Practical Approaches to Tracking and Communicating the Use of Research Data

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20 Oct 2022

Practical Approaches to Tracking and Communicating the Use of Research Data

Group leading the application: 
Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative session notes:


  • Background: Data Usage Metrics Recommendations (10 min)

  • Measuring data reusability through citation metrics (10 min)

  • Cumulative data citation metrics for the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) (10 min)

  • Updates on Make Data Count and the COUNTER Code of Practice for Research Data (10 min)

  • DataCite usage tracker (MVP release) (10 min)

  • Discussion of Opportunities for Improving and Studying Data Citation Metrics (40 min)

Meeting objectives: 

Reports on research data usage indicate contributions that data producers, repositories, users, infrastructure providers, research sponsors, intermediaries, publishers, and others offer to science and society. Reports of data citations also provide additional methods for articulating the value that these stakeholders provide. Data citations and other descriptions of data use also contribute to understanding the use of research data as reported in scientific publications and other media channels. Measuring aspects of data citations and use also inform plans for new data collection and distribution efforts. Current studies on the measurement of data citations are presented, followed by a discussion on how such activities can be leveraged and extended to learn more about the use of data. Planned outcomes of the joint session include recommendations for approaches that can be adopted for measuring data use and for how data citations can be used.

Short Group Status: 

The Data Usage Metrics Working Group was founded following a Birds of a Feather at RDA Plenary 10 hosted by the Make Data Count initiative in 2017. The group formally published its recommendations in March 2022. It is currently in maintenance mode.


The Repository Platforms for Research Data IG has been quite active and has found that the RDA community is very interested in improving the capabilities of research data repository platforms. The RPRD IG initiated the creation of the Research Data Repositories Interoperability WG, which has completed its activities. The RPRD IG also has explored the creation of new WGs, including a new WG on Repository Interfaces for Data Analytics (RIDA), which held a BoF session during RDA P14, and has explored the creation of new RDA WGs that focus on repository support for data policies. Most recently, the RPRD IG held successful sessions during the RDA Virtual P15 on Approaches for Implementing Data Repositories, when many session participants recommended continuing the theme for the RDA P16 session, which also was successful. The RPRD IG and the Domain Repositories IG convened joint sessions for RDA P17, RDA P18, and RDA P19 on ways that repositories can collaborate to improve the use of open research data.

Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group(s): 

The Data Usage Metrics WG has published recommendations for widespread adoption of normalized data usage practices and articulated hurdles and limitations that need to be addressed going forward. The group continues to exist in maintenance mode with the aim of fostering ongoing adoption of the recommendations and discussion of challenges associated with implementing data usage metrics. 

The Repository Platforms for Research Data IG  focuses on improving the usability and technical capabilities of research data repository platforms. Activities of the RPRD IG include identifying ways for data repositories to improve opportunities for using data and conducting research. To achieve these objectives, the RPRD IG invites members of the research data community to collect usage experiences, define requirements, evaluate implementations, and identify limitations of current solutions in a cooperation of repository users, managers, providers, and developers.

Type of Meeting: 
Informative meeting
Group chair serving as contact person (responsible for the agreement with the corresponding groups): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Ian Bruno (Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre); Lili Zhang (CNIC, Chinese Academy of Science); Robert R. Downs (Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University); Kelly Stathis (DataCite); Matt Buys (DataCite)