March Newsletter - VP17, Remembering Dr. Peter Fox, WDS Transition, RDA Recommendations, IDW Updates and more!

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27 Mar 2021

March Newsletter - VP17, Remembering Dr. Peter Fox, WDS Transition, RDA Recommendations, IDW Updates and more!

Virtual Plenary 17 is Two Weeks Away!

Have you registered yet? If not, remember that early bird registration closes 2 April. Register now to secure the reduced rate!

The Final Programme has now been published on the website. Highlights include:

VP17 Social Events 

We may not be able to fly you to Edinburgh for VP17, but we are bringing Scotland to your living room! The RDA VP17 organisers have planned a number of social activities to introduce you to the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, teach you the basics of Scots language (it will be just like you're here!), as well as much Ceilidh dancing, as promised

  • Whit is Scots? - An introduction: Join us for a short introduction to Scots, one of the three native languages spoken in Scotland today. This session will introduce Scots and teach you some basic phrases that you can show off on your next trip to Scotland!
  • RDA meets Edinburgh Fringe - Stuart Goldsmith: Get a taste of Edinburgh Fringe with our lunch time comedy set by Stuart Goldsmith. Stuart has been performing at the Edinburgh Fringe for years and we are looking forward to providing you with some laughter as a side to your lunch!
  • Ceilidh Lessons: Put on your dancing shoes and join us for a virtual ceilidh! This session will feature ceilidh couple dances and we will talk you through dancing along for your daily exercise. You can also just join us to listen to some traditional ceilidh music.

Find out more. 

Are you New to RDA?

If you are new to RDA and not yet familiar with our bi-annual plenaries and/or our organisation, we are holding several 'RDA for Newcomers' sessions in April, prior to VP17. We highly recommend you consider attending a session, meet some of our members and learn how best to maximize your membership as a whole, as well as during our upcoming meeting.

Plenary Pathways now Available

In order to guide participants through the rich diversity of topics that the plenary presents, the RDA TAB organised the Plenary sessions along eight pathways to enhance the plenary experience. Find your pathway at VP17.

Remembering Dr. Peter Fox
A Titan in the Earth Science Informatics Community, a Former RDA TAB Member

With heavy hearts, we relay the shocking, sad news shared by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on Sunday: Dr. Peter Fox died on March 27, 2021. The Earth and space science informatics community lost a titan. We want to express our condolences to his partner, Erica Veil, his family, and his colleagues at RPI Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) including his current and past research group members and all of his collaborators. Read more.


Group updates: 


Data Usage Metrics Working Group - Community Review Open until 9 April

Please consider reviewing and providing feedback on the RDA Data Usage Metrics Working Group’s Final Recommendations, which have been posted to the RDA website and are open to Community Review until 9 April.

New Group Policy

A new Group Policy was recently published in RDA to support RDA Working Groups, Interest Groups and Communities of Practice in ensuring all interested parties are able to access information and engage with group chairs and members. View policy.


Our Members: 


RDA Organisational Member Spotlight – Grenobles Alps University

Grenoble Alpes University has, for many years, been committed to promoting open science and more recently, open data. By relying on the site's structures (GRICAD - data and computing Research Infrastructure - and its libraries), the university has developed support for research data by offering new services as well as new forms of training. A support unit offers operational assistance to scientific communities. The RDA, with its wide range of expertise and topics, is an important asset and will help the University achieve its ambition. The UGA-RDA partnership is the result of the university's choice to respond positively to the international initiatives in the field of open science. Learn more.

TAB Member Spotlight

For the next several issues of our newsletter, we will be profiling members of RDA's Technical Advisory Board (TAB).  This month, RDA is highlighting Gretchen Greene and Helen Glaves.  

Learn more about them and their perspectives on RDA.

RDA in a Nutshell

The RDA community counts today more than 11,000 members from 145 countries! Download the March issue of our RDA in a Nutshell.

Updates From: 

Oak Ridge Institute at the University of Tennessee: New Host of WDS International Programme Office

The International Science Council (ISC) and its World Data System (WDS) recently announced Oak Ridge Institute at the University of Tennessee (ORI at UT) as the new host of the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO). A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the ISC and ORI at UT for an initial five-year period from 1 April 2021. During the last 10 years, WDS-IPO was supported by the Japanese government—through its National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)—and the Science Council of Japan.

WDS is an Affiliate Member of RDA since 2014 and we have an excellent working relationship. We grateful for the synergies created through numerous initiatives, including but not limited to, International Data Week held in 2016 and 2018, those planend for 2021 and 2023 as well as the recent Data Together initiatives. We are also especially appreciative of Rorie Edmunds, Executive Director for WDS-IPO, who played an integral and driving role in all joint activities with RDA.

"It has been such a pleasure to work with Rorie for many years. I have always appreciated his attention to detail, his diligence and his genuine kindness. On behalf of RDA, I wish him well for this new professional chapter in his life, hoping that he will still stay involved with RDA", Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary General.

We look forward to further collaborations with WDS-IPO and ORI at UT in the upcoming years. Read the announcement from WDS-IPO.

RDA Financial Sustainability Task Force (FSTF)

The RDA Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023 is now being rolled out for implementation. It is essential to align the strategic plan with a concrete growth and sustainability plan. In November 2020, RDA Council established a short term RDA task force focusing on the identification of appropriate and achievable revenue models for RDA, aligning financial strategies and plans with the strategic focus for 2021-2023, and engagement with regional offices to align revenue and business models. The Task Force will report to and engage with the RDA community on progress, proposals and findings. The first interaction will be during the RDA Outputs and Adoption Plenary Session on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 (08:00 - 09:30 UTC). The FSTF is described at

Data Together: Fostering Cooperation Among Open Science Platforms (March 2021)

Collectively referred to as Data Together, the four collaborating international data organisations—CODATA, GO FAIR, RDA, WDS—have a joint commitment to work together to optimise the global research data ecosystem and identify opportunities that will trigger federated infrastructures to service the new reality of data-driven science.

Both RDA and CODATA have major initiatives to work with the development of such open research infrastructures: RDA’s Global Open Research Commons (GORC), developed in collaboration with the WDS, and CODATA’s Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC). These came out of a series of meetings held at RDA Plenaries, International Data Week, CODATA Conferences and the FAIR Convergence Symposium, and ultimately include all the Data Together organisations as partners. The GORC and GOSC initiatives aim to encourage cooperation, alignment and interoperability among these infrastructures.

This latest document outlines how the RDA Global Open Research Commons (GORC) and Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) fit together within the framework of the Data Together Collaboration. Learn more.

The TRUST Principles

Within the last year, an RDA community effort  led to the development and publication of the article, “The TRUST Principles for digital repositories” in Nature Research’s Scientific Data. These principles offer guidance for maintaining the trustworthiness of digital repositories, especially those responsible for the stewardship of research data.  The TRUST Principles have already been endorsed by a variety of organizations that are committed to the stewardship of digital resources and, in particular, digital research data. Some of the organizations that already have endorsed the TRUST Principles have offered statements to support their endorsements. In just this past month,  IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology), Stanford Libraries have been added as endorsers.

To endorse the TRUST Principles please contact enquiries{at}

2-Day Workshop: Changing The Culture Of Data Management And Sharing

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene a two-day virtual public workshop from 28-29 April to discuss the challenges and opportunities for researchers, institutions, and funders to establish effective data management and sharing practices. The objective of the workshop is to examine strategies, resources, and promising practices for developing and evaluating data management and sharing plans, as well as to discuss how researchers can effectively share scientific data over the course of the data life cycle. Numerous RDA members are participating in the workshop, including organizer Maryann Martone, presenter and RDA Council member Robert Hanisch, and presenter and RDA-US Executive Director Rebecca Koskela.  Learn more information about the workshop, including registration details.


Plenary Updates: 


International Data Week and Plenary 18

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.

Latest Updates:

  • To maximise participation, and in response to ongoing travel restrictions, the event will be organised in an innovative hybrid format, with both in person and virtual participation.
  • Sponsorship Packages Now Available
  • Deadline extended to 30 April: Call for Sessions SciDataCon 2021
  • “Introducing IDW 2021” – Webinar Recording Now Available

Learn more.

SAVE THE DATE: International Data Week 2023: A Festival of Data, 23–26 October 2023, Salzburg, Austria

The International Science Council’s Committee on Data (CODATA) and World Data System (WDS), and RDA have announced  International Data Week 2023: A Festival of Data, taking place on 23–26 October 2023, in Salzburg, Austria. Learn more.






Recommendations & Outputs: 


RDA COVID-19 Zotero Library Update

The RDA COVID-19 Zotero Library (Version 1.0) was released on 30th June 2020, supporting the RDA-COVID19 Data Sharing Recommendations and Guidelines for the following focus areas: clinical, community, epidemiology, Indigenous, legal and ethics, omics, social, and software.Version 1.1 was the result of continuous updates since then to support ongoing work and subsequent development of related supporting output and publications. Version 2.0 added a new focus area: 'vaccination'. Version 3.0, released on March 29, 2021, added another two new focus areas related to COVID-19: 'clinical trial ethics' and 'indoor air'. This is a curated library comprising approximately 2,000 references. It is not an indiscriminate listing of everything that has been published in these eleven focus areas. The library will continue to be updated as a green resource. Learn more.