March Newsletter - P15 Virtual Plenary Meeting, RDA Celebrates 10,000 Members, COVID-19 Working Group Urgent Call for Expert Contributions and more

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31 Mar 2020

March Newsletter - P15 Virtual Plenary Meeting, RDA Celebrates 10,000 Members, COVID-19 Working Group Urgent Call for Expert Contributions and more

Data Together COVID-19 Appeal And Actions

RDA together with CODATA, GO-FAIR, and WDS (four major international data organisations), are pleased to outline their joint commitment to work together to optimise the global research data ecosystem and to identify the opportunities and needs that will trigger federated infrastructures to service the new reality of data-driven science.


A first concrete example of this is the following 'Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions’. 


The COVID-19 pandemic presents a major test for our science system and for our research and data infrastructures. These infrastructures, such as open science clouds and data commons, must serve the needs! of science, policy, and humanity not only in ‘normal times’, but also in times of crisis by providing controlled access to quality data in real time and at scale for a range of scientific- and policy-related responses.


The Data Together organisations are jointly working on the following activities and invite all to contribute:

  1. Data Together–GO FAIR Virus Outbreak Data Network (VODAN)
  2. The Data Together–RDA COVID-19 Working Group
  3. CODATA ‘Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges’ for launch in 2021


Read the full statement on Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions

RDA's Virtual Plenary Meeting (VP15), 18 March - 10 April 2020

Over the past weeks, the RDA Technical Advisory Board and RDA Secretariat have been hard at work to create a virtual RDA plenary experience, (VP15) that aims to bring exciting, educational and informational sessions to RDA members worldwide. A number of sessions have taken place already, with many more scheduled for the coming days. 


VP15 Programme, submissions and important deadlines 


The programme for VP15 is available here. If you are a member of an RDA group who had a session planned for Plenary 15 in Melbourne and would like to participate in VP15, please submit your request by Friday 3 April. The RDA Secreariat will be in touch within 24-48 hours to confirm your submission and provide more information on the next steps. 


Do consider registering for a session and/or hosting your own! Thank you in advance for your involvement, support, and especially your effort to make our VP15 event a robust and productive experience. A special thanks to AARNet for supporting VP15 by providing Zoom links for our meetings and staff supporting the Virtual Plenary. 


If you are attending VP15 sessions, don't forget to tweet using #rdaplenary! 


You can watch the opening to the Virtual Plenary Meeting by Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary General 18 March 2020: 



Keynote addresses at VP15 

The virtual keynote by Ms Priyanka Pillai, Academic Specialist – Research Data Stewardship and Health Informatics at The University of Melbourne: "The Role of Data in a Rapid and Coordinated Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks" took place on Tuesday, 24 March 2020. The recording is available here


Don't miss the final keynote by Dr Cathy Foley, Chief Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on"Thinking about Data Differently – If Data is the 'New Oil' will it Mean We Will Have Regrets in Decades to Come?", taking place on Tuesday 7 April, 4:15 am UTC - 5:00 am UTC.  The recording will be available soon.


Virtual Poster Session at VP15, 30 March - 9 April 2020

As part of the virtual pleanry, we are holding a virtual poster session, offering poster authors the opportunity to showcase their work at a Virtual Poster Session. During 30th March - 9 April, please visit the poster pages, add your comments, engage with the presenters and vote for your 5 preferred posters


RDA's Virtual Plenary Meeting (VP15), session chair survey 

If you and your group ran a session during the virtual plenary, please share your thoughts and experience with us by completing this survey. 

RDA Council member elections 2020

In November 2019, the RDA Council Nominations Committee issued a call for nominations for three open Council positions. In response to this call, several RDA members were nominated for consideration by the RDA community. The Nominations Committee reviewed these submissions and are pleased to announce the slate of candidates to the RDA community.

Please cast your vote between 19 March (00:01 UTC) and 2 April (23:59 UTC). 


Group updates: 

RDA COVID-19 Working Group - Urgent Call for Expert Contributions

As an international, consensus-driven, community based organisation, the Research Data Alliance has been asked to leverage on the global RDA data community to support the urgent Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. As a response, RDA has set up a fast track Working Group titled the “RDA COVID-19 Working Group”.


The objective of this Working Group is to clearly define detailed guidelines on data sharing and re-use under the present COVID-19 circumstances to help researchers follow best practices to maximize the efficiency of their work. The guidelines will focus on the management of data originating from different data sources and the development of a system for data sharing in public health emergencies that supports scientific research. This group will provide recommendations on the creation of a common framework and the tools and processes which should be embedded in research practice. Guidelines will adhere to FAIR and other principles and specificities related to omics data, clinical research data and epidemiological data.


The RDA COVID-19 Working Group, which operates according to the RDA guiding principles of Openness, Consensus, Balance, Harmonization, Community-driven, Non-profit and technology-neutral, is OPEN TO ALL. To join, log into the RDA website and then join the group at If you know of a colleague who you believe could contribute to this group’s objectives, please forward this message to them.


This group will work at an unprecedented speed to deliver a first set of recommendations within 3 weeks, by 15 April 2020. 


Read more

W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group (DXWG)

The co-chairs of the W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group, Pedro Winstley and Caroline Burle, would like to bring the attention of RDA members to their working group in order to identify potential synergies between their work and the work of the RDA community. 


The mission of the W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group is to:

  • Maintain and revise the Data Catalogue Vocabulary, DCAT, taking into account feature requests from the DCAT user community.
  • Define and publish guidance on the specification and use of application profiles when requesting and serving data on the Web.


Read more


Our Members: 

Organisational Member Spotlight: Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet), with special thanks for sponsoring RDA's Virtual Plenary Meeting (VP15)

AARNet is a critical national asset that enables Australian researchers to access institutional, national and international e-Infrastructure including the public Internet and software tools and resources such as scientific instruments, data storage, high performance computing, content and service providers.


AARNet’s powerful network infrastructure, expertise and services enable Australia’s participation at the forefront of teaching, learning and research on a global scale and are fundamental to driving innovation in today’s digital economy. AARNet continuously looks at ways to leverage new and emerging technologies to support research and accelerate research outcomes. In this endeavour, AARNet seeks to both contribute to and benefit from the work of the RDA.

RDA in a Nutshell - 10,000 members! 

The RDA community counts today more than 10,000 members from 144 countries! Download the March issue of our RDA in a Nutshell slidedeck


This month RDA celebrated its 10,000th member. Seven years after the launch of the RDA, it is a great achievement and success for us to have reached a global family of 10,000 data experts! A special thanks to Jakob Povl Holck, our 10,000th member, who was kind enough to share some information about him and his insight on RDA.  



Updates From: 

Data Science Journal: RDA Results Special Collection – Funding Available until 15 April

The Data Science Journal special collection continues to collect high quality papers describing the latest results of RDA working groups or interest groups. Funding from the “RDA Europe 4.0” project is available until 15 April 2020, which will support the publication of a maximum of 30 articles. Learn more.

Plenary Updates: 


RDA 18th Plenary Meeting announced! - IDW 2021, Seoul, South Korea

The International Science Council’s Committee on Data (CODATA) and World Data System (WDS), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) are delighted to announce that the 2021 edition of International Data Week (IDW 2021) will be held on 8–11 November 2021 in Seoul, South Korea.


IDW 2021 will be hosted by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), committed by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Seoul Metropolitan GovernmentNational Library of Korea, and National Assembly Library, with the support of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU).


This landmark event will bring together data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and data stewards from disciplines across the globe to explore how best to exploit the data revolution to improve science and society through data-driven discovery and innovation. IDW 2021 combines the 18th RDA Plenary Meeting, the biannual meeting of this international member organization working to develop and support global infrastructure facilitating data sharing and reuse, and SciDataCon 2021, the scientific conference addressing the frontiers of data in research organized by CODATA and WDS. 


Planned Plenaries 

RDA 16th Plenary Meeting - Costa Rica

The 16th Plenary meeting of the Research Data Alliance will take place November 10-12, 2020 in San José, Costa Rica at the Centro de Convenciones de Costa Rica

With the theme "Knowledge Ecology", the event is co-organised by CONARE Costa Rica, RDA United States and Research Data Canada.  

RDA 17th Plenary Meeting - Edinburgh 

The Digital Curation Centre in collaboration with Jisc and STFC-UKRI will be hosting RDA'S 17th Plenary meeting on 20-22 April 2021 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre

More information on the theme and timelines will follow in the coming months. 

Recommendations & Outputs: 

Implementing Data Citation on the Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resource Monitoring (EODC)

The Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resource Monitoring (EODC) located in Austria works with high-performance computing services and large amounts of data on a daily basis. Since 2017, it has been part of the consortium implementing the open Earth Observation (openEO) standard, which aims  to standardize communication between EO scientists and data and service providers.


"When we started to think about implementing data citation at the EODC backend, we figured it would be difficult to achieve and maintain it. The successful implementation of the RDA recommendations on data citation gave us a structured plan to make it. The lessons learned here are that, by using the RDA recommendations, the implementation was easier and faster than estimated in the beginning. It made us wonder why we didn’t think about implementing them earlier." Bernhard Gößwein (TU Wien) & Thomas Mistelbauer (EODC)


Read more

Improving scholarly communication, linking datasets from institutional repositories with ScholeXplorer.

During the RDA 14th Plenary meeting in Helsinki in October 2019, the RDA interviewed Andrea Mannocci from CNR, partnering in OpenAIRE. The EC-funded initiative aims to support the Open Access policy of the European Commission via a Networking and a Technical infrastructure. In the interview Mannocci told the OpenAIRE adoption story of the RDA/WDS Publishing Data Services WG Outputs, a framework for sharing information about the links between literature and research data,  where he explains the challenge addressed and the benefits of the adoption.


"At OpenAIRE we aim at the creation of a graph that has the purpose of interconnecting all the relevant entities in the research landscape such as publications, datasets, software, authors, organizations, data sources, funders, and projects. We want to have interlinks between these entities with semantics relationships. In addition it is important to advertise the links that we have to the outer world." Andrea Mannocci (CNR & OpenAIRE)


Watch the full interview

NSD DMP – enabling long-term preservation and sharing of research data: 

NSDs Data Management Plan (NSD DMP) is a tool for enabling long-term preservation and sharing of research data. Its purpose is to enable researchers to manage their data in a lawful, well-structured and secure manner, and for the data to be stored, reused and understood in the future.


"We found that using the application profile of DMP Common Standard for Machine-actionable Data Management Plan - in combination with BPMN use case process and the maDMP mock-ups - as a platform for the development of NSD DMP was instructive and fruitful. An important lesson learned was to focus on specific parts of the application profile and the BPMN process." Trond Kvamme - (Special Adviser at NSD).


Read more.