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08 Apr 2014

RDA Plenary 3: Research Data Provenance IG

Before I start, I’d like to thank all, organizers and participants, for this meeting: it was really amazing.  I hope I’ll see all of you in September. As a new PhD in Dept. of Information Engineering of the University of Pisa, Research Data Alliance (RDA) represents a great opportunity to meet new people with very different background,  and learn the needs of other  researchers that look at the world from a different perspective.

Initially, I applied the Early Career Researcher and Scientist support program just because I was curious. I thought that my research project was too far from the objectives of the meeting. The only thing that I saw in common was the buzzword “data”. I was wrong!

Now I understand the needs for data sharing and communication between researchers that belong to different communities:  free and direct data access allows to improve your research, speed up your tasks, and validate your results. For this reason, it is absolutely mandatory to regulate the manner in which the data is available to the scientific community.

I was assigned to the Data Provenance Research group. In particular, this group attempts to solve the following problem: heterogeneous digital data that have been produced by different communities with varying practices and assumptions, and that are organized according to different representation schemas, encoding, and file formats, present substantial obstacles to efficient integration, analysis, and preservation. This is a particular impediment to data reuse and interdisciplinary science.  They present two complementary conceptual models for data representation, the Basic Representation Model and the Systematic Assertion Model.

At the begin, the discussion focused on these conceptual models. Then, we attempted to provide some use cases. Having some concrete examples could help either to set the goals of this group, either to develop a framework for identifying provenance models to apply to specific use cases. In addition, WG/IG overlap must be evaluated: we may need to have a multi-pronged approach.

In conclusion, the RDA 3rd plenary meeting was a great experience and I look forward to meeting all of you in the 4th plenary meeting in order to exchange new ideas and forge new partnerships.

PS: The choice of Croke Park Stadium to hold the meeting was simply fantastic!

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