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  • Group Focus: Not Applicable
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  • Group Description

    Revision of the Case Statement is uploaded below.


    -original submission-

    Name of Proposed Interest Group: Data Foundation and Terminology (DFT) Interest Group Case Statement

    Brief statement of objectives:

    Agreed upon terminology, the meaning of terms used in discussion, is an important aspect of all group work. The DFT IG task is to continue the discussion evoked by the RDA DFT WG to support continuing RDA efforts regarding basic data concepts & framework models along with their vocabularies. A key aspect of the work is to support broader model and vocabulary agreements for and across these RDA WGs and IGs along with their representative communities and stakeholders. This will help continue the synchronization of RDA conceptualization and enable better understanding within and between RDA groups.

    User scenario(s) or use case(s) the IG wishes to address

    The initial DFT WG was able to develop what were called snapshot vocabularies for a subset of interests around early WGs.  However, many WGs are still active along with a growing number of IGs which define a larger data space than covered in the DFT WG. An example is the increased scope of the DF IG. There is general value for communities to define the terms used in work and to reach agreement on the terminology and meaning of data vocabularies used in conversations.  Shared vocabularies establish a common ground for interactions which in turn can help with the RDA goal of adoption of common data sharing practices and interoperation.

    Initial work has given some value to RDA by starting on an abstract data organization model.  However it did not have adequate time and involvement to reach consensus on things like common building blocks and their characteristics that are needed and useful across the current and expected RDA groups.  For example there remains consensus on terms used by the various metadata groups. There is value in continuing activities supporting discussions to further this vision & to create awareness of relations between different WG & IG concepts.

    Based on the progress of the IG one or more WGs, we expect collaborative sessions with other WGs as may be formed to address specific vocabularies.

    Objectives (primary focus areas):

    Objectives for the new IG include

    ·      Advancing a methodology for developing group vocabularies,

    o   This will be supported by registration and documentation of vocabulary in the Term Tool (Ted-T) developed at part of the DFT WG so that everyone can easily refer to and comment on term concepts,

    ·      developing community based recommendations for group vocabularies

    ·      clarification of some foundational terminologies,

    ·      writing one or more white papers synthesizing vocabularies as support of RDA group activities and to drive the discussions and subsequent activities,

    ·      providing quality DFT vocabulary sets,

    ·      exploring ways to encourage vocabulary adoption and ensure its use,

    ·      Identifying new topics/areas to keep DFT discussion response to “hot” topics and ne interests,

    ·      Exploring formalization of definitions such as metadata and policy by enhanced methods and adaptation of the Ted-T tool to output useful definitions in RDF,

    ·      support the above by engaging RDA groups and relevant communities.




    Potentially all groups could be engaged and participate in this IG and we with them. Considerable discussion of vocabularies has been part of RDA group activities at Plenaries and as part of discussion with the DFT WGs.  Much more work and discussion would be useful such as with the PP WG and its terminology that was only briefly sketched out without full definitions. PP along with MIG has expressed an interest in more formalized definitions that can be processed by computer and the Ted-T tool may be capable of doing this or at least demonstrating its feasibility.

    Discussion with several IGs for example continues even though related WGs are ending. An example is the PID IG as well the newly formed DF IG. Some of this work is reflected in concepts and definitions in our terminology tool. Interest remains in several ongoing groups including those that are inherently dealing with terminology such as the standardization of data categories and codes WG,  but also groups that have expressed specific interest or that have had sessions on vocabulary develop.  These include:

    ·      Legal Interoperability of Research Data Working Group expressed interest in developing a compendium of legal terms for data, or at least link to another similar effort & would want to participate in a side meeting at P5 focused on vocabularies.

    ·      Big Data Analytics IG

    ·      Data in Context IG

    ·      Data Fabric IG which is newly formed and working to agree on a description of what is meant by the concept of DF This will involve some terminology clarification

    ·      Metadata IG and related groups

    ·      Research Data Provenance

    ·       Marine IG which noted that this is a “ topic” that arises on a regular basis within this community and there is scope for a joint meeting on this topic at the next RDA plenary.”

    ·      Agricultural Data Interest Group

    Note also that DFT IG activities should also be of help to the current RDA Infrastructure WG chairs collaborations and participation at these meetings will be a way of sharing information and getting valuable input.


    Outcomes (

    Success will be measured by the degree which this work on vocabularies is adopted as part of IG and WG efforts. The IG will also serve the purposes of supporting related discussions at other venues such as NDS with related interests.

    This work horizon of DFT IG has at least a 15 month (3 Plenaries) view to assist groups currently engaged.  With their participation we expect to develop vocabularies for these groups and stored these on the term tool developed as part of the earlier DFT WG. However, the IG  may go on longer as needed for adoptions and to accommodate new WGs or continuing issues for extant RDA IGs. This will help to mature, sharpen & harmonize the concept definitions for adoption and use.


    The general goal is provide a forum for discussions of standard vocabularies across and with RDA groups and related communities.  We will hold virtual working sessions to prepare for P5 and kickoff the IG at P5.  Part of this preparation will be to work with completing WGs (DTR, PIT & PP) to develop final vocabularies that are part of the adoption effort.

    DFT IG will fully employ the practices and capabilities provided by the RDA community to date.

    These include:

    ·       Monthly or bimonthly telecoms/”webex” to get the IG up and prepared for activities at P5.

    ·       Face-to-face work sessions at RDA Plenaries supporting interactions amongst IG members and with interested groups to pursue vocabulary discussion and capture in Ted-T.

    ·       Summaries of sessions and white papers will be publicly available from the RDA Wiki.

    ·       Meeting schedules, group goals and operation specifics will be matured after initial experience at P5.



    We will hold virtual working sessions to prepare for P5 and kickoff the IG at P5.  Part of this preparation will be to work with completing WGs (DTR, PIT & PP) to develop final vocabularies that are part of the adoption effort. We expect to participate in co-development of vocabularies for the previously mentioned groups between P5 and P6 and conduct community sessions at P6,such as for the DF IG.

    Potential Group Members:

    The idea for this IG emerged from the discussions at P4 session between participants and other group chairs whose activities have included vocabulary development or would like to. Some experts who showed interest joined this IG and participated in DFT WG events or are adopters on the vocabulary are included.









    Proposed Co-Chair, SOCoP Secretary




    Proposed Co-Chair,  




    MIG Co-chair




    MIG Co-chair




    Drexel U.




    DF IG co-chair




    PP Co-chair, RENCI




    PP Co-chair




    Johns Hopkins




    Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum GmbH (German Climate Computing Center)








    co-chair of the Marine Data Harmonization IG




    Team leader on the PIMS lims project, Daresbury




    ENVRI project, Cardiff, UK




    Director, Board on Research Data and Information, NAC, US




    Tufts U




    University of Illinois






    TAB Review: https://rd-alliance.org/group/rda-technical-advisory-board-tab/wiki/data…



  • Group Email

  • Group Type: Historical Group
  • Group Status: Completed
  • Co-Chair(s): Gary Berg-Cross, Raphael Ritz

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