Philadelphia RDA Organisational Assembly

RDA Organisational Assembly meeting

1 April 2019, 16:30-18:30 local time (20:30-22:30 UTC)
Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Second Floor Mezzanine (2M), Room Regency C1

Open to all Organisational and Affiliate Members

[For questions regarding the Organisational Advisory Board (OAB) and the Organisational Assembly (OA),
please refer to https://rd-alliance.org/get-involved/organisational-membership]

Draft minutes

  1. Roll call, Amy, co-Chair, 5' - Slides
    • Short introductions. Present: Amy Nurnberger and Kevin Ashley (co-Chairs), Anders Conrad, Christophe Bruch, Francoise Genova (TAB co-Chair), Jonathan Crabtree, Juan Bicarregui, Rebecca Koskela, Rob Quick, Shelley Stall, Tuomas J. Alaterä (remote participant), Fotis (RDA Sec-OAB liaison) 
    • Approval to record meeting - Approved.
  2. Introduction of OA members- 5' - For information
  3. Agenda approval - Call for any other business items - For approval
    • Approved. No any other business.
  4. Presentation of the new OAB and its co-Chairs- 10' - For information
  5. Updates from Secretary General, Council and TAB, 30' - For information
    • Council update: RDA Strategy and current priorities, 10' - OAB co-Chairs
      • Amy: RDA Council meeting took place yesterday, full day. Main points:  
        • RDA Secretary General reported three points of the SG goals: 1. Adoption of RDA outputs, 2. Communication, 3. Regional engagement
        • RDA Co-chairs reported on OA needs/requests
        • Plans for future RDA plenaries
          • Improve planning cycles and timing (and decide on hosting countries 24 months ahead). RDA organisational members interested in hosting a future plenary can discuss with previous organisers and possibly raise their interest.
          • Structural enhancements also discussed, including the program:
            • Co-located sessions, use of unconference, ways to participate that work for academics (need to get credit)
          • Involvement with IDW
        • Analyse the 8 Affiliate Members relationships
          • OAB co-Chairs to do: describe affiliate relationships
        • Regional engagement
          • Regional engagement looks postive, but moving slowly.
          • What should regions contribute: Finance, Leadership, Community?
        • Council Membership Task Force created to review current memberships (as RDA has grown and matured):
          • Individual membership and especially Organisational - Regional memberships.
          • OAB is represented in the Task Force. More details soon.
      •  Council comments:
        • Ross: 3 points:
          • On membership: this include memberships in the discussion. We will consult through the OA but also with individual members at large. This is very important point, if you want to make changes to membership. No changes will be done before appropriate consultation.
          • One challenge raised in previous plenaries: to become more reliable, includng organisational processes being more effective. This was one of the KPIs for SG, i.e. to lift the quality of processes, moving from adolescence to early adulthood.
          • Statements of value for RDA. In the front page of RDA website there is a good set of value statements, though the lens of RDA, for both directions (for RDA and for the others). This is a resource to be used. If something wrong, please let us know.
      • Questions:
        • Frankie: I come from an infrastructure organisation. Maybe prepare a value statement for infrastructures?
          • We will return to this later on (agenda item 7).
    • Secretary General, Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Status presentation, 10
      • Hilary-Secretariat update:
        • Secretariat effort slightly increased from US and Australia, now 3.5 employees with 13 people and different skill sets. Secretariat runs the daily operations of RDA. All secretariat members in kind contributions through their programs (US, EU, AU).
        • RDA Foundation is the legal entity of RDA and the SG is employed through the Foundation. Found resources to employ an executive assistant, Bridget Walker. And also STFC provides in kind support for an RDA Financial Officer, Nima Babaahmadi.Nima interacting with you on invoicing.
        • Increase in RDA US is also important, as the focus now is on adoption and impact. The aim is to capture and understand that and to show adoption and impact. Also two relevant BoFs are organised this week. Significant investment.
        • With that there is the point on communication, especially external, which is a key part for secretariat. Next Plenary, p14, in Finland, and opened the call for collocated sessions before this plenary
    • TAB update, Francoise Genova, 10'
  6. Organisational Assembly projects - 45'
    • Plenary Pathways - Tracks of interests for RDA Organisations ("Pathways") - Web page link - For information and discussion
      • Amy:
        • This is the second time that Pathways have been prepared. The first one was in Gaborone, explicitly for OA members. There was a decision in Gaborone to open the pathways to the communicty and now have been incuded in the homepage of the plenary. [In a reality check, most of the OA members present were aware of the pathways, but not all].
        • Pathways: The FAIR agenda, Discipline approachers, Underpinning Infrastructure, Content issues, Data Management issues. Kevin: This came out of a discussion one year ago (in Berlin) to get some new people orientated, possibly senior people. This came as a TAB-OAB collaboration, but most of the work done by TAB (Andrew).
        • Slide "Going forward": There is a feedback form. Please fill it in! And then analysis, and take a decision (whether the pathways are useful and should be continued).
      • Comments-questions:
        • Frankie: Are website hits tracked?.There should be analytics that could be checked. May not be enough though.
        • Andrew: 3 issues. 1. Who owns (is responsible for making this happen). 2. What categories do we use. Web Focus Group (WFG) came up with a different way, based on the RDA groups. This is more a categorization of the groups, which is different from the themes of the plenary. And especially when you have joint group meetings. And there are also BoFs. 3. So point 3 is what do we base for the categorization.
        • Web focus group categories: Data discovery, Data access and interoperability, Improving usefulness of data, Preservation and stewardship, Provenance, reuse, and interconnection, Issues of scale, Data sharing culture, Education and training, Governing and maintaining infrastructure, Data security, legal interoperability, and compliance
          • Christoph: Whether to continue: How big is the effort? And 2. I also thought about the categories. And they can have a second use. We may need to have areas in the future, so this will contribute to this. Andrew: Around 2 hours. It may have took longer for a non TAB member as I was involved in proposal evaluation and scheduling.
          • Rebecca: The chairs were given the WFG categories and there is a survey. I will give you the results. Action Rebecca to provide the WFG survey results.
          • Ross: My impression is not to lock into any particular categorisation.  
          • Kevin: Recapping: Need to decide quite soon, so that it is not a last minute for P14. And who owns it.
          • Frankie: Comparing the pathways with the WFG categories, I believe the fewer is more useful. The less is more! Although the right is also ok.
          • Andrew: One of the challenges: if you focus to an area, here is your path. So better broader. Wouter was the initiator in Berlin. And this is the answer.
  7. Representation of OA members in RDA publicity: Clustering of OA members in categories - For discussion (if possible decision) - 10' 
    • Follow-up from March meeting - Updated proposal
      • Amy: Does this work?
        • Discussion:
          • Hilary: There a was discussion at the closed OAB meeting: We may consider two questions for organisations: "who am I" and "who am I for". E.g. I am a publisher but for Research & Academia.
          • Kevin: We need the primary area of each organisation (only one).
          • Christoph: What purpose does it serve? And what do you gain when you categorise? The big slide is not that bad. I am skeptical. Kevin: Sympathy on your view, but we may want to understand what activities the RDA organisations are engaged with. Frankie: Is it also for future RDA members to see themselves in categories and see them represented to join? Amy: Yes.
          • Hilary: The idea came from the following: Give more visibility in different ways. I go to talk to different types of orgs. And having such a categorization, helps organisations seeing being represented.
          • Christoph: I am not objecting. But I would strongly disagree with the statement that it helps to understand the membership. There are 20-30 people from Helmholtz coming from different buildings. So to understand the membership you would need to check these 20-30 people. Helmholtz is a Research Performing Organisation (RPO). But it may be that all come from one unit of Helmholtz. And libraries is usually a sub-category under a RPO. Kevin: If not national libraries, then indeed, may be part of a bigger organisation. Amy: In most cases, only the libraries join.
          • Juan: We are confusing different things: 1. How we make the slide. And 2. the categories. The presentation should look nice.
          • Timea: This discussion is also beyond this slide. E.g. connected with the value proposition and the categories therein.
          • Amy: Summary: 1. Difference creating a slide for public consumption and understanding organisational engagement. Timea point is that organisational engagement can be used for other purposes. To the secretariat's concern, there is a need to categorise so that future organisational members can be seen represented. We are having competing concerns.
        • Decision: Way forward: Go for "Who are you, who are you for". Action: Try to come up with answers to these questions..
  8. Guidelines for adoption/fitness for use ( Initial document) - 10' - For discussion and decision
    • Kevin: This has been discussed before. Need to finalise it.
    • Comments:
      • Fotis comments on the history: This came out of an OAB subgroup; more focusing on outputs/recommendations; the main argument against was whether we want to put adoptability/fitness for use for different outputs under a common template. Amy: these are more guidelines, rather than a template. Kevin: Yes, not necessarily answer all points for all recommendations. 
      • Michael Witt: Good guidelines
      • Kevin: When are these guidelines relevant? Answer: All 3 phases, Beginning, mid-way, and at the end.
      • Christoph: As part of Legal interoperability Interest Group: two years after, we realised that we were unrealistic re. community uptake. It wasn’t taken up by the community. So how do you deal with a recommendation that was not taken up? Hilary: Difference before RDA Recommendations (from WGs) and Supporting Outputs (from IGs). For WGs there should be adoptability and recommendations. Not for IGs and supporting outputs.
    • Decision: The Guidelines for adoption/fitness for use document is approved. It will be shared to TAB to be implemented. It can be shared also to the Secretariat Adoption Group. 
  9. RDA Consultancy for RDM - 10' - For discussion
    • Proposal: RDA assume a role of consultant towards other organisations on best practices in Research Data Management (RDM). Discussed at Botswana meeting. Enthusiasm to develop a proposal for how this works? If so, volunteers needed.
    • Discussion:
      • Kevin: May need to pass this through the Council and if not agreed, retire this.
      • Hilary: This may be relevant to the Council membership task force. By the orientation, there will be some kind of consultation. The RDA US office is thinking around these lines.Do you want to wait for the work of the Council Task Force? Kevin: Can be done in parallel. Juan: The term "Consultancy" may be an issue. it is more "Advisory". Consultancy may bring concerns (on neutrality). Hilary: "Advisory for a fee".
      • Amy: Advisory support: is it a road to explore, or no?
      • Michael Witt: The capacity is a worry. Maybe this can be substituted by joining RDA! To gain from the RDA community. 
      • Frankie: I appreciate this advisory role being done by a group rather than an individual. Kevin: Yes, we do this in DCC. 
      • Decision: Considered and bypassed at this point (with the argument of Michael, i.e. it is better to join the RDA community and learn from your peers, rather than RDA acting as an advisor/consultant)
  10. Value statement documents - 5'- For information
    • All value statements for different types of organisations are hanged in the RDA home page (in a bar towards the bottom of the home page entitled "The Value of RDA for") - picture
    • Currently available for:
      • Research Performing Organisations
      • Libraries
      • Individuals
      • Funders
      • Regions
      • European Open Science Cloud (special case for Europe)
    • Points for discussion:
      • Experiences sharing on using statements (all)
      • Are there others needed? 
    • Discussion:
      • Hilary: Context: This came from the Council strategy: positioning of RDA towards different types of stakeholders. What are the benefits for the different types of stakeholders. We worked together within the Council and various members of Council. Point on including Infras is well taken. Action: To work on an RDA value for infrastructures. . About EOSC, this was generated by Juan and how RDA contributes (as this is very important). Others such as industry, HPC, publishers not yet done. So come up with a common terminology. And different value for different orgs. Now owned by the secretariat and anyone can contribute. Kevin: Also indirectly answers the question why the organisations are paying the organisational fees.
      • Andrew: What is the revision schedule? Hilary: The ideas is that they are "Living documents" and revisiting them frequently. We want to make them more appealing. Now only text, better to make slides. Andrew: feedback mechanism? Hilary: Contact secretariat. Kevin: Infrastructures not represented yet. Andrew: Happy to work on the infrastructure Value Statement.
      • Action. Andrew and Frankie to work on the Value Proposition for Infrastructures..
      • Amy: Have you used these? Hilary: Yes, used it while talking to differnet types of organisations. Amy: What about other organisational members? Frankie: Yes! Michael Witt: I had the opportunity to use this and didn’t. But now I know. Timea: Also done so for DRI/Ireland after Hilary’s talk.
      • Other areas: Hilary: Corporate organisations. Related to Corporate Social Responsibility. 
  11. News and AoB, 5'
    • Updates from members:
      • Mohamed, KAUST: Joined RDA. We were lost before. We decided to create a group and collaborate with RDA which has a same group. Thank you!
      • Andres Conrad, DeiC: In a transition phase, as there is a new national strategy, to be implemented in 2020. RDM together with Networks and HPC. Hope to get funding. We now have RDA Europe Node in RDA.
      • Michael Witt: Reengaging with RDA after being away for a year.
    • AoB: What does RDA success look like for Organisations? Success of organisations through the use of RDA
      • Helmholtz: It is "THE" forum for Research Data. I don’t see any competition.
      • Andrew:  Less reinvention of the wheel. Adopt and adapt of approaches that have shown to work somewhere else.
      • Andrew: For the second interpretation of success (for RDA): How success of RDA looks? If everybody sends persons to RDA to do the discussions, then this is success.
    • Hilary: Cocktail on the 33rd floor
    • Next call: Schedule a next call in May (doodle)
  12. Group photo
    • At the Business plenary. 

RDA Organisational Assembly meeting

1 April 2019, 16:30-18:30 local time (20:30-22:30 UTC)
Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Second Floor Mezzanine (2M), Room Regency C1

Note that Second Floor is different from Second Mezzanine

Open to all Organisational and Affiliate Members

[For questions regarding the Organisational Advisory Board (OAB) and the Organisational Assembly (OA),
please refer to https://rd-alliance.org/get-involved/organisational-membership]

Draft agenda

(For remote connection details see at the bottom)

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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 enquiries@rd-alliance.org to join us to learn how your organisation can make a difference and can receive real value through associations with RDA. In this meeting some of the main topics of the meeting besides the reports will be the new OAB membership, the tracks of interests for the plenaries (the so-called "pathways"), the clusters and the guidelines for adoption.

Chair: Amy Nurnberger

  1. Roll call, Amy, co-Chair, 5' - Slides
    • Approval to record meeting - For approval
  2. Introduction of OA members- 5' - For information
  3. Agenda approval - Call for any other business items - For approval
  4. Presentation of the new OAB and its co-Chairs- 10' - For information
  5. Updates from Secretary General, Council and TAB, 30' - For information
    • Secretary General, Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Status presentation, 10'
    • TAB update, Francoise Genova, 10'
    • Council update: RDA Strategy and current priorities, 10' - OAB co-Chairs
  6. Organisational Assembly projects - 45'
    • Plenary Pathways - Tracks of interests for RDA Organisations ("Pathways") - Web page link - For information and discussion
      • How to use them for your organisational participation in the plenary
      • How to give feedback
      • Next actions...
        • Responsibility
        • Format
        • Alignment with Web Focus Group [link?] categories and plan for P14
    • Representation of OA members in RDA publicity: Clustering of OA members in categories - For discussion (if possible decision) - 10' 
    • Guidelines for adoption/fitness for use ( Initial document) - 10' - For discussion and decision
      • At the previous meetings, the guidelines for adoption/fitness for use were rediscussed. There was an Initial document on "what characteristics make recommendations adoptable" prepared by a small OA-TAB group.
      • Some considerations:
        • Timing and positioning: What we want to achieve is more proactive guidelines, rather than post-hoc assessments
        • Is TAB happy with this? Will this be useful to groups and chairs?
      • Action: Finalise it in the Philadelphia OA meeeting and deliver to TAB
    • RDA Consultancy for RDM - 10' - For discussion
      • Context: In the Botswana OA meeting the idea of RDA assuming a role of consultant towards other organisations on best practices in Research Data Management (RDM) was aired. However, it was agreed that caution is needed not to conflict with the mission of some individual organisations.
      • Action: Is there a group that would like to explore this further and prepare a report?
  7. Value statement documents - 5'- For information
    • All value statements for different types of organisations are hanged in the RDA home page (in a bar towards the bottom of the home page entitled "The Value of RDA for") - picture
    • Currently available for:
      • Research Performing Organisations
      • Libraries
      • Individuals
      • Funders
      • Regions
      • European Open Science Cloud (special case for Europe)
    • Action: Experience sharing on using statements (all)
    • Action: Are there others needed? Volunteers?
  8. News and AoB, 5'
  9. Group photo (tbc)

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