WG/IG Collaborative Meetings

Background

Shortly after the first five or so RDA Working Groups were formed in 2013, the Chairs of those groups began regular videoconferences to keep track of each other and to look for leverage across the group activities. As the number of groups grew and the bi-annual Plenaries grew more and more crowded with sessions and activities it became clear that for the Working Groups, and later including the Interest Groups, to keep track of each others' activities a separate series of meetings were desirable. The first of these was held in Munich in 2014 and was deemed useful by the participants. Since then there have been an alternating series of these 'Chairs Meetings' held between the Plenaries, in Europe in the summer and in the U.S. in the winter. This document formalizes these meetings and adds transparency to the process.

The RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meetings are meant to complement the other set of meetings involving WG and IG Chairs, namely the TAB/Chairs meeting at the Plenaries. Other topics and other requirements may generate additional needs for Chair communications, but the RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meetings have, so far, focused on their original purpose as a venue for the Chairs to update each other on their respective activities. Any funding that supports these meetings is explicitly directed to that purpose.

More on funding, Objectives and Operations

Funding

On the U.S. side, a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) supports U.S. travel to both the EU and US Collaboration Meetings and NIST also provides the venue for the US meeting. This small grant is renewed on a yearly basis and NIST is looking for activities that will, over time, lead to or support standards in the area of scientific and engineering data availability and management. The grant is to RPI and Larry Lannom has been tasked with managing the expenditure of the funds. To date the funds have been sufficient to support travel to all U.S. Chairs willing and able to attend the meetings. The grant proposal itself includes the criteria for triaging this if needed, primarily along the lines of favoring WGs over IGs and after that favoring those WGs closest to completion. There is no guarantee that the grant will be renewed in the future.

On the European side the RDA Europe project funded by the European Commission and currently led by Max Planck, coordinated by Peter Wittenburg, provides some financial support to the chairs meetings. Applications are requested from interested institutions that would like to host the chairs meeting and cover venue and catering expenses. RDA Europe project seeks and evaluates applications for European hosts and can co-fund some travel costs of European chairs to attend the chairs meetings.

Objectives

The RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meeting is a voluntary working meeting of the RDA Working Group and Interest Group chairs representing their corresponding groups. The objectives are:

  • - focused discussion among participants, something which has proved elusive at the busy RDA Plenary meetings;
  • - discussion on how to coordinate amongst RDA Working and Interest Groups to achieve more coherence across the groups and improve overall RDA outputs;
  • - exchange results, outcomes, and experiences;
  • - recommend actions to RDA in order to improve RDA as an organization;
  • - foster social interaction among the groups.

Operations

The RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meeting itself is not an official body within RDA, that is, it does not have any mandate from RDA, does not have any defined responsibilities, and does not play a direct role in the creation of groups, policies, or recommendations.

Currently the chairs meet twice a year, once in the US and once in Europe. Other locations would of course be desirable but funding constraints make that difficult at this time.

The meetings are meant primarily as interaction forums on issues relevant to the RDA groups and not intended as general presentation forums.

All RDA Working and Interest Group chairs, RDA TAB and Secretariat members are invited to the meetings. To date the number of attendees has remained at a size commensurate with a working meeting but as the number of WGs and IGs grows the organizers may need to limit attendance. The U.S. funding grant approach to control costs, as described above, provides one possible approach to this challenge. No maximum size to the meeting has ever been set, but it may prove difficult to have a successful interactive meeting above 30 or so attendees.

The participants in the respective RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meetings decide about the organization and contents of the meeting.

Currently an organization committee consisting of Larry Lannom, Peter Wittenburg, Rainer Stotzka, and the local organizers prepare the meetings and compile the agenda based on input from participants.

At the beginning of each meeting the agenda is discussed and adapted according to the majority of the represented groups.

The minutes and results of the meeting are open to the public and are published on the corresponding web page of the meeting, e.g. https://rd-alliance.org/groups/3nd-working-group-collaboration-meeting.html or https://rd-alliance.org/group/4th-wgig-collaboration-meeting/wiki/4th-wgig-collab-mtg-dec-8-9-2015-notes-and-presentations.

At the end of each meeting, themes of common interest are identified and where possible, the location of the successive meeting is announced.

December 2016

Lannom, Stotzka, Wittenburg

Download the RDA Working Group (WG) / Interest Group (IG) Collaboration Meeting Guidelines (PDF version)

 

 

Find out more about the RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meetings below:

 

13 Dec 2016

6th RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meeting, 12-13 December 2016, Gaithersburg, Maryland, US

 

As mentioned at the Denver Plenary and at the Nottingham Chairs' meeting, the next (6th) WG/IG Collaboration Meeting will be held on Dec 12-13 at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which was the site of the 2nd and 4th meetings.

The suggested theme of this meeting is 'Assembling the Pieces: Connecting Outputs with Each Other and with Domain Adoption', although as usual the agenda will be flexible and will depend to a degree on the attendees.

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5th RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meeting, 8-9 June 2016, Nottingham, UK
08 Jun 2016

5th RDA WG/IG Collaboration Meeting, 8-9 June 2016, Nottingham, UK

 

RDA WG / IG Collaboration meetings have been held since the first RDA Working Groups were formed, with the purpose of keeping track of what the individual groups were doing, and of looking for leverage and synergies across groups. These meetings were first held as video conference, but since early 2014, face-to-face meetings have been held about 3 months after each Plenary, the location alternating between Europe and the US at this point.

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