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Translating the Data Versioning Principles into Machine Actionable Recommendations

13 FEB 2024

Collaborative session notes

Group(s) submitting the application: 

Data Versioning IG

Meeting objectives: 

The former RDA Data Versioning Working Group has delivered this RDA supporting output: Versioning data is about more than revisions: A Conceptual framework and proposed principles in 2021, and a concise version of the output was published in the Data Science Journal. Feedback indicated that the research data community desires to have actionable recommendations for different stakeholders on implementing the principles.

The main objective of this session is to develop a concrete plan for actionable recommendations for each of the versioning principles by turning each one of them into questions the audience can answer:

In this session we propose to have a Miro board with participants being able to enter their answers and their current practices to each of these questions. In feedback from P21, as participants specifically emphasised the importance of improving machine accessibility to versions and linkages between versions, we will also ask participants to consider this in their answers

Meeting agenda: 

Target Audience: 

Stakeholders from academia, data producers, repositories and alike, including Researchers, Data curators, Data facility managers, data policy managers, data users, data developers, and data publishers.

Group chair serving as contact person: 

Jens Klump

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

The former RDA Data Versioning Working Group (2018-2021) worked on collating and identifying methods that had already been adopted or became ad hoc practices for data versioning. Based on this analysis, the group formulated a set of principles to describe data versioning use cases and practices. At a related BoF at the RDA VP15 in 2020, a community review and discussions showed that the application of the data versioning principles reached further than data management and had implications for attribution, authority, and ethics of data publication and sharing.

The new Data Versioning IG was approved in July 2021 and it continues the work of the WG by taking the principles developed, The proposed activities of the newly formed IG are:

  1. Forum for group members to discuss issues related to data versioning;
  2. Collecting new use cases and applying the principles to a selection of use cases;
  3. Developing a set of actionable recommendations by applying the published data versioning principles;
  4. Promoting the adoption of data versioning principles; and
  5. Determining how they can be applied to address the increasing number of questions of attribution, authority, and ethics arising from data publication and sharing.

Short Group Status: 

This group started a BoF session at the 8th Plenary (Sept. 2016), discussing the need for a systematic way to refer to the exact version of a data set or data product that was used to underpin the research findings or was used to generate higher-level data products, including who developed and also funded it. The discussion resulted in the formation of an RDA Interest Group on Data Versioning in 2017.

The Data Versioning Working Group was formed In 2018 and first met at P12 in Gaborone. Its focus was on assessing current practices by compiling 39 use cases of data versioning across 33 organisations globally. In January 2020, the WG produced a white paper documenting these use cases and recommended practices. The WG delineated 6 high-level principles, which provided a high-level framework for guiding the consistent practice of data versioning. It can also serve as guidance for data centers or data providers when setting up their own data revision and version protocols and procedures. The proposed new interest group plans to contribute the use cases and recommended data versioning practices to other groups in RDA, W3C, and other emerging activities in this field to further the adoption of the outcomes.

The WG was transitioned to this IG for further discussion on the data versioning principles (including new use cases) and aiming to develop actionable guidelines for implementing the data versioning principles.

Type of Meeting: 

Working meeting

Additional links to informative material: 

Klump, J., Wyborn, L., Wu, M., Martin, J., Downs, R.R. and Asmi, A., 2021. Versioning Data Is About More than Revisions: A Conceptual Framework and Proposed Principles. Data Science Journal, 20(1), p.12. DOI: doi:10.5334/dsj-2021-012

Klump, J., Wyborn, L., Downs, R., Asmi, A., Wu, M., Ryder, G., & Martin, J. (2020). Compilation of Data Versioning Use cases from the RDA Data Versioning Working Group. Version 1.1. Research Data Alliance. doi:10.15497/RDA00041

Meeting notes and slides from previous plenary sessions:

Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 

Physical Samples and Collections in the Research Data Ecosystem IG

Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 

Working with PIDs in Tools IG

Meeting presenters: 

Interest Group co-chairs

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