Future Directions 7 March 2015 Workshop Report

  • Jean Bernard Minster's picture

    Author: Jean Bernard Minster

    Date: 27 Mar, 2015

    This is a useful document to guide ongoing discussions.   I like in particular two aspects (1) the collection and preparation of success stories in various areas of activity, and (2) the development of a narrative that highlight the societal benefits of RDA activities.


  • Nick Jones's picture

    Author: Nick Jones

    Date: 01 Apr, 2015

    Great to see this articulated into a succinct set of focus areas, with some clear initiatives already defined. Building on Jean-Bernard's comments, I appreciated the pragmattic sense of moving towards a future - that all things must continue, while we build a future. Well done to the SPC contributors.

  • Stephen Wolff's picture

    Author: Stephen Wolff

    Date: 06 Apr, 2015

    The 2D representation of IGs and WGs along the "Solutions" dimension and the "Beneficiary": dimension helps to bring structure to RDA activities.  At the expense of some complexity in visualization, perhaps a 3rd dimension - time - could be added, particularly if it were to show dependencies and reveal gaps.  Such a representation should I think be useful to those charged to construct the Mission Map.

    How will the overlaps of the three themes - Coordination, Communication, and Engagement - be coordinated?

  • Eleni Panagou's picture

    Author: Eleni Panagou

    Date: 14 May, 2015

    Concerning the very interesting and beneficiary characteristic of

    • RDA should engage industry in adopting RDA results but also participation in the activities of RDA, I would add the publication of in parallel white papers for the purpose of this kind of engagement and act.

    Thank you,

    Eleni Panagou


  • Mark Parsons's picture

    Author: Mark Parsons

    Date: 25 May, 2015

    Thanks all. Steve, I like the idea of including a time dimension on the clustering diagram. I'll mention that to TAB. Regarding thecoordination of all the elements, I think that largely fals on the Secretariat, but I can alos see specifc task forces emerging as needed or some IGs like the Engagement Group playing a role.

  • Elizabeth Griffin's picture

    Author: Elizabeth Griffin

    Date: 20 Aug, 2015

    I can see what the Report would like to accomplish, and how those in areas of "data politics" would like it all to work, but achieving real progress towards the (very noble) aims of the Future Directions Document is a two-way process - both push and pull.  The RDA can push its ideas for all it's worth, but if the actual research groups (and in "RDA", R stands for Research) are not listening, or have no mind to join the game, what can then be achieved?  In my (admittedly limited) experience of research groups like Polar Data, Astronomy, Bio-Diversity, Solar Physics -- the list is very, very long) the top priority (which all share) is in acquiring and analysing data, and in publishing results.  What happens to their data beyond that?  Astronomers have it all sorted out already, and aren't likely to take on a new set of concepts from non-astronomers.  Other domains are much more complex in terms of numbers of people and types of sub-organization involved (University groups, government labs, military or industrial establishments, private or public setups) and it will first take a huge effort (meaning resources) on the part of each to organize themselves to be in a position of "openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines and countries to address the grand challenges of society".  In plain words, how does the RDA expect that to happen, when at present there are absolutely no standards and rather little communication among even similarly focussed groups?  

    We should not forget that the best research is driven by ideals, and once you try to straight-jacket what is done and how, that idealism get chilled.  Research is mostly strapped for funds, and what there is gets used for pursuing ideas and ideals to the very end, leaving nothing for supporting a world-wide effort to coordinate data for the rather vague purpose of benefiting society (good though I'm sure that would be). 

    I will be attending the International Polar Data Forum in late October.  If the RDA gets mentioned, which is not very certain, what is the message that Council wants the PDF to hear?  Can the Document not be translated into simple practical steps?  And how effective will it be if only a small fraction of any one domain community heed and follow?

    In short, where are the Researchers in all this planning and conversation?  It all seems too one-sided to work.


    Elizabeth Griffin

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