• Output Type: Working Group Supporting Output
  • Review Status: Endorsed
  • Review Deadline: 2020-02-28
  • Author(s): Mingfang Wu
  • Abstract


    Data Versioning WG

    Group co-chairs: 

    Jens KlumpLesley WybornAri AsmiRobert Downs

    Supporting Output title:  Compilation of Data Versioning Use cases from the RDA Data Versioning Working Group

    Authors: Jens Klump, Lesley Wyborn, Robert Downs, Ari Asmi, Mingfang Wu, Gerry Ryder, Julia Martin

    DOI: 10.15497/RDA00041

    Citation: Klump, J., Wyborn, L., Downs, R., Asmi, A., Wu, M., Ryder, G., & Martin, J. (2020). Compilation of Data Versioning Use cases from the RDA Data Versioning Working Group. Version 1.1. Research Data Alliance. DOI: 10.15497/RDA00041



    Data versioning is a fundamental element to ensuring the reproducibility of research. Work in other RDA groups on data provenance and data citation, as well as the W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group, have highlighted that definitions of data versioning concepts and recommended practices are still missing.

    An important driver to more closely examine data versioning practices came from the work of the RDA Working Group on Data Citation, whose final report recognised the need for systematic data versioning practices.

    However, while the recommendations put forward by the RDA WG on Data Citation are well suited for relational databases that are accessed using database queries, the recommendations sparked a debate that highlighted the need for more general principles on data versioning and a clarification of the terminology used to describe versioning of data.  This led to the formation of the RDA Working Group on Data Versioning. An early requirement for the new WG was to capture use cases where versioning requirements could not be met by the RDA WG on Data Citation recommendations. Numerous organisations and individuals were approached, or offered to contribute use cases. 

    In the course of the active phase of the RDA Data Versioning Interest Group and then RDA Data Versioning Working Group, 38 use cases from about 33 organisations representing different domains and data types were documented. These are presented below along with contextual information including definitions, workflows and ‘best practices’ for versioning. Analysing the collected use cases and other resources on data versioning we were able to extract versioning patterns. These versioning patterns form the basis of the data versioning principles presented in the Final Report of the RDA Data Versioning Working Group.


    Please note that the previous version (1.0) of this document underwent community review. The current version (1.1) was updated after the community review.




  • Group Technology focus: Data (Output) Management Planning
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