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28 Aug 2023

RDA/EOSC Future Domain Ambassador Spotlight: Sofie Meeus, Biodiversity

The RDA/EOSC Future team has launched a series of spotlights to showcase the grantees, their work and experience, and highlight the benefits of being an RDA Domain Ambassador. 

Find out more about the RDA/EOSC Future grants.

This week we spoke to Sofie Meeus, Ambassador for Biodiversity. 

See also:

⇨ Sofie's RDA profile

⇨ Sofie's Domain Ambassador page

⇨ Sofie's page on the EOSC Future grants platform

Can you describe your achievements during your time as RDA/EOSC Future Domain Ambassador? 

As the RDA/EOSC domain ambassador for biodiversity I chose to focus on communicating open science best practices to the research community and data providers within the biodiversity domain through leaflets, social media posts, newsletter articles and a review article. My activities included:

  • Publishing a review and guidelines document of best practices in publishing in the field of taxonomy taken into account current initiatives and infrastructures for data liberation, different ways to open access and maximum reusability of research results and data, domain-specific criteria (e.g. the Code of Nomenclature), European, national (Belgium) and regional open science policies and regulations, etc.
  • Designing a leaflet that can be downloaded from Zenodo that points at resources to manage biographical data in natural history collections in a more efficient and standardized way, and contains recommendations for researchers, curators, database managers and publishers to avoid duplication of effort between collections. The leaflet was inspired by a COST Action workshop (MOBILISE) organized in Oslo in January and was distributed by mail to European museums and botanic gardens, handed out at the conference of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and will be distributed at the annual TDWG meeting (

What challenges did you face, if any? 

I was tempted to overcommit to several RDA working groups and support the wonderful work that they do. I would love to find more time to contribute to and learn from cross-disciplinary working groups within the RDA and become a more active member.

How has being an RDA Ambassador contributed to your professional development?

Being a domain ambassador and getting involved in RDA has given me a lot of inspiration on how to encourage researchers to engage with Open Science which I will apply in my job as a data steward. The RDA will be, from now on, the go-to resource for all my questions regarding research data management.

Are there any lessons learnt that you could share with the community? 

Different countries and disciplines face similar challenges regarding research data management. Engaging in the RDA working groups and participating in the RDA plenary provide the opportunity to share and learn from the experiences of others.

Can you describe your experience at the RDA 20th Plenary Meeting?

It was my first RDA Plenary meeting, I didn’t know what to expect at first but I was pleased to be in a meeting with so many like-minded people. I also really enjoyed being among the other ambassadors, exchanging experiences during coffee breaks, dinners and during the panel discussion on Pathways to Community Engagement.

You can contact Sofie by completing this form

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