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National Data Services – Do we want to meet in the RDA?

13 FEB 2024

Submitted by Francoise Genova

Meeting objectives: 

The main objective of the meeting is to assess whether there is an interest to start again the RDA National Data Services IG, which ceased to be active in 2019. The National Data Services landscape has been evolving since then, for instance with the creation of Digital Research Alliance of Canada in 2019 and of Recherche Data Gouv in France in 2022, whereas the Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform (RCOS) of the Japanese National Institute of Informatics (NII),  the National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System in South Africa (NICIS), which has the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) among its key areas, and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) had been created between 2017 and 2019. Several other National Data Services were also presented among the cases studied by the GORC International Model WG. The presentations demonstrated that National Data Services can be organised in different ways and with different aims, depending strongly on the national context in which they operate.

In view of the evolution of the national Data Service landscape, we think that it would be useful to restart the National Data Services IG as the place to meet and exchange about their aims, organisation and practices, and the challenges they have to take up. It would also help to identify relevant RDA Groups, liaise with them and adopt or adapt their recommendations if they are deemed relevant, as well as other initiatives to liaise with, such as the African Open Science Platform, the European Open Science Cloud, or the Global Open Science Cloud .

Possible IG aims will be discussed during the meeting. As a starting point for the discussion we will propose to restart the IG to create an international National Data Service network which will identify good practices and how National Data Services fit in their national and regional environment. The IG will also liaise with other relevant RDA Groups. This IG mandate would be complementary to the analyses of the Global Open Research Commons performed by the GORC IG and its WGs, which will be among the RDA Groups with which the IG will liaise in priority. The National Data Services are indeed key foundations for the GORCs and for the national, regional and continental infrastructures and communities.

Meeting agenda: 

Introduction: Meeting aims and participants (15 min)

Lightning contributions from the participants on a short, predefined list of questions, Q/A on the contributions (45 minutes)

The draft list of predefined questions include the National Data Service mandate, scope and positioning with respect to the national Open Science strategy (if any); its activities; its relationship with the regional GORC (if any) and other relevant regional, continental and international initiatives;  and the topics it would be interested to discuss in the IG if it is restarted.

Discussion (30 minutes)

The session will in particular be advertised to the RDA Regional Assembly members and to the contributors of the GORC International Model WG to identify possible contributors before the meeting, complementing those of the meeting proposers, Australia, Canada, France, Japan and South Africa. The floor will also be open to the participants to share their views, including through the collaborative note document.

Type of Meeting: 

Working meeting

Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

A National Data Services IG has been active in the RDA from 2015 to 2019. Its aim was “to identify shared concerns and jointly address them through a variety of independent projects, collaborations, or working groups.” It now has an “Historical Group” status. National Data Services emerged in several countries during the last years. Several of the Global Research Commons studied by the GORC International Model WG are National Data Services and may be interested in joining the endeavour.

BoF applicant serving as contact person: 

Francoise Genova

Additional links to informative material: 

Recording and slides presented during sessions of the GORC International WG – Several of these presentations were dealing with a National Data Service.

Meeting presenters: 

Rosie Hicks (Australia & RAB), Lee Wilson (Canada), Gilles Mathieu (France), Mikiko Tanifuji (Japan), Anwar Vahed (South Africa), Francoise Genova (RAB)

Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 

GORC International Model WG

Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 

Evaluation of Research IG

Contact for group (email):

Applicable Pathways: 

The FAIR Agenda

Data Infrastructures – Organisational to Environments

Driven by RDA Organisational Member: 

Driven by RDA Organisational Member

Please indicate at least (3) three breakout slots that would suit your meeting.: 

Please indicate a minimum of (3) three breakout slot (s) that would suit your repeat session in a different time zone.: 

Are you willing to host a second, repeat session in a different time zone?: 


Have you previously held a session at plenaries?: