Professionalising Data Stewardship | Global Updates and RDA PDS Effort Planning

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27 Feb 2022
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

Since 2016, the Professionalising Data Stewardship Interest Group (RDA-PDS-IG) has fostered volunteer teams to advance global research community priorities. Simultaneously, national and regional efforts were formed such as the EOSC Data Stewardship Task Forces on Data Stewardship curricula and career paths. 

In this session, active efforts will share brief updates about their data stewardship related work plans, highlighting recent outputs and upcoming opportunities for consultation or collaboration. Then PDS-IG Co-Chairs will facilitate small-group discussions in virtual break-out rooms to explore potential collaborative work packages that could be achieved through PDS related working groups from 2022-2023.


Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes:




15 min

Welcome, introduction to Data Stewardship topic, PDS-IG History, Co-Chairs and Task Group Leads 

  • Note point of transition from IG only to coordinating body IG + WGs

PDS IG Co-Chairs

30 min

Invited effort reports, noting objective(s), outputs, upcoming opportunities for collaboration (5 min/3 slides per speaker)


PDS Group updates - lightning talks: 

  1. RDA-PDS-IG TT: Business case for data stewardship

  2. RDA-PDS-IG TT: Data stewardship organisational models

  3. EOSC TF: Data Stewardship Curriculum (Task 2, kickoff meeting 18/02/2022) 

  4. EOSC TF: Data Stewardship Career Paths (Task 3) 

  5. RDA-PDS-IG TT: Training (Task 5/ Landscape Report) 

  6. RDA-PDS-IG TT: Career tracks

Task team leads

5 min

Global overview of the state of data stewardship

Guest speaker

(Stefaan Verhulst invited)

30 min

Thematic small-group virtual room breakout ideation and discussion: identify potential working groups and/or collaborative next steps.

Discussion prompts:

  • What RDA outputs would be useful given the current state? 

    • Do planned outputs that came up previously still make sense?

  • What collaboration opportunities exist? (5 min brainstorm)

    • Virtual ideation activity

  • What is achievable over next 18 months? (10-15 min discussion)

    • Virtual prioritization & discussion

  • Who will contribute time and/or lead effort(s) over the next 18 months? (2 min. signup activity)

    • Add names to groupmap board comments 

  • Who can work to propose RDA WG to accomplish next set of tasks? Identify leaders with capacity to advance efforts. (2 min.)


10 min

Full Group Session Wrap up:

  • Small-group Co-Chair facilitator report out (2min per group)

  • Summary of next steps

    • Ways to stay engaged

      • i.e. Slack Channels

      • Zenodo group

PDS IG Co-Chairs

Total: 90mins

Target Audience: 

This Interest Group brings together those interested in professionalising data stewardship and who are actively developing informing data stewardship models, training and practice. This session is most relevant to funders and policy-makers interested in fostering data stewardship practices at a national and global scale, those managing or developing data stewardship programs, scholars of data stewardship, and research data stewards. This session may be of interest to the broader data professional community, including data librarians, data managers, data scientists, data archivists, IT staff, research support staff, managers and executives. Future data stewards are welcome.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Overview: Data stewardship and data management are essential research skills. The lack of consensus on the responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and value of data stewards leads to confusion about how data stewardship complements data management. Unclear professional standards and models for data stewardship also hamper the development of a trained, data steward workforce for research institutions. A shared body of knowledge (BOK) for data stewardship professionals has yet to emerge, although dedicated trainings for data stewards are occuring. The various types of data stewardship model are not yet well understood, nor are the unique needs of data stewards as compared to data managers and data privacy professionals who have access to global community supported BOKs, professional networks, and events through associations such as DAMA-I and the IAPP.  

Scope: With scarce resources to support data stewardship at many institutions, this RDA Interest Group aims to host discussions, support inter-agency collaboration, and foster global teams developing resources that aid in the development, recruitment, and training of data stewards.

Activity History: After BoF sessions at P14, P15, the RDA-PDS-IG was formally endorsed just after VP16. From 2016-2021, eight areas of interest were identified and advanced by IG members. Progress made in each area varied based on volunteer capacity, interest, and commitment. Initial topics of interest included: 1) a business case for data stewardship, 2) data stewardship terminology, 3) the integration of data stewardship across an organisation, 4) data steward job profiles, 5) training, 6) career tracks, 7) networking and knowledge exchange, and 8) certification. Task group activity occurs between plenaries with varying success depending on the capacity of task team members. 

IG Communications and Engagement: Active group leads and RDA-PDS-IG Co-Chairs meet regularly for progress updates and plenary session planning. Plenary meetings will continue to allow for new members to join. Between Plenaries, RDA-PDS-IG Co-Chairs communicate updates to the public through the RDA Interest Group webpage posts and events ( Regular community-wide communications occur in the open RDA-PDS-IG Slack community and it’s sub-channels for focused work efforts ( Knowledge sharing also is encouraged through a developing RDA-PDS-IG Zenodo Community ( 

Short Group Status: 

In recognition of the volunteer commitment necessary to develop such materials for the RDA community, and waxing and waning volunteer engagement, in 2021 the RDA-PDS-IG Co-Chairs refocused effort on three task teams: business use case for data stewardship, data stewardship models, and data stewardship training. In this session, these teams will share their first deliverables. 

To increase collaborations with other global data stewardship efforts, Co-Chairs have also been actively meeting with other aligned efforts. At VP19, the RDA-PDS-IG aims to increase awareness of these parallel efforts and explore ways to collaborate across efforts. The IG will also aim to support the spin-off of RDA working groups for deliverable creation, to better support task teams through focused 18 month work-cycles and additional work-session availability at future plenaries. 

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Meeting presenters: 
Peter Neish, Yan Wang, Jaana Pinnick and others yet to be determined