status: Completed

Chair (s): Rainer Stotzka, Reagan Moore

Group Email: [group_email]

Secretariat Liaison: [field_secretariat_liaison]

Status: Recognised & Endorsed

What is the Problem?

Computer actionable policies are used to enforce management, automate administrative tasks, validate assessment criteria, and automate scientific analyses.  The benefits of using policies include minimization of the amount of labor needed to manage a collection, the ability to publish to the users the rules that are being used, and the ability to automate process management.

Currently all sites and scientific communities use their own set of policies, if any. A generic set of policies that can be revised and adapted by user communities and site managers who need to build up their own data collection in a trusted environment does not exist.

What are the Goals?

The goals of the working group therefore are

  • To bring together practitioners in policy making and policy implementation
  • To identify typical application scenarios for policies such as replication, preservation etc.
  • To collect and to register practical policies
  • To enable sharing, revising, adapting, and re-using of computer actionable policies

What is the Solution?

In cooperation with the Engagement Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance the Practical Policy Working Group has conducted a survey of production data management systems to elicit the types of policies that are being enforced. Across diverse environments, the survey identified eleven generic policy areas that were of interest to a majority of the institutions and are common to almost all data management systems:

  1. Contextual metadata extraction
  2. Data access control
  3. Data backup
  4. Data format control
  5. Data retention
  6. Disposition
  7. Integrity (including replication)
  8. Notification
  9. Restricted searching
  10. Storage cost reports
  11. Use agreements

Each of the generic policy areas actually represents a set of policies. Policies are needed to set environmental variables that control the execution of the policy; to enforce desired collection properties; and to validate assessment criteria. For all policies, a description of the motivation for the policy is provided, templates for the production policies have been generated, and collected in the document “Outcomes Policy Templates: Practical Policy Working Group, September 2014”

Additionally example policies that implement the management objectives and their English language description have been collected in the document “Implementations: Practical Policy Working Group, September 2014”.

What is the Impact?

The target communities for application of computer actionable policies are groups managing data collections who want to track best practices and data centers that will build upon policy starter kits.  The impact will be improved data center administration. By sharing policies that implement best management practices, communities can interoperate and share data more effectively.

The use of practical policies will be at the basis of establishing trust in the data being created since we can verify the provenance of each single data object and will understand even after years in which contexts and with help of which operations data objects have been created.

The identified generic policies overlap with the contents of many RDA groups and might affect their outputs, e.g., in the areas of PIDs, metadata, data publishing, preservation, access, certification, etc., as well as the community related groups.

The implemented policies can be modified to implement the specific policy required by an institution.  Thus the policies should be treated as examples of approaches for controlling a desired property of a data management system.

When can it be used?

Immediately! The identified policy sets from the Practical Policy working group are available in the RDA file depot at

“Outcomes Policy Templates: Practical Policy Working Group, September 2014”

“Implementations: Practical Policy Working Group, September 2014”

Reviews of the provided policy areas are currently (September 2014) in progress. The outcomes will be published in the RDA file depot.

Official published output is available at:


For more information please contact

Reagan Moore and Rainer Stotzka





CODATA Data Science Journal Call For Papers: Research Data Alliance Results Special Collection

by Gina Pavone

Dear members, I’m writing on behalf of the editors of the CODATA data science journal special collection on RDA results. I would like to recall the possibility to submit the outputs produced by this group for the special collection. 
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Call for Papers: Research Data Alliance Results Special Collection

by Alexandra Delipalta

View the Data Science Journal special collection Continuous submission open at
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P7 Joint Session Certification and Practical Policies

by Rainer Stotzka

Announcement: Title: Biodiversity data repositories: Certification and practical policies The Biodiversity Data Integration, Practical Policies and Certification RGA Groups are co-organising a joint session at the next RDA P7 in Tokyo. The overarching goal of this joint session is to discuss and plan ahead on top of the outputs of the two technical groups (PP and Certification) and in relation to the needs of institutional and domain repositories for biodiversity data. Objectives:
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Use case and requirements gathering for research data repositories by Research Data Alliance IG

by Ralph Müller-Pfefferkorn

[Apologies if you receive this email through multiple channels] On behalf of the Research Data Alliance's "Repository Platforms for Research Data" Interest Group, I would like to invite you to submit use cases for research data repositories. The charter of this group is to "gather and analyze research data use cases in the context of repository platform requirements. The primary deliverable will be a matrix relating use cases with functional requirements for repository platforms." More details on the group and its work can be found at
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last chance to get a P6 breakout

by Herman Stehouwer

Dear Chris & Antonio, The deadline for RDA Plenary 6 breakout session (23-25 Sept 2015) application is fast approaching. You have until 20th June 2015 to submit your request for a meeting space in Paris - Working & Interest groups as well as representatives from BoFs will be invited to share their group updates and interact with RDA members on 23
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Formal vote on documents

by Reagan Moore

Two documents have been uploaded to the Practical Policy directory in the RDA File Repository.  Please vote on whether these documents should be submitted to the RDA.  The documents have been reviewed by PPWG members and suggested revisions have been made. Once approved, we will work with Herman Steuhower to formally submit the documents as the final deliverable from the Practical Policy working group.  A discussion of the documents will be held at Plenary 5 in San Diego on Tuesday, March 10, at 9:00 AM.   Thank you, Reagan Moore
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PP Web Conference: Dec. 11

by Rainer Stotzka

Dear All, We would like to invite to our next Practical Policy Web conference, held at December 11, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT / 4:00 PM CET / 3:00 PM UTC.  
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Practical Policy Web Conference: Oct. 9

by Rainer Stotzka

Dear All, We would like to invite to our monthly web conference
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Is the ISO Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing on Enterprise Language relevant to PP work?

by Gary Berg-Cross

Has this group looked at the ISO Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing on Enterrpise Language.  It has some sophistication about complex and basic policy concepts. See  
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