Berlin RDA Organisational Assembly

RDA Organisational Assembly meeting

23 March 2018 meeting, 14:00

Open to all Organisational and Affiliate Members

Friday 23 March at 14:00 local time (13:00 UTC)

Draft minutes

Chair: Amy Nurnberger - Overall presentation

Present: Aaron Addison, Amy Nurnberger (co-chair), Anders Conrad, Andrew Treloar (RDA TAB), Christoph Bruch, Edit Herzog (RDA Council), Jason Haga, Juan Bicarregui, Hilary Hanahoe (RDA SG), Kevin Ashley (co-Chair), Lien Le, Liz Lyon, Mark Leggott, Mathias Bug, Melissa Genazzio, Raphael Ritz, Stefan Kramer, Rob Quick, Ross Wilkinson (RDA Council), Shelley Stall, Wouter Haak and Fotis Karayannis (RDA Secretariat)


  1. Announcement of OAB co-Chair (was elected in the OAB private lunch meeting on Thursday)
    • Amy Nurnberger was re-elected as OAB co-Chair during the OAB private meeting. 
  2. Updates from Secretary General, Council and TAB, 30'
    • Secretary General, Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Status presentation, 10' - Presentation
      • Presentation main points: 
        • Overall statistics: groups, members, countries, regions, funders, estimated efforts for the work and business of RDA
        • Highlights: Regional activities examples, EU ICT Technical Specifications, Strategy (Sustainability, Growth, Engaging Regions --> Improving the value of RDA), New RDA Council 
      • Comments-Questions: 
        • Raphael Ritz: Out of the second batch of the EU ICT Technical specifications, 4 are approved and to be published in the next months. 
        • Question on the ambassador program: Are there any ambassadors for high schools and in particular around computer and information sciences?
          • Hilary: The ambassador program will be done through the RDA Europe 4 project (which just started) and its open calls program (via the so-called "cascading grants"). Not clear if the domains for the ambassadors will be open or prescriptive.
          • Kevin: A mixture of both. Underrepresented areas will be mentioned in the open calls.
          • Hilary: EU money but for RDA Global. In the first round, a number of domains (e.g. 20) and then a follow-up.
        • Kevin: Small chunks of secretariat effort. We may have to tihnk how to best use these thinly distributed resources, including Fotis's time.
          • Hilary: Aspire to improve the secretariat situation. It would be good to follow-up and provide input what more we could do for you. We need to do more for the OA members, who we value. Currently stretched so cannot promise much, but your inputs would be important. Think about the strategic things that Fotis can do for you.
          • Kevin: there are things that only the secretariat can do, but maybe there are things we can do for ourselves.
          • Action -Chairs: OAB to rethink how to best use the secretariat time
        • Aaron: Is RDA still recruiting affiliate members?
          • Hilary-Raphael: Yes there are discussions with potential new affiliate members such as IEEE and there have been discussions with members like W3C (but due to their conditions for affiliate membership it has been challenging to complete this). 
          • Aaron: Good to hear. I am also representing another organisation that may be interested.
        • Christoph: On the RDA regional engagement: It is of great importance (e.g. rules of engagement for RDA regional/national initiatives such as RDA Germany). Would appreciate a more inclusive and open approach. Any news to OA members? 
          • Action: Cooperation w regional entities is very important of OM, the process concerning that should be more inclusive wrt the OA.
            • Amy: In an early stage.
            • Kevin: Talked a bit about this in one of our previous meetings.
            • Hilary: More after today’s meeting (regional engagement meeting partly clashing with OA) 
        • Edit: RDA has grown a lot to close to 7000 members in a relatively short period of time. And such growth poses challenges to the organisation. Please share your ideas on how to approach the issue of RDA growth
    • Council update: RDA Strategy and current priorities, 10'
      • Ross:
        • RDA Council:
          • Partly covered by Hilary's presentation.
          • Other points:
            • We are asking the Secretariat to focus on ensuring that RDA operates more effectively as an organisation. This means that RDA will become a more reliable partner to engage with.
            • We need to get into the strategy stuff, but also need to grow up.
        • Benefit ot organizations in Australia perspective (by engaging with RDA)
          • A few years ago Austratia had identified the need for new improved librarian workforce. The RDA IG Libraries for Research Data (L4RD) developed the 23 Data Things: L4RD. We picked that up and run a program in Australia and finally developed a community of ~1000 data librarians in the country (based on that). This was huge for ANDS. It was also a great benefit for our member institutions and associated organizations because it helped prepare their workforce. Griffith University particularly benefited from this.
          • Another example: Work done in the Australian Research Data Services team (Lien Le) to do cross identification between teams has led to the concept of a persistent Research Activity Identifier (RAid).  This was brought back to RDA to socialize and check whether it makes sense internationally. Because it only means something when it can be explored internationally. Again this has had a particular benefit for our universities, in this case University of Queensland. It will be a bigger win as the identifier system is taken up more broadly
    • TAB update, Andrew Treloar, 10'
      • Andrew:
        • TAB overview and growth to cope with RDA growth:
          • TAB is now 13 people, after Bozwana it will be 14 and after next elections 15. Lively and ongoing discussion in Council on how to deal with scaling up problem inside in RDA. Increasing TAB was an interim solution. We will stop at 15. Sandra Collins is working on this from Council WG. There is a rotation mechanism for people and chairs similar to OAB. I will be rotating off after Bozwana. And Francoise will stay another year.
        • Mechanics of TAB:
          • Between plenaries: make process smoother: Reduce waiting times for groups. And it appears that we are doing better. What we had been hearing from the groups initially is that all these processes had slown their work. But now we get much more positive feedback. Before plenaries we are shifting efforts towards supporting the groups towards being more effective. This time we had more time and went back to the groups and gave some more advice (e.g. overlaps with other groups, more guidance to people starting, better session descriptions, etc.).
          • During plenaries; Every group has a TAB liaison. The TAB liaison provides guidance, follows the sessions, make notes of some points, etc.
        • General comment: Value the work of OA for adoptability reports. Make a plea for OA members to get involved to the groups early on to better shape the outputs. Although difficult, many outputs. Getting involved early in the group, to improve adoptability. Good output, but maybe my organisation would never be interested in that for some reason.
      • Comments-Questions:
        • Wouter: We understand the issue of the growth and also that people may have to leave and re-trained. Put it would be good to establish pathways/tracks/swim lanes for types of organisations and areas of interest/roles, e.g. if you are a National Data Service, this may be a set of themes/groups that you may want to join.Or if you have a PID interest, then you can follow these groups. A second reason why that would be helpful, is that there are more and more parallel sessions and more conflicts among groups with similar interests. So such pathways/roles can also help in the scheduling.
          • Andrew: Very helpful suggestion. On of the TAB roles is the parallel sessions scheduling. We have an algorithm and do a round of simulation to optimise scheduling. The current scheduling and optimisation is based on who the co-chairs of the group are. We could optimise on theme and create tracks, but we may end up in co-chairs having to be in two parallel sessions. But continue the optimisation. But the idea of themes/roles/swimlanes is a good one!  Possibly tag by theme/track and do also some manual tweaking. Hilary: this was done in the US once and it was very useful. 
          • Action: Include an agenda item for the next teclo to discuss if the OA can work in this area and identify themes/tracks of interest for particular organisations.
        • Raphael: When we were asked to comment on adoptability, the main issue was that an isolated recommendation may have been difficult to be adoptable. Now that we have accumulated some recommendations, adoptability is improving and things “fall in place”. Do you see untapped potential/opportunities that have been put out there, and how do you make them more obvious?
          • Andrew: I will use a metaphore although there was a debate in twitter this week about the the importance of metaphors). We are not building bridges but stones/rocks to form dry-stone walls/bridges. People solve the small problems they need and in essence small things. So now more rocks to put together. What Ross said: we don’t have enough engineers to overlook these rocky bridges. Maybe work more about design pattern or testbeds putting things together. Dimitris Koureas was saying: providing a set of (RDA worked-out) solutions for a discipline. So now is the time to put together the bricks.
            • Kevin: The degree to which an output is adoptable, either as part of a bigger framework or as a stand-alone thing, is a measure of adoptability.
            • Amy: Role for OA, presenting output packages that have been implemented?
  3. Organisational Assembly "projects"
    • Guidelines for adoptability/fitness for use for Outputs, Initial document
      • Andrew: This is the outcome of a group (Guru, Malcolm and me). One comment from Wolfgang last time: better fit for use instead of how adoptable. Fitness for use is a more appropriate way to think about this problem. Not much progress during the Australian summer (all Australians). In parallel a discussion inside the secretariat on how to find outputs and make them more accessible and useful. A BoF on outputs was organised by Stefanie Kethers (Secretariat) and this group agreed to wait and see the output of this BoF. We haven’t done our task yet. You asked for an adoptability assessment approach. While the BoF was can RDA help to make outputs more adoptable. So wait to hear what happened in the BoF and then proceeed
        • Amy: Yes, maybe better. Others? Yes, blend the two.
        • Wouter: Standard template to see who is below the bar. The downside is that you may force an output to fit inside the template. But in the plenary where outputs/recommendations were presented using the same template/format, it was easier to assess. But have to think about more. Trade-off.
        • Andrew: Hans made a point in a data fitness for use session: It is about whether it meets your needs. So, yes, you need to allow people to judge about their needs and wehther it fits with them. So a standard template should be somewhere between top-down and bottom up.
        • Stefan: During the lats two meeting of WG/IG chairs there has been a discussion about mapping the landscape of RDA groups. And chairs have been asked to put their group in a map. Andrew: yes, continue the discusion in Vienna in June.
        • Andrew: When you are an outsider and you come to RDA, there are 3 challenged dimensions:
          1. Understanding who does what and how the organisational pieces fit together.
          2. Understanding the landscape of the groups (which are the groups, how overlap or fit together, potential attendance path)
          3. Understanding the landscape of the outputs. Need to do better job helping people to get involved in the rights group and using the appropriate outputs.
      • Action: Continue with the same group. Ask Stefanie and Anthony (RDA US) to provide some feedback from the BoF and then the group will come back with something.
    • OM2OM services (Organisational Member to Organisation member services), Jason Haga, Raphael Ritz - document, presentation from last plenary 
      • Presentation of current state
        • Kevin and Amy: (Jason and Raphael had to leave to attend the RDA regional meeting)
          • Overview: The OM2OM services idea is that OMs offer free or discounted services to other OMs. First try to get who is doing what, i.e. a list candidates. And the next step to check what is the appetite.
          • Kevin: Examples:
            • MPDCF: Handle service. provides a way to automatically assign globally unique citable identifiers, based on Handle technology
            • DCC: Priviledged access to DMPonline.
          • Amy: Primarily technical services. But also non-tech ones? So think what services you can offer or which ones you may be interested in using.
            • Kevin: Regarding one of comments in Montreal, that possibly taking this path may be against the principles in RDA, I have talked with Counci and oked this.
        • Action: OM2OM services item to be followed up in the next meeting. OMs to think about this point.
    • Other
      • Reduced fees for plenaries - Kevin
        • Council has asked us to come up with a proposal swiftly. We are working on that and we will be seeking comments. Perhaps this may be in the form of extended access to early bird registrations for OMs (after early bird has closed, i.e. priviledged registration fees for OAs). May be of interest for some of you. Also other ideas.
          • Action: Kevin to share with the OA information about the reduced fees for plenaries for OMs.
      • OM topics of interest/pain points list/hotlist
        •  Amy: not much progress yet. We faced a technical problem: how to effectively present this to members interested in forming WG/IGs, as to what areas the OMs are interested in. So in case there is an pain point leading to an interest in forming an RDA group, OMs may be interested in joining early and shaping the potential output (as per the earlier discussion). Create a list of points of interest for OMs and update it periodically (3-6 months).
          • Shelley: Liked the (non)-silly ideas raised during the plenary yesterday; e.g. the repository funding issue is valid in many countries. If there is a sliver of that, how to pursue. Pooling together all of our contacts, be able to make a difference.
            • Amy: Instead of OMs saying, this is the list of pain points and it would be great if there was an RDA group formed to solve these pain points, turn it around and say here is a problem, let's have a coherent message and take it to our network of influence, and make a common move as OMs.
            • Sheleey: Yes, we have a footprint and we can exploit it! 
            • Action Amy: Take into account the idea of using OMs as a network of influence in this OM project.
  4. Update on the (Berlin) pre-plenary industrial events, Raphael, all
    • Raphael not available
    • Action: Discuss this in the next call
  5. Introduction to RDA Organisational Assembly OA -(in case there are non-members), Amy Nurnberger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RDA OA co-chair, 5’
  6. Introduction of OA members - 5'
    • Battelle-NEON, USA, Melissa Genazzio. Battelle-NEON project:The US National Ecological Observatory Network. Environment Research Infrastructure: EU-US collaboration. First plenary, really interesting so far!
    • TMV ev, Germany, Sebastian Semler
    • Wouter Haak, Elsevier and also Scholix WG among others
    • Shelley Stall, American Geophysical Union, collaboration project with RDA.
    • Rob Quick, Indiana University, Data Fabric-Education and Training Group.
    • Aaron Addison, Washington University in St. Luis Libraries (WUSTL). ex-OAB member, after my MBA, reengaged.
    • Anders Conrad, Danish e-Infrastructure Collaboration and Royal Danish Library: Half time chairman. And that is why I am here. First RDA plenary. How to engage actively. I can delegate tasks to other.
    • Lizz Lyon, School of Computing & Information University of Pittsburgh. Chair of a group. Keen to reengage.
    • Mathias Bug, German Data Forum. Doing the accreditation process of research data.
    • Stefan Kramer, American University Library, was co-chair for repositories until the summer
    • Kevin Ashley, DCC - OAB co-Chair
    • Amy Nurnberge, MIT, OAB co-Chair
    • Fotis Karayannis, RDA Secretariat-OA liaison
  7. OA Membership and OAB nominations
    • Stimulate more OA members from both academia and industry to join as Organisational Members
    • OAB Nominations - How to get more OA people to volunteer for OAB
    • Not discussed
  8. Discussion points
    • What are their main data needs of your  organisations?
    • Exchange of experiences – Questions you would like to ask each other.
    • Bringing an organisation into RDA, not just the individual representing the organisation
    • Stimulate more OA members from both academia and industry to join as OMs
      • Shelley: Make RDA work better for everyone.
      • Liz: Ambassador mode: expand on this one. Spread the word about RDA and the Org. Membership, in a formal or informal way. But have a strategy. ActionBetter articulation of ambassadorial strategy from an OM perspective. Consider an OM slide deck to attract new members (1-3 slides)
  9. AoB
    • Stefan: RDA members increasing and RDA resources stretched very thinly. To what extend the growth of RDA stretches the resources? Amy: It is more the number of groups. Kevin: Mark started an exercise on this (growth and finances) and Ingrid continued. And now the Council. Fotis: RDA Secretariat dealing with this issue also and how to best use its resources. For example more focus on WGs and less on IGs (no liaison for IGs but IG support will be provided via the general enquiries list). Also admin issues around the RDA Foundation taking time from the Secretariat. 
    • Shelley: Do we know the stakeholders engaged in RDA? E.g. libraries, labs. Do we have the circitical mass? Would be good to know this. 
    • Rob Quick: RDA is more EU, NorthAmerican and Australia-centric. Is there a plan to engage more actively with other areas of the world? Even if they can’t provide the fee. Stefan: Maybe a fee structure per continent. Fee is trivial is for US. But not for others. Consider seats for other international, waive or reduce the fee from South American or African institutes.Action: We should retake up this conversation re: a tiered fee structure based on region (specifically South America, Africa, Middle East/Asia)
    • Next calls; do pre-scheduled calls work?


RDA Organisational Assembly meeting

23 March 2018 meeting, 14:00

A joint private lunch with TAB and Council will be available after the end of the closing plenary

Open to all Organisational and Affiliate Members
[For questions regarding the Organisational Advisory Board (OAB) and the Organisational Assembly (OA),
please refer to]

Friday 23 March at 14:00 local time (13:00 UTC)

Original agenda

(For remote connection details see at the bottom)

Objectives of the meeting:

The Organisational Assembly (OA) is the main body through which organisations can influence the work of RDA.  The OA is composed of representatives of all RDA Member Organisations (Organisational and Affiliate Members). Organisational membership gives organisations a chance to introduce real problems in data interoperability and to call for those issues to be addressed.  OA membership gives organisations a chance for early access to RDA outcomes and a pre-publication opportunity to review outcomes and provide feedback on their utility. Although this session is primarily for the members of the Organisational Assembly, representatives of any organisation interested in RDA to explore organisational membership and to gain a sense of the important work accomplished by the OA can be allowed.  Please contact the co-Chairs and the RDA secretariat at to join us to learn how your organisation can make a difference and can receive real value through associations with RDA. In this meeting major emphasis will be given on services that can be offered from one member to another, recommendations adoptability and industrial engagement, followed by an open discussion.

Chair: Amy Nurnberger

The Organisational Assembly Group Photo will take place at the end of the Closing Plenary (as in Montreal) - to be confirmed

  1. Announcement of OAB co-Chair (to be elected in the OAB private lunch meeting on Thursday)
  2. Updates from Secretary General, Council and TAB, 30'
    • Secretary General, Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Status presentation, 10'
    • TAB update, Andrew Treloar/Francoise Genova, 10'
    • Council update: RDA Strategy and current priorities, 10'
  3. Organisational Assembly "projects"
  4. Update on the (Berlin) pre-plenary industrial events, Raphael, all
  5. Introduction to RDA Organisational Assembly OA -(in case there are non-members), Amy Nurnberger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RDA OA co-chair, 5’
  6. Introduction of new OA members (that have not been introduced before)- 5'
    • Battelle-NEON, USA, Melissa Genazzio
    • TMV ev, Germany, Sebastian Semler
    • Others
  7. OA Membership and OAB nominations
    • Stimulate more OA members from both academia and industry to join as Organisational Members
    • OAB Nominations - How to get more OA people to volunteer for OAB
    • Not discussed
  8. Discussion
    • How to bring an organisation into RDA, not just the individual representing the organisation
    • What are their main data needs of your  organisations?
    • Exchange of experiences - Learn from each other
  9. AoB
    • Next calls; do pre-scheduled calls work?



Location Local Time Time Zone UTC Offset
San Diego (USA - California) Friday, 23 March 2018, 06:00:00 PDT UTC-7 hours
Denver (USA - Colorado) Friday, 23 March 2018, 07:00:00 MDT UTC-6 hours
Washington DC (USA - District of Columbia) Friday, 23 March 2018, 09:00:00 EDT UTC-4 hours
Buenos Aires (Argentina) Friday, 23 March 2018, 10:00:00 ART UTC-3 hours
London (United Kingdom - England) Friday, 23 March 2018, 13:00:00 GMT UTC
Berlin (Germany - Berlin) Friday, 23 March 2018, 14:00:00 CET UTC+1 hour
Athens (Greece) Friday, 23 March 2018, 15:00:00 EET UTC+2 hours
Tokyo (Japan) Friday, 23 March 2018, 22:00:00 JST UTC+9 hours
Canberra (Australia - Australian Capital Territory) Saturday, 24 March 2018, 00:00:00 AEDT UTC+11 hours
Wellington (New Zealand) Saturday, 24 March 2018, 02:00:00 NZDT UTC+13 hours
Corresponding UTC (GMT) Friday, 23 March 2018, 13:00:00  

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