Repository Core Description WG - TAB Review

Interest Group Title:  Repository Core Description Working Group [Case Statement]

Proposers: Michael Witt, Johannes Reetz, Peter Wittenburg

Date Received by TAB:  Community Review began 19 July 2016

Date Review Completed:

TAB Reviewers:  Andrew Treloar and Peter Fox

Completeness of Case Statement:  

(Does it include the six requisite components: (1) WG Charter; (2) Value Proposition: (3) Engagement with Existing Work in the Area; (4) Work Plan; (5) Adoption Plan; (6) Initial Membership?): Yes X; No __; Comments: 

Focus and Fit:  

 (Are the Working Group objectives and deliverables aligned with the RDA mission ?  Is the scope too large for effective progress, too small for an RDA effort, or not appropriate for the RDA?  Overall, is this a worthwhile effort for the RDA to take on?  Is this an effort that adds value over and above what is currently being done within the community?)

The connection between the work described and the goals of the RDA are not clear. How does the WG effort remove social and technical barriers to data sharing? This looks very much like plumbing which will enable other plumbing which might address RDA goals. In other words, the connection between better repisitory registries and bridging barriers to data interoperability is assumed, as it isn't made explicit in the case statement. On this basis alone, it seems difficult to recommend approval of this WG without a revised statement and plan of work.

Work Plan, Deliverables, and Outcomes:

(Are there measurable, practical deliverables and outcomes?  Can the proposed work, outcomes/deliverables, and Work Plan described in the Case Statement be accomplished in 12-18 months?)

The work plan appears reasonable and achievable except that the contact registries item should be a precondition of the start of the WG, and that contacting can be performed by the existing IG. The benefits of this approach are: more stakeholders, and thus later adopters, and more potential participants. The current plan for a small number of currently known repositories without the larger survey is likely to contain selection bias, esp. if the goal is a core spec for nominally "all repositories".


(Does the initial membership list include sufficient expertise, and disciplinary and international representation?  Are the right people involved in the Working Group to adopt and implement?  What individuals or organizations are missing?)

The initial membership list has a good spread across disciplines, expertise and nation. It also contains some people with an existing very good track record in RDA and the community, which makes the current proposal surprising to the reviewers.

On the subject of engagement with existing work, there isn't any reference to OpenDOAR, nor to the proposed RDA Research Data Repository Interoperability WG . This is possibly because this WG has not yet been approved, although they did meet at the last Plenary [Update - this WG was approved 29 Aug 2016]. As there is overlap in some of the aims of the two groups, it might be a good idea to see if they could coalesce around a shared agenda, with more resources.

Impact and Engagement:

(Is it likely that the outcome(s) of the Working Group will be taken up by the intended community?  Is there evidence that the research community wants this?  Will the outcome(s) of the Working Group foster data sharing and/or exchange?)

No evidence presented of a need for this from the research or research infrastructure community.

The goals of the WG are too modest: "a first step in a direction that will allow improvements in future". Once again, not clear how this limited impact will contribute to RDA goals.


Case Statement is Sufficient __; Case Statement Requires Revision X; Case Statement is Rejected




  • Susanna-Assunta Sansone's picture

    Author: Susanna-Assunta...

    Date: 13 Sep, 2016

    "except that the contact registries item should be a precondition of the start of the WG" I agree. An example is BioSharing WG that already implements a community-developed set of descriptors for database, named bioBDcore.

    This echo my long-standing comment that groups addressing cross-domains/generic issue must outreach existing domain efforts and not reivent.

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