Organisational Assembly - Denver (Open meeting)

Draft minutes

Plenary 8, Denver

Thursday 15 September 2016, 14:00-15:30 (local time)

Open meeting - Room Spruce (Tower Building - Mezzanine Level)
 

Objectives of the Open Part 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 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.  The OA is in the process of electing from its number a 12-member Organisational Advisory Board which meets on a regular basis between plenaries to ensure that the organisational voice is a constant in the governance of the RDA.  The open session of the Organisational Assembly at each plenary is open to representatives of any organisation interested in RDA to explore organisational membership and to gain a sense of the important work accomplished by the OA.  Please 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 in the value of OA for its members and a case study on engaging with RDA outputs, followed by an open discussion.

Chair: Amy Nurnberger

  1. Introduction to Organisational Assembly (OA), Juan Bicarregui, STFC, UK, RDA OA co-chairs, 10’ - Slides
    • Juan Bicarregui gave a short introduction of the RDA governance bodies, and then explained the role of the Organisational Members, along with their corresponding bodies, the OA (assembly of all members) and the OAB (an executive body of the whole).
    • On a question of how is the progress and are the outcomes of the meetings tracked, the co-Chair replied that this is achieved mainly via the meeting minutes.
    • On a question, what is the difference between organisational members and affiliates, the co-Chair replied that Affiliates are organisations with a related to RDA mission, not disciplinary specific and of global nature. A set of explicit points of collaboration with RDA is agreed in an MoU such as joint WG/IGs, adoption agreements, shared services, etc. which would deliver mutual benefit. For more see https://www.rd-alliance.org/get-involved/organisational-membership.  
    • On a question whether the Organisational member fees cover specific RDA costs, the co-Chairs and the Secretary General replied that they cover around 5 and not more than 10% of the RDA operations, and that the majority comes from other sources (the funders).
  2. Introduction of new OA members since last plenary - 10'
    • The new members present gave a short introduction of their institutes. The members introduced were:
      • California Institute of Technology, USA, (Gail Clement). Gail Clement clarified that the organisational member is the Caltech Library (not the whole institute) and that they are doing research in 6 disciplines, mainly around the entire research data lifecycle and in particular in Data Management Plans (DMPs).
      • Data Observation Network for Earth - DataONE (Bill Michener). Bill Michener explained that DataONE is a federation of repositories, mostly in the US, but there are also a few int’l ones. They are acting as a one-stop-shop for data, offering services via interoperable solutions. They are also organising training and other events.
      • Helmholtz Association, Germany (Hans Pfeiffenberger). Hans Pfeiffenberger explained that the Helmholtz Association is an association of 17 Research Centres in Germany and 4 Unversity organisations. They cover a broad spectrum of study areas ranging from Energy and environment to Aeronautics and space. Their new president made clear that data is a very important and strategic direction, and this is one of the reasons why RDA needs to be observed.
  3. Engaging with RDA outputs at Griffith University, Malcolm Wolski, Griffith University  - 20' - Slides
      • Recommendations relevance spreadsheet - spreadsheet and related e-mail
        • Malcolm Wolski gave a presentation (see slides) on how they have engaged with the RDA outputs at the Griffith University in Australia. He first gave an introduction about hte Griffith University and the information services they offer and then focused on what's in it for them in terms of RDA outputs up to now presenting a table with their engagement and impact. On a question, whether they are you using example implementations or more the high-level descriptions of the outcomes, he answered that it is both. Then he presented the 12 research data things for Griffith. He added that there is a lack of a large number of academics in Australia and that there are topics not in RDA that can be posted via an expression of interest for a potential BoF for some of them.
        • Q&A:
          • Leif Laaksonen mentioned that RDA Europe is working on an Atlas of Knowledge (AoK) which should contain similar material. And that it may be useful to integrate such inputs (from Griffith). Raphael Ritz stated that there is no process established yet to integrate such inputs and that it is stil a prototype. But he considers the spreadsheet as a valuable input.
          • Ross Wilkinson remarked that you need to know a lot about RDA to answer the question how RDA can help with all your questions and that this is very interesting!
          • Leif Laaksonen said that there have been discussions about the role of OA(B) and that the challenge is to get everything glued together. And that integration of such work is missing (workflow missing). Raphael Ritz stated that it has not been settled yet how to integrate AoK in the RDA websphere. And that they are hesitant to reach broadly before having settled such issues. Malcolm Wolski added that in the early plenaries there were not so many WG/IGs. But now there are many, and the meetings are mostly about coordination among groups, so you can’t follow well if not involved inside these groups.
    • Value & Engagement, Update on status of document, invitation for discussion,  Amy Nurnberger (Columbia University Libraries) and Stephen Wolff (Internet2) - 20' - Slides
      • .Amy Nurnberger (co-Chair) introduced the topic by giving the background of the document. She stated that some main points around this is why the oganisational members should pay and what they are getting back. She added that there are different elements for the different organisations and that there are evolving points in the engagement, so this is considered a living document.He gave the floor to Steven Wolff to report where we are up to now.
      • Steven Wolff gave a presentation (slides). He mentioned that as Mark said during break it is about formal and informal advice! Some of the values identified include image, stature, and effectiveness among peers, network efforts and organisational and technical interactions. Regarding engagement it is desirable that Organisational Members work towards the aims of the RDA and subscribe to the RDA Guiding Principles, work to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, use and re-use, standards harmonisation, and discoverability and provide financial support in terms of fees. Then he briefly introduced the work on the RDA "Future Directions" explaining that there were 3 main themes identified, namely enhanced communication,wider engagement and improved coordination. And then listed some specific actions on each area such as the RDA ambassadors idea in the communications and progress RDA outputs adoption or regional coordination under coordination. He concluded with the current status of the document stating that a V&E document was posted after Plenary 7, a revised V&E paper that incorporates both OA comments and Council recommendations from the Future Directions document has been posted,an Organizational Members survey has been developed and that the V&E paper has been reviewed and it is now a living document.
      • Amy opened the floor for questions with the following points:
        • What do you/does your organisation find of value?
        • How do you/does your organisation want to engage?
        • Where do you/does your organisation want to engage? (Level, Frequency)
        • Who is realising the value?
      • The following answers/comments/points were made:
        • Siddeswara Guru asked whether there is an RDA perspective of how useful this is, i.e. what is the value of OA for RDA? Amy Nurnberger replied that organisations are here to adopt, and so there are opportunities to adopt. So the RDA outputs have to be adoptable. It is thus important for organisation to have the opportunity to comment on WGs and their adoptability. And whether they can answer the challenges inside their organisations. And RDA also produces outputs and recommendationss and organisations have the opportunity to comment.Siddeswara Guru answered that most of these can be done without being a member, as these are all open processes. He added that organisational members may be able to propose the areas they are more interested for new groups. Amy Nurnberger, agreed and stated that not all comments are equal. And also new groups can be proposed by anybody. But it is more important to have adoption and the role of the OA has a different weight.
        • Ross Wilkinson stated it would be useful to understand what issues are important for the OA organisations. So maybe what the OA can collectively do, is to gather some common interests among organisations, and work on these together. So capture what organisations are interested in.
        • Stephen Wolff stated that the OAB co-chairs are invited in Council. And that access to the Council is important, not so much for the establishment of WG/IGs, but it is important for long term directions, steering RDA. Juan Bicarregui added that there is also a closed meeting afterwards, where Council and TAB are present. OA members have thus a special channel of communications within RDA. So it is a qualitative thing, as they can influence the RDA directions. Kevin Ashley added that the opportunity to influence things, is not only in the short term with Council, but also with the adoption, which is seen as a core thing. Also the money coming as organisational fees is important to keep the RDA going. There are things we cannot achieve alone. And before, we were struggling to achieve some of our objectives. So we can get far more than we put in. John Wood remarked that the European Commission who supports RDA and RDA Europe, always looks at the OAand asks about the users and the big organisations. And also the OA contributions are indeed very important. Leif Laaksonen stated that although CSC may not be getting directly much out of the membership, but this is achieved indirectly. CSC is involved in many projects and the value comes from the projects we are involved. And they become aware of the developments in the projects and the related networks, including RDA. It was also stated that there are a lot of obligations also. Amy Nurnberger stated that she is the only member of Columbia Library in RDA. And within the university she can stand up and say that we are involved and this increases our cache and voice. And also stronger voice inside the groups.
    • Open Discussion: Priorities, Interests, Challenges - OA co-chairs, 25'
      • Amy Nurnberger introduced the topic by saying that there was a survey prepared to help organise and collect thoughts prior to this session and that 10 answers were collected. The main questions raised were what are your current top data priorities and which are the 3 WGs that are currently of most interest. The answers received were quite broad, with interest in disciplinary groups such as genomics to horisontal ones, such as education. And that there are both technical and cultural issues identified. The co-Chair then opened the floor for questions, explaining that they are asking for the areas that RDA may need to serve according to the OA views:
        • Raphael Ritz stated that comprehensive and quality metadata is a key one. Bill Michener stated that DataOne is also interested in this. Kevin Ashley argued that if a lot of metadata is required, you may not get the data! So a balance is neeeded along with incrememental improvement, instead of all or nothing. Aaron Addison added that metadata should be not only human-readable but also  machine-readable. And that there are different constructs for these two.
        • Hans Pfeiffenberger stated at the Paris plenary there was Group on Neutrons and Photons meeting collocated with RDA. And they learned a lot on identifiers via this colocation. So it is vital for data people not to reinvent the wheel. And RDA can ensure that data infrastructures are up-to-date and not to reinvent or replicate things that are available elsewhere or doing things wrongly. Data infrastructures need to be build in an interoperable way. A data harmonisation group/project may be valuable to get a quick overview of what’s happening. The same also on sustainability approaches, not reinventing the wheel.
        • Ross Wilkinson said that investing most heavily on trusted data and trusted data repositories is a priority for them. If open data and open science is achieved, then we need to work a lot on trusted data including provenance, certification,etc. So these are the two big things for us. Malcolm Wolski added that there another, parallel dimension: working e.g. on climate research you also need to worry on IP rights, licensing, privacy, standards. The consequence of that is that it is not about research data, it is about data. Kevin Ashley said that Ross's point reminded him of the fact that W3C has released a recommendation on data on the web best practices. It is not about trusted or not trusted data, or high-quality, but more about (different) assertions. This because, what matters to me, may not matter to others. So different views/assertions. Aaron Addison said that we are coming to a new age when quality is more important than quantity. So if you are making decisions in important areas such as health or climate, if you don’t have ensured quality, you are in trouble! So there is a huge elephant in the room. Huge issue for us. Huge issue for communities who rely on the outputs. If the outcomes are not reliable, then you will loose the community. Ross Wilkinson agreed that the trust issue is important for using the data. But also for the reputation for the organisations. Hans Pfeiffenberger asked what happens if data are about two different disciplines, e.g. both environment and health. And that there should be a connection between the two groups The trust is not answered by systems. And it is not easy to overcome this. Amy Nurnberger stated that within her organisation health people talk with the environment people and access/study the necessary data for both. Ross Wilkinson added that data may have to be downscaled or changed to be understandable and that the initial data may not be relevant. So it is important to have the relevant services on top of the data to do this.
        • Siddeswara Guru said that they are more interested on the complete experiment process and workflow, in the propagation of the data.
        • Malcolm Wolski agreed with Ross Wilkinson that the attention should not only be on the raw data, but also on the services and tools.And that they are looking in RDA on how we can come up with tools and services for trusted data.
    • Any Other Business

    Original agenda

    Plenary 8, Denver

    Thursday 15 September 2016, 14:00-15:30 (local time)

    Open meeting - Room Spruce (Tower Building - Mezzanine Level)
     

    Objectives of the Open Part 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 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.  The OA is in the process of electing from its number a 12-member Organisational Advisory Board which meets on a regular basis between plenaries to ensure that the organisational voice is a constant in the governance of the RDA.  The open session of the Organisational Assembly at each plenary is open to representatives of any organisation interested in RDA to explore organisational membership and to gain a sense of the important work accomplished by the OA.  Please 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 in the value of OA for its members and a case study on engaging with RDA outputs, followed by an open discussion.

    Chair: Amy Nurnberger

    1. Introduction to Organisational Assembly (OA), Juan Bicarregui, STFC, UK, RDA OA co-chairs, 10’
    2. Introduction of new OA members since last plenary - 10'
      • California Institute of Technology, USA
      • Centro Argentino e Información Científica y Tecnológica, CAICYT-CONICET, Argentina
      • Data Observation Network for Earth - DataONE
      • ELSEVIER, The Netherlands
      • Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN)
      • Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM), University of Warsaw
      • Research Data Services, Australia
      • John Wiley & Sons Ltd., UK  
      • Blackfynn, Inc., USA
      • Helmholtz Association, Germany
    3. Value & Engagement, Update on status of document, invitation for discussion,  Amy Nurnberger (Columbia University Libraries) and Stephen Wolff (Internet2) - 20'
    4. Engaging with RDA outputs at Griffith University, Malcolm Wolski, Griffith University  - 20'
    5. Open Discussion: Priorities, Interests, Challenges - OA co-chairs, 25'
      • Please consider and contribute your thoughts here
    6. Any Other Business - 5'