National Data Services IG Charter

19 Jan 2016

National Data Services IG Charter


Updated with TAB feedback 21-June -2016




Given the increased value of research data as a national research asset, many countries are

establishing national and regional level support for research data. This interest group targets such national/regional services with broad cross-discipline scope1.  


For members of the RDA community, “how to effectively form and operate such national data services?” is an important question  that this interest group aims to shed light on.


For the purposes of this interest group “data services” are broadly inclusive of many possible services such as national data storage services, computational services, analysis services, discovery services, identifier services, support and training services, etc.


The word “national” too is not meant to exclude regional or partially national approaches. The IG is inclusive of and acknowledges a variety of configurations, consortia, and approaches to delivering national multi-discipline data services.  Indeed documenting the various types and configurations of national data services is one of the objectives of the group.


This interest group is intended as a peer support mechanism for exchanging ideas and information between national data services. The peers in this group can learn from each other’s experiences and form task forces on specific issues that can potentially lead to new Working Groups in RDA.


By allowing national data services to learn from the experience of each other, the desired outcome is to increase efficiency for the individual operators of national data services and to promote a more coherent joined-up, community of practitioners.


User scenario(s) or use case(s) the IG wishes to address

User story:  “I am part of an organisation that aspires to collaborate and form a consortium with other organisations in my country to receive national research infrastructure funds to provide national data services which will allow researchers in our country to access national-scale services and participate in global initiatives.  Who else has done this elsewhere? How can I learn from what other jurisdictions have tried?  What services can we fruitfully offer? Can we leverage work elsewhere?  Can we solve common issues jointly?”


There are a variety of suggested topics that have arisen from discussions with various potential members of this IG, including:

  • Exploring how one might set up a national data service

  • What kind of collaboration, consortia, and governance models do national data services use to organise themselves?

  • What services do national data services typically provide? e.g. data curation, data storage, data computation, data management, data discovery, data registration, training and education, national data policy advocacy.

  • Technical and social challenges (and solutions) for national data services.

  • Business procedures of national data services



This group aims to:

  • Exchange information among national data services

  • Establish networks among national data services

  • Identify opportunities for collaborative action


The group aims to help aspiring national data services to benefit from the experience of their peers in other jurisdictions.  There is no other peer network specifically for national data services outside or inside RDA.  The IG will also provide a useful forum for national data service providers as a group to identify common issues  to address jointly.


The group will also help RDA achieve its objectives by investigating how national data services can adopt or promote RDA output or in broader terms help in achieve interoperability.



Group membership would be open to those providing national data services or planning to do so.


This IG would interact with other working groups to create synergies and reduce duplication of effort.  The IG has already organised joint sessions with both the Domain Repositories IG, and the Data Fabric IG to coordinate and jointly address shared concerns.  The Data Fabric IG envisages many of the elements of the “data fabric” being delivered through “national/regional data centres”.  Domain repositories share some of the challenges of building national data services.


The proposed IG will also leverage the work of many RDA working groups, validating and applying their outputs through the medium of national data services.  For example the proposed IG will investigate how the outputs of the PID IG can be applied by national-level identifier services (e.g. through national DataCite registration agencies or national ORCID consortia).


The group will actively pursue participation of national data centres that hold large scientific datasets (such as the National Computational Infrastructure in Australia and the equivalent services in other jurisdictions).



  • Natural typology of national data services via the community wiki output:

    • what services/activities do national data services offer?

    • what organisational models do they use?

  • Information exchange sessions at plenaries covering specific topics

  • Discussion forums and informal mentoring networks

  • Identification and definition of joint projects, task forces, or working groups




The group will run sessions at plenaries 7, 8, 9, and 10. Between plenaries, monthly virtual meetings will alternate at times that are convenient for both western and eastern hemispheres.



  • 6 months:  Finalise framework to document and categorise :

  • services typically offered by national data services

  • organisational models used to build national scale services

  • 12 months: Create a list of common issues, challenges, and opportunities

  • 18 months: Propose joint activities for informal collaborations or relevant WGs


Potential Group Members


Co-Chairs: Kevin Ashley (DCC), Adrian Burton (ANDS)


The following organisations have expressed an interest in contributing to the establishment of such a group:

  • Australian National Data Service

  • JISC

  • DCC

  • eScience China

  • Portage/Research Data Canada

  • DANS

  • OpenAIRE

  • US NDS


  • NeSI - New Zealand eScience Infrastructure

Current members of the RDA NDS IG site:

Adrian Burton

Amir Aryani

Antonio Jesús Sánchez Padial

Armin Straube

Ayla Stein

Christopher Brown

Damien Lecarpentier

David Medyckyj-Scott

Dejan Vitlacil

Elaine Sedenberg

Eva Méndez

Kathrin Beck

Kevin Ashley

Lesley Wyborn

Linda Naughton

Mark van de Sanden

Natalia Manola

Nick Jones

Rebecca Grant

Solomon Mekonnen Tekle

Stefanie Kethers

Timea Biro

Veerle Van den Eynden

Ville Tenhunen

Wojtek Sylwestrzak


Other members of the RDA community who have contributed to or have been consulted in the course of building of this IG:

Giuseppe Fiameni

John Towns

Ed Seidel

Bob Hanisch

Rob Pennington

Nick Jones

Kathy Fontaine

Ingrid Dillo

Peter Doorn

George Alter

Ruth Duerr



1 Specific domain-focused repositories are the subject of a complementary interest group, “Domain Repositories IG”.  The proposed NDS IG focuses rather on more generic, multi-domain national-level services and on a potentially much broader set of services than “repository” (ie computation, analysis, integration, identifier, legal, training, policy etc).  Nevertheless the two groups are well aligned and where appropriate work together on shared issues; a joint session has already been held at the Paris Plenary.



Review period start: 
Tuesday, 19 January, 2016
  • Stefanie Kethers's picture

    Author: Stefanie Kethers

    Date: 11 Feb, 2016

    Dear all,


    This is just a reminder that the community review phase for the National Data Services IG Charter will end on 19 Feb 2016. Please provide any comments by then.

    Thank you very much.





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