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RDA-Force 11 BioSharing Registry WG – TAB Review

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    TAB Case Statement Review

    The original case statement and updated case statement are available here:

    The updated case statement is uploaded below for convenience.

    Working Group Title:  RDA-Force 11 BioSharing Registry


    Susanna Sansone (

    Rebecca Lawrence (

    Simon Hodson (execdir@CODATA.ORG)

    Date Received by TAB: February 8, 2015

    TAB Reviewers:  Carole Palmer and Simon Cox

    Completeness of Case Statement:  

    (Does it include the six requisite components: (1) WG Charter; (2) Value Proposition: (3) Engagement with Existing Work in the Area; (4) Work Plan; (5) Adoption Plan; (6) Initial Membership?): Yes _X_; No __; Comments: 

    The case is well articulated in all areas.


    Focus and Fit:  

     (Are the Working Group objectives and deliverables aligned with the RDA mission ?  Is the scope too large for effective progress, too small for an RDA effort, or not appropriate for the RDA?  Overall, is this a worthwhile effort for the RDA to take on?  Is this an effort that adds value over and above what is currently being done within the community?)


    Biosharing is a valuable, respected, well-run resource–notable for several functionalities, extensive content, and growing recognition. The Biosharing registry is highly professional and could serve as model for other RDA registry efforts. The RDA Data Types Registry WG (now completed) and Vocabulary Services IG (proposed) also have obvious overlaps and should be consulted. The WG should be able to make progress leveraging the existing BioSharing initiative.

    The coordination component is very important. Set of reference materials would be timely. Value in extending the principles and the registry to other disciplines. 

    WG addresses a number of important areas: 1) informing journals and funders of available standards and which resources use them; 2) need for active user group as a mechanism for integrating user views, and to improve curation; RDA offers a means for progress on the currently varied engagement of Biosharing communities. 3) API and Web Service (WS) interface; community has acknowledged need for the catalogue to plug into third party applications as a resource. (A REST/HTTP API should also be provided, possibly instead of WS.)  

    Work Plan, Deliverables, and Outcomes:

    (Are there measurable, practical deliverables and outcomes?  Can the proposed work, outcomes/deliverables, and Work Plan described in the Case Statement be accomplished in 12-18 months?)


    The overall scope is ambitious for a Working Group and is structured more like a project with an advisory board than a working group.

    Registries are notoriously difficult to maintain and keep up to date, and community curation has not been very successful. Will be difficult to sustain.

    Questions about development:
    – Who will do the development and how it will be resourced? As part of RDA, would expect groups to work together on collaborative development.
    – Will the wider community be engaged, and if so, how?

    – WP2 has significant overlaps with other existing registry initiatives (CNRI, UKGovLD); a comparison of functionality and implementation should be included. 
    – Who will be involved with WP3 Task 1: Define consistent metadata to describe and categorize individual standards, databases and policies, and publish as open document.
    – How open will the process be?



    (Does the initial membership list include sufficient expertise, and disciplinary and international representation?  Are the right people involved in the Working Group to adopt and implement?  What individuals or organizations are missing?)


    The team is strong and has ties to international infrastructure programs, including NIH Big Data To Knowledge Initiative (BD2K) and ELIXIR. (BioSharing has been nominated as part of the ELIXIR infrastructure and is explicitly included in a significant proposal for seeding the ELIXIR data infrastructure.) With the broad scope of the effort, coordination with existing largescale bio infrastructure efforts such as NCBI and NIF would be advisable.


    Impact and Engagement:

    (Is it likely that the outcome(s) of the Working Group will be taken up by the intended community?  Is there evidence that the research community wants this?  Will the outcome(s) of the Working Group foster data sharing and/or exchange?)


    The community efforts are important. A strong network is in place and interactions are established with a number of groups, including NPG, GigaScience, Re3data, and eTRIKS. Questions to address: 

    – What form will proposed engagement outside Life Sciences take?
    – How will work on community requirements, community building, and engagement be monitored?
    – How often does the advisory board meet?



    Case Statement is Sufficient __; Case Statement Requires Revision _X_; Case Statement is Rejected __


    Questions on engagement, development, and scope of the registry effort should be addressed.











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