the DMP creation and monitoring, in relation to the theme of my PhD project. This also served to make me sure of the importance of my topic. Moreover, during the other sessions related to the DMP, I spoke with Tomasz Miksa, Paul Walk, Tom Renner and Kevin Ashley. Their work with DMP also underlines the importance of adequate tools for RDM activities.
During the days of the Plenary, I presented “The collaborative method between curators and researchers in the preparation of a Data Management Plan (DMP) and Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA)” poster that was exposed on the Dipoli building. Having received the opinions of other participants, their criticism and ideas of improvement, I will analyse them in more detail and implement them in my work.
The other advantage of my participation was the direct communication with two Interest Groups in the context of my work as Data Steward of the INESC TEC research data repository (https://rdm.inesctec.pt/). The IG Repository Platforms for Research Data and IG RDA/WDS Certification of Digital Repositories are essential for the work related to the INESC TEC repository. We follow their recommendations, and analyse our repository according to their requirements, making it ready for certification. That is why in those sessions I had the pleasure to meet Robert R.Downs, Daniella Lowenberg, Rorie Edmunds, Dawei Lin and Jonathan Petters in person, presenting our repository and our ideas for improvement, and clarifying the questions that I had related to certification.
It was clear to me that the RDA 14 Plenary was held at the highest level. The level and professionalism of invited guests and moderators of various sections, the number of countries and participants of the Plenary, as well as the variety of programs and sections within the Plenary - all this allowed me to plunge into the “ocean of science and different points of view” for five days, to find new friends, share experiences, approaches, as well as presentation strategies. During the Plenary, I managed to attend almost all the planned events and participate in discussions with RDM experts, which was invaluable to my academic development! The interaction with other researchers brought me new contacts, new knowledge and opportunities. I learned about the challenges related to researchers' engagement and the problems with the deployment of RDA outputs at organisations.
Overall, the RDA 14 Plenary unequivocally met my expectations and even struck me with its scale and friendly atmosphere. The Plenary reminded me of something like a friends’ gathering. Everyone was happy, exchanged information and contacts. Moreover, the Plenary distinguished itself by a professional approach and attention to detail. Everything was clearly organised, in compliance with the regulations and time, and therefore there was no feeling of rush. The Plenary was an incredible event, both in terms of topics and in terms of venue, "Aalto University". Special thanks for the opportunity to visit a new country. Also, a special thanks to the sponsors, for the coffee breaks and receptions - above all, a big praise! I loved the photos, surprise performances from the Aalto University student orchestra, and dinner at Tapahtumatalo Bank Restaurant.
This was only the beginning, as surely this is not my last Plenary!