Challenges in professionalising data stewardship: how can the RDA contribute to solving them?

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27 Nov 2019

Challenges in professionalising data stewardship: how can the RDA contribute to solving them?

Submitted by Mijke Jetten

Meeting objectives: 


Monday, 6 April 2020, 7:30 am - 9:00 am UTC: Check the event time in your time zone
Remote access registration


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Collaborative session notes


Link to slides:

Session recording available


The objective of this meeting is to present case studies on professionalising data stewardship as well as receive feedback on the proposal for the creation of the new Professionalising Data Stewardship Interest Group (IG). The idea to create an interest group was raised during the 14th Plenary (Helsinki) at the first plenary's BoF-session on professionalising data stewardship.


In this 15th Plenary (Melbourne) follow-up BoF-session, the group will highlight case studies from the community and ask input for the challenges identified in P14, i.e. a business case for data stewardship, data stewardship terminology, the integration of data stewardship across an organisation, job profiles for data stewards, training for data stewards, career tracks for data stewards, and networking and knowledge exchange.


Data stewardship and managing data skills are essential in research. The lack of consensus on the responsibilities, knowledge and skills of data stewards gives confusion about the role and hampers adequate data steward capacity. To our knowledge, a coherent approach and dedicated training for data stewardship on the (inter)national level is lacking as well. This, combined with the lack of sufficient funding for data stewardship at many institutions, limits vital developments such as defining recruitment procedures and career paths for the current and future data stewards.


In this BoF-session, we focus on involving the RDA community to join forces in professionalising data stewardship. The meeting objectives are:

  • Exchange knowledge of and experiences in (inter)national efforts to professionalise data stewardship and provide update on work so far.
  • Start addressing the challenges (see above) in professionalising data stewardship identified at Plenary 14.
  • Discuss the IG charter and how to best consolidate efforts to professionalise data stewardship in the context of the RDA.

The expected output will be:

  • A community-endorsed charter (draft proposal charter available via for the creation of the new Professionalizing Data Stewardship Interest Group (IG).
  • A plan of action – with a clear division of tasks and commitment of the community – to contribute to solving the identified challenges in professionalising data stewardship.
Meeting agenda: 

Session chairs

Mijke Jetten (Radboud University), Marta Teperek (TUDelft) & Peter Neish (Melbourne University)


Meeting agenda

(In minutes from the start)


0 - 5 Introduction


5 - 70 Case studies (5 min presentation + 7 min for Q&A)

  • Data Stewardship Education at Copenhagen University - Martin Lillholm

  • Data Stewardship Education in Denmark - Diba Terese Markus

  • Data Stewardship at the University of Melbourne - Aleks Michalewicz

  • Data Concierge at Monash University - David Groenewegen

  • GO FAIR Data Stewardship Competence Centers - Valentina Pasquale


70 - 85 Discussion about the charter (using Mentimeter)

85 - 90 Wrap up/closure


Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 


Draft proposal charter available via

This BoF-session builds on the outcomes of various previous activities on data stewardship:

BoF applicant serving as contact person: 
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2):