Defining Common Attributes for Data Repositories

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06 Aug 2021

Defining Common Attributes for Data Repositories

Submitted by Kathleen Shearer

Meeting objectives: 

A charter for a new RDA Repository Characteristics Working Group (WG) is being submitted to RDA. If accepted, the WG will aim to produce a set of common attributes for describing data repositories to promote their findability, utility, and trustworthiness. This WG will also aim to provide examples of different approaches that data repositories are currently taking to express and expose those attributes. The outcomes of the WG will assist data repositories and registries of repositories in exposing specific attributes of interest, and enable the research community to identify relevant repositories for their needs.

We are submitting this proposal for a BoF (or WG meeting if the charter has been approved before the RDA Plenary) to present the objectives and deliverables of this proposed working group, and to elicit community interest and engagement in our activities.

Meeting objectives:

  • Introducing the RDA community to the WG

  • Community input about the scope of work, deliverables, and actions

  • Recruit working group members

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes:



  1. Introduction to WG aims

  2. Review of deliverables

  3. Review of work plan and timelines

  4. Volunteers to participate in WG

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

A number of initiatives already define attributes of repositories considered important for different stakeholder communities. These characteristics include: the scope of the collections, geographic coverage, API and protocol support, funding models, governance, preservation services and policies, openness of the underlying infrastructure, adherence to relevant standards and certifications, and so on. These efforts reflect the variety of stakeholders and the diversity of repository characteristics of interest to different communities. The creation of a common set of repository characteristics, accompanied by the rationale for each, will provide the community with a better understanding of the needs and requirements of different communities, and  will enable greater cross-initiative interoperability across repositories and repository directories.

The FAIRsharing WG session on “Repository features across initiatives” (at Plenary 17) brought together a number of these initiatives; and this session washas been a the catalyst for this new WG. The outcome of theis session demonstratedhas proven that there is significant interest in working across different stakeholder communities to identify a common set of characteristics for repositories.

BoF chair serving as contact person: 
Meeting presenters: 
Kathleen Shearer, Matt Cannon, Michael Witt, Allyson Lister
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Contact for group (email):