Terminology has been a core issue of RDA since its inception. Meanwhile, terminology and conceptual thinking around research data management continue to evolve. High-level terms like ‘science cloud’, ‘data ecosystem’, and ‘open data commons’ were rarely used in 2013 but are commonly used today at high levels of government and industry. Yet, it is not clear that we are always talking about the same thing, even when we are using the same word.
Formal semantics have continued to evolve and there is increasing agreement on detailed ontologies and related tools that help machines communicate, but the common language used by system operators, policy makers, and the general research community is much less coherent in its approach. Many governments, agencies, and institutions are developing ‘open science clouds’ or ‘research data commons’, but it is not clear that they mean the same thing. At the same time, even reasonably well-defined terms, like those embodied in the FAIR principles or the OAIS Reference Model, are often interpreted differently in different contexts.
Other examples of contested terms include: Open Commons, Data Commons, Open Cloud, Repository, Data Center, Virtual Research Environment, Science Gateway, Virtual Laboratories, Open Science, Open Data, Open Source, eResearch, cyberinfrastructure…
In this BoF, we seek to survey the landscape of efforts that are attempting to define or interconnect high-level, research-data-management terminology. We will then discuss if RDA could play a role in harmonizing or interconnecting some of these terminologies while still recognizing that definitions are specific to a context.
We welcome contributions that discuss efforts in this area. If you are interested in presenting at this session, please contact the organizers.
- Survey the landscape of efforts that are attempting to define or interconnect high-level research data management terminology
- Determine if RDA could play a role in harmonizing or interconnecting some of these terminologies while recognizing that definitions are specific to a context.