Proposal for Joint Env. Groups meeting at the 5th RDA plenary

09 Dec 2014

Dear colleagues,
As you know the forthcoming RDA plenary is to be held in San Diego, CA between 9-11 March 2105. The moto for the meeting is 'Adopt a deliverable'.
During the last two RDA plenaries it gradually became obvious that the environmental related Interest and Working Groups share concerns and face similar challenges regarding the lifecycle of life related data. Some work has already been done, through certain Working Groups and I would see the forthcoming RDA as an excellent opportunity to initiate a wider dialogue between all RDA Groups of the environmental cluster. Ideally, we could interact with WGs that their deliverables can be helpful within the wider Biodiversity realm.
I would propose to have a joint meeting between the following RDA Groups:
- Agriculture Data Interoperability IG
- Marine Data Harmonisation IG
- Biodiversity Data Integration IG
- The BioSharing Registry WG
- Wheat Data Interoperability WG
I would appreciate some quick comments on this and also suggestions for agenda items for this joint meeting.
Kind regards,
Dr Dimitrios Koureas
Dept of Life Sciences | Biodiversity Informatics Group
The Natural History Museum London
+44 (0) 207 942 5244

  • Herman Stehouwer's picture

    Author: Herman Stehouwer

    Date: 09 Dec, 2014

    Dear Dimitris, friends,
    Recently I have been in contact with Bo Weidema, from Bonsai (they deal
    with carbon footprint information).
    They might share similar issues as you, but I am not an expert in your
    In any case, I put him here in CC, maybe they are interested in
    On a related note, this february I am organizing a training on RDA
    outputs so far, and I am also organizing the "adoption day" event.
    In any case, should the chairs of the outputs not be available at the
    specific time, I might be able to help with technical information
    (assuming I am available timewise).

  • David Patterson's picture

    Author: David Patterson

    Date: 10 Dec, 2014

    Yes. Good take.
    It is worth asking what 'adopt' means. In my view, it should mean,
    sustaining a deliverable. That takes us away from the standard research
    funding paradigm, and into either commercial services, or a new and special
    role for institutions such as NHM or libraries. to maintain the deliverable.
    From there, we can start thinking about what deliverables might be in the
    big data world. Can we think in modules, and about which modules we wish
    to invest in.
    - what will the future shape of infrastructure look like. I attach my
    diagrams of a rather anarchic systems of nodes each of which - like GenBank
    - takes responsibility in a domain. I believe this is crediible. Next step,
    I think it to turn it from an abstract idea to a map with named components,
    and how they need to interact.
    What will then give us a good return for investment. For example, we
    might ask what elements of infrastructure will many of the IGs benefit
    from. The capacity to correct and update the scientific names in
    distributed sources so that we have a good common index to all content
    (names resolution services) comes to mind - oddly. The LinkD proposal has
    helped us to understand what kinds of players we need to have in that team,
    but also that we need to design the system from the deliverable backwards,
    rather than from the players forwards.
    Another path may be to all commit to the same project. As a member of the
    executive of IUBS, I have been pushing for an informatics agenda through
    IUBS (becausee IUBS has a mantra 'unified biology'. We have suggested we
    work with 'FutureEarth', and articulate what kind of infrastructure they
    are going to need. the RDA IGs could greatly help in thta area also.
    If you would like either idea developed into the form of a 2 pager, I can
    do that.

    Image icon infrastructure.jpg105.07 KB

  • Dimitris Koureas's picture

    Author: Dimitris Koureas

    Date: 11 Dec, 2014

    Dear BI IG members,

    Many thanks for all your feedback regarding the motion for a joint meeting between all the RDA groups in the wider environmental cluster. There seem to be three major points thst we could use as a provisional agenda items:

    1. Cross-fertilisation and coordination of activities between our groups

    2. Name services and their impact in bringing together heterogeneous data

    3. Common biodiversity/environemntal metadata standards

    4. e-infrastructures interoperability and environmental service provision integration

    I will contact the chairs of the respective Groups to propose this joint activity. If mor ethan 5 groups we will request a plenary session of the environmental cluster

    If you are a memebr in any one of the the environemntal cluster groups, would you please liase to the chairs of these groups and investigate whether they would have an equal interest in this motion?

    We need to submit this by Monday 15 Dec!

    Many thanks,



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