Community of Practices (CoPs) Agreement Components

You are here

08 March 2021 2004 reads

In order to be considered by the RDA Council as a recognized RDA CoP, founding members must submit an agreement and related documentation to the RDA Secretariat via or through the "Initiate a New Group" link on the RDA website. Within six weeks after submission, there will be a community review phase.  The Agreement will be assessed by the member community, the Technical Advisory Board, Organisational Advisory Board and Regional Advisory Board.  At that point,  RDA Council will review and if has met all requirements, the group will be approved and established as an official RDA CoP.

The CoP Agreement must include the following components:

  1. Introduction: A detailed articulation of what issues the CoP will address, how this CoP is aligned with the RDA mission, and how this CoP would be a value-adding contribution to the RDA community.
  2. User scenario(s) or use case(s) the CoP wishes to address, and what triggered the desire for this CoP in the first place.
  3. Objectives: A specific set of focus areas for discussion and action.
  4. Value Proposition: A specific description of who will benefit from the creation and animation of the CoP and what tangible impacts should result.
  5. Engagement with existing work in the area: A specific description, with tangible outputs and metrics, of the planned dissemination and communication, outreach and engagement, incentivisation, endorsement and adoption activities. This area should also address how participation with the community internal and external to RDA will be established and the plan for collaborative relationships. Key elements to include are:
    • A brief review of related work and plan for engagement with any other existing RDA groups;
    • Eventual new IGs and/or WGs to be proposed directly by the CoP;
    • Interaction with key stakeholder organisations within the proposed discipline/research domain;
    • Description of the CoP’s planned approach to engage with their discipline/research domain and its key stakeholder organisations and planned approach to encourage broader community engagement and participation, including proposed ambassadors;
    • Outline of proposed collaboration and partnerships with industry, associations, organisations and media as well as discipline/domain-specific funding opportunities.
  6. Outcomes: Outline what the CoP intends to accomplish and how it plans to measure achievement. Include examples of WG topics or supporting IG-level outputs that might lead to spin off IGs and/or WGs later on.
  7. Adoption Plans (optional): If applicable, please provide specific plans for adoption or implementation of RDA outcomes within the organizations and institutions represented by CoP members, as well as plans for adoption more broadly within the community.
  8. Operational Mechanisms:
    • Leadership: Describe how the CoP will be managed, how often it will meet and how it will maintain momentum between Plenaries. Include details on how the CoP will develop consensus, address conflicts, stay on track and within scope, and move forward during operation.
    • Provide a description of the CoP’s mode and frequency of operation (e.g. on-line and/or on- site, how frequently will the group meet, be updated, etc.).
  9. Timeline: Describe draft milestones and goals for the first 18 months, including the mandatory Public report to be submitted to Council for review every 18 months.
  10. Potential Group Members & Supporting Organisations:
    • Leadership: Include proposed chairs/initial leadership and eventual plans for chair rotation. Refer to the “Leadership” section on the “Creating and Joining a CoP” page.
    • Member Participation: Outline which communities will be involved, what skills or knowledge should they have, and how will you engage these communities.
    • Supporting Organisations / Institutional Commitment: include evidence of support from key stakeholder organisations, associations, etc. (see letter of support template).
  11. Adherence to RDA Guiding Principles and Code of Conduct: the application must include a confirmation that the CoP will operate according to the RDA Guiding Principles and Code of Conduct.


Additional Resources: