• Output Type: Other Output
  • Review Status: Not Endorsed
  • Author(s): Stefanie Kethers
  • Abstract

    The Council Operations and Coordination Subcommittee (see https://www.rd-alliance.org/about-rda/governance/rda-council/rda-council…) has revised the document on Transparency and Openness in response to the community comment received on the previous version (which is attached to this page).  

    Community comments on this new version are very welcome.


    The Council Operations and Coordination Subcommittee would like to thank the RDA community for their comments on our original document. We have taken on board the main arguments presented, i.e. 1) while openness is desirable, there are some things that should not be open to all RDA members, and 2) that, in the interest of transparency, it would be desirable to keep restricted content on the RDA Web site, but to document clearly that it is there and has limited access. We have modified this document accordingly.


    To improve adherence of the RDA organisation to the RDA guiding principle of openness. As a first step, the Operations and Coordination Subcommittee proposes a change to access to information on the RDA website. This document describes this change.


    One of the RDA principles is openness. However, information about RDA activities is currently not available to all members. Depending on the role one plays in the organisation, the group to which one belongs and the area one is viewing, different RDA members can see very different things.

    This has multiple flow-on effects:

    • acts as a barrier to collaboration and dissemination of RDA results,
    • prevents the maximum community involvement,
    • constrains our ability to maximise the value of our available resources, e.g. volunteer activities,
    • impairs trust,
    • slows the organization down, and
    • makes the organization less efficient.


    • Information on the RDA website should be publicly readable whenever possible. However, there is information that should not be visible to all RDA members, e.g. RDA Council discussions, TAB reviews in progress, or financial discussions in Plenary organising committees.
    • We are currently investigating the best way to separate open and restricted information.
    • To improve transparency, the RDA Web site should document what information is open, and what information is not, and who can access the restricted information (e.g., Council members, TAB members, etc). This documentation is currently being developed.
    • An authorization will still be required for editing content.

    Please note that this is purely an administrative effort, with results expected by July 2017. There is no member effort required, although we invite comments by email to Stefanie[dot]Kethers[at]ands.org.au.


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