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RDA Virtual Plenary 16 – Regional Event

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    Stefanie Kethers

    Following and building on the discussions and outcomes of the RDA Virtual Plenary 16 (9-12 November 2020), we ran a series of free virtual sessions at times suitable to Oceania and large parts of Asia between 23 and 27 November 2020:


    COVID-19: Role of data in responding to COVID-19 pandemic. What can we do to respond better in the future? 

    Monday, 23 November, 1pm-3pm AEDT (Check the event time in your time zone

    Session chair: Priyanka Pillai

    Slides from the session


    Part 1. Introduction to infectious diseases data ecosystem, role of data in response and the challenges associated with using data for response (20 mins)

    Part 2. Guidelines and recommendations to resolve some of the challenges – Findings of the RDA COVID-19 Working Group (20 mins)

    Part 3. Workshop (30 mins) (3 x Breakout rooms)

    • Infectious disease data: an open discussion on the types of infectious disease data in your area of work/research
    • Challenges: what challenges have you experienced in this context?
    • Strategies: ideas, solutions and shareable resources

    Part 3. Discussion on next steps forward: Establishing a Community of Practice (20 mins)

    • Workshop summary 
    • Outcomes from RDA session and potential pathways (Working Group, Community of Practice (CoP), Interest Group)
    • Future actions
    • Call for contributors and leaders

    Data versioning and data life cycle

    Tuesday, 24 November, 1pm-3pm AEDT (Check the event time in your time zone

    Session chairs: Jens Klump, Lesley Wyborn

    Slides from the session

    Collaborative notes from the session

    Data versioning is a fundamental element of data management. It provides important information relevant for the interoperability and reuse of data, and about data provenance to ensure research reproducibility and enable credit to individuals/organisation that developed and/or funded the development of any version. Recognising a lack of common practices and guidelines on data versioning across data communities, members of the Research Data Alliance started an initiative that eventually formed the Data Version Working Group to work on common issues of data versioning. Based on the analysis of 38 use cases collected from a variety of organisations and domains, the Working Group formulated a set of data versioning principles and recommended best practices. 

    In this session, we will share the journey from an interest group to a working group and discuss the outputs from the working group. Although the working group has completed its work, during the process we have identified issues on data replication and duplication, issues that not only impact on data versioning practices but also bring new challenges on data authority, identity and ethics. We will discuss ideas for a path ahead and gather interest from the community to work on new challenges. 


    Wednesday, 25 November, 1pm-3pm AEDT (Check the event time in your time zone)

    Session chair: Keith Russell

    Slides from the session

    The FAIR principles have received worldwide recognition since their inception in 2014 as a very useful framework for sharing data and outputs to enable maximum reuse for humans and machines. They have since been endorsed by international organisations including FORCE11National Institutes of Health and the European Commission

    However the FAIR principles are high level principles and that leaves room for interpretation and requires choices to be made on how to implement these in practice. At the Virtual Plenary 16 there were a record number of sessions with FAIR in the title, often viewing FAIR relative to a discipline, a technology or output type (e.g. software), or in several sessions, in relation to indigenous data. In this session we will share lessons from a number of these sessions and see where the FAIR landscape is currently at. We will also address how you can get involved with the relevant working and interest groups and get involved in these international discussions.


    Thursday, 26 November, 1pm-3pm AEDT (Check the event time in your time zone)

    Session chair: Kathryn Unsworth

    Slides from the session:

    In recent weeks there’s been a spotlight placed on eresearch and data skills. We’ve seen skills development and training sessions at eResearch Australasia, a week long program of sessions dedicated to skills training at the ARDC Australian eResearch & Data Skills Summit, followed up by various working groups, interest groups and BoFs addressing the challenges and opportunities around data skills development at the RDA Plenary 16 (Costa Rica).

    There’s growing acceptance across the Australian eResearch sector and internationally of the value a skilled workforce can bring to data-intensive research. As such, the eresearch sector needs to pose and answer some compelling questions:

    • What skills frameworks already exist? What of these frameworks can be adopted/adapted to help reframe skills development efforts in Australia?
    • What are the common skills development challenges being faced in Australia and internationally? Do global priorities align with our own?
    • If so, how do we bring global data skills development efforts and initiatives together to address these common challenges to the benefit of our research workforce?

    This session will examine the various skills development challenges that surfaced during eResearch Australasia, the ARDC Skills Summit and RDA Plenary 16. We will look to answer the questions around common global skills challenges and explore various local and international skills development frameworks and initiatives with a view to aligning and connecting (where possible) local efforts with international groups and task forces.

    Research Software

    Friday, 27 November, 1pm-3pm AEDT (Check the event in your time zone)

    Session chairs: Mingfang Wu and Tom Honeyman

    Slides from the session

    Research software is a key component of research, where software needs to be developed to gather, clean, process, visualise data, simulate a model, or automate a computing workflow.  Research Software usually sits in a complementary role to research data, and plays an important role in reproducible research. Making software FAIR enables the research community to share and reuse resources, in some cases provides a benchmark to build on further research. 

    The importance of software as a research resource has been well recognised in recent years. A number of international communities have been working together and trying to address common issues on managing, curating and citing research software. For example, the Force 11 software citation interest group has published software citation principles and now continues to work on the implementation of those principles. Members from Research Data Alliances have also formed the software source code interest group, software source code identification working group, and recently formed working groups include FAIR for research software (FAIR4RS) and Curation for Reproducibility (CURE-FAIR). 

    This session will bring awareness of activities and outputs from the above interest and working groups, so people from this region can join relevant groups, contribute to the groups with their own use cases, work with international communities on common practices to make software FAIR and beyond.









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