Happy New Year from the RDA-US Office

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25 Jan 2021

Happy New Year from the RDA-US Office

On behalf of all of us in the RDA-US Office, Happy New Years to all of you.  Hopefully, 2021 will be a much better year and be filled with good health, opportunity, and advancement. We have lots of activities planned for the upcoming months, definitely virtually and perhaps face to face as the year progresses, and look forward to collaborating with the RDA-US community with all of them.  Look for more announcements in the coming weeks!

Virtual Plenary 17 Opportunities for RDA-US Members and Co-chairs

You may have noticed several announcements from the RDA Secretariat regarding deadlines for Virtual Plenary 17, scheduled to take place April 20-22, 2021. US engagement in VP17 is so important for us as it shows our country’s commitment to the overall global organization and our support for our local hosts.  We received tremendous support from our international community during Plenary 16 (as well as our other plenaries hosted in our region), so let’s continue that trend this year and support our VP17 hosts, Digital Curation Centre in collaboration with Jisc and STFC-UKRI.


RDA Breakout Sessions

It’s not too late to submit a session for VP17; the deadline is tomorrow, January 26.  Many options are available for meeting format and times, so don’t be discouraged if you think you may not be able to attend due to time zone concerns.  


Important to note, working/interest/joint meeting proposals need to be submitted by co-chairs, so please coordinate as needed for those submissions.  Alternatively, Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions can be submitted by any RDA member, so if there is a potential topic you think could be recommended for the creation of new working and/or interest groups, submit your BoF proposal.  Submissions forms are located at  https://www.rd-alliance.org/rdas-17th-plenary-call-sessions-extended.


Co-locate with VP17

Many conversations are taking place now regarding when next to convene with each other and other organizations to discuss data-related topics and challenges.  The week of VP17 may be an excellent time to schedule those meetings, either on Monday, 19 April 2021 or Friday, 23 April 2021, as you will have the opportunity to engage with the RDA community while leveraging the outreach initiatives taking place within RDA for VP17 and the co-located event calendar.  The deadline to submit a request to co-locate an event with VP17 is 12 February 2021.  Learn more at https://www.rd-alliance.org/rdas-17th-plenary-call-co-located-events.


Look for more details in the coming weeks regarding registration, including support availability to the RDA community,  and programme details.

Plenary 16 Highlights

The RDA-US office and P16 Organizing Committee can now officially say we have recovered from Plenary 16, which took place in November. From the majority of feedback received, we can conclude it was a successful week filled with networking, learning and collaboration by over 650 attendees.  Participants overwhelmingly expressed their appreciation to our colleagues in Costa Rica for their support in hosting this event.  We are pleased to report that we now have the recordings available of the 71 group sessions and six plenary sessions, accessible from the RDA website at https://www.rd-alliance.org/rdas-16th-plenary-meeting-programme.


We are reviewing the many lessons learned from the experience of hosting a virtual meeting and will be taking these forward in planning VP17.  Special consideration is now being taken as we in the RDA-US office as well as the global organization plan for future remote meetings, specifically in the areas of networking, registration functionality, accessibility, support and programme structure.  As mentioned above, many of these areas are being addressed for VP17.  


RDA-US V16 Award Recipients

Congratulations to the nine recipients of the RDA-US VP16 Awards.


The RDA-US recently funded nine registration awards to RDA working and interest group co-chairs and poster presenters to attend the RDA Plenary 16. The recipients were selected based on their interest statement submission outlining what they would contribute and what they hoped to gain by their participation. We thank each for their contributions and for providing detailed final reports to help guide us in developing plans for future plenaries. Please help us congratulate the following recipients. 


·        Lindsay Barbieri

·        Daveed Benjamin

·        Robert R. Downs

·        Ted Habermann

·        Siri Jodha Khalsa

·        Sarah Ramdeen

·        Erin Robinson

·        Maria Stoica

·        Jane Wyngaard


Each awardee is a contributing active member of the RDA and we appreciate their part in the success of the RDA and the Plenary 16. Read more.


Synopsis of the Virtual Networking Events at VP16

A big thanks to the VP16 Networking Event Committee members Barbara Bordalejo, Ana Cardosa, Stephen Diggs, Stephanie Hagstrom, Anna Heredia, Jamie Petta, Yuhan Rao and Shawna Sadler for coordinating the networking events during VP16. The committee presented 8 networking events throughout the week including five ½ hour informal chats, one work-a-thon and two asynchronous contests –full program here


The ½ hour synchronous events were designed as informal (non-scientific) “chats” and named “Amigos’ Time” to reflect the local host’s culture. Each event was scheduled for a ½ hour, had a dedicated theme and was facilitated by a moderator to help engage the audience.  You may see the event outcomes below.    

  • Costa Rica Trivia Session - See Trivia Quiz here
  • How do we achieve a healthy balanced life when working from home? See group notes here and See group poll questions and responses here
  • Share a book you would recommend to others
  • RDA Snacks
  • Share favorite recipes and cooking tricks - See group recipes, tips and tricks here


RDA COVID-19 Adoption Survey

RDA and the RDA COVID-19 Working Group would like to assess the adoption and impact of its RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines on Data Sharing, published on 30 June 2020. While we recognize the impact of the global pandemic across multiple domains and areas of practices, we are interested in learning the impact of this output for people and institutions conducting research and supporting data sharing and/or infrastructure across the clinical and public health domains. Please take a few minutes to share your output adoption experience by completing a brief survey located at https://www.rd-alliance.org/rda-covid-19-recommendations-guidelines-adoption-survey.


Upcoming Webinars

We are currently developing a 2021 webinar series featuring RDA working group and interest group activities, including outputs and adoption stories. Watch your email for upcoming webinars you may be interested in attending and if you are a working group chair interested in presenting a webinar, please email Stephanie Hagstrom at rdaus@rda-foundation.org and we will contact you.

RDA Technical Advisory Board Welcomes New RDA-US Member and Announces New Co-Chair

Congratulations to RDA-US longtime member, Rob Quick, who was nominated earlier last month by TAB members as its new Co-chair, and will be working alongside Isabelle Perseil, the existing TAB co-chair. For those that don’t know Rob joined RDA in 2014 and is an IT Specialist and Architect at Indiana University. He is a member of numerous Working and Interest Groups; co-chairing the Data Fabric IG, Education and Training on Handling of Research Data IG and, until recently, the CODATA/RDA Research Data Science Schools for Low and Middle Income Countries Interest Group.


We also welcome Gretchen Greene, who was also recently elected to TAB. Gretchen joins Rob and our other RDA-US member, Christine Kirkpatrick. Gretchen is a Data Science Group Leader at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Learn more about TAB at https://rd-alliance.org/about-rda/our-leadership/rda-technical-advisory-....

OA Member Spotlight - AGU

Organisational membership is critical to the success of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), because organisations are instrumental in implementing the global data exchange systems that RDA enables. Organisational Members of the RDA (OMs) exercise considerable influence in the development of standards for data exchange and are seen as pioneers in realising the full value from research data. Unlocking value from research data is a key competitive advantage in the 21st century, and RDA and its members are at the heart of building this new economic model from exchanging research and scholarship data.


Additional information on becoming an Organizational Member can be found here:



The AGU is an international non-profit scientific association with nearly 60,000 members. We are dedicated to the furtherance of the Earth and space sciences, and to communicating our science’s ability to benefit humanity. AGU achieves these goals through publishing scientific journals and other technical publications, sponsoring scientific meetings, supporting education and outreach programs designed to increase public understanding of and support for our science, and a variety of other activities.


Providing incentives, community standards, and easy-to-use tools are some important factors for helping researchers embrace the FAIR Guidelines and support transparency and integrity. We would like to engage more closely with the RDA groups developing guidelines and recommendations for publishers and repositories that bring our community closer to common and best practices. With that goal in mind, AGU would like to contribute to, and benefit from, the work of the RDA.


The AGU representative, Shelley Stall, is an active member of the RDA, and her involvement and leadership contribute greatly to the mission and vision of the RDA organization. She is a member of 32 RDA groups and co-chair of two of those groups and leads two coordination groups. Her most recent contribution was her work as a co-chair of the RDA FAIR Data Maturity Model Working Group in developing a way of assessing FAIR data using the FAIR Data Maturity Model: specification and guidelines. This work was featured in a webinar presented in November 2020 including a panel of policymakers from around the world sharing their experiences in adopting the group outputs. You may see the recording and slides of this webinar here.


Shelley Stall is the Senior Director for the American Geophysical Union’s Data Leadership Program. She works with AGU’s members, their organizations, and the broader research community to improve data and digital object practices to elevate how research data is managed and valued.


- The RDA-US Office