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The Research Data Alliance (RDA) hosts about 60 Interest Groups and more than 35 Working Groups consisting of experts who are working on various topics related to (open) research data and innovation. To give an overview of the RDA work that is specifically interesting for social sciences researchers, Ricarda Braukmann from Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) performed an analysis assessing the relevance of the RDA work for this specific community. This analysis was originally performed as part of the RDA Europe project where DANS represented the national RDA node for the Netherlands and RDA ambassador for the social sciences and humanities. A first version was released in August 2018, which was revised in December 2019 and updated in May 2021. 


The analysis performed on RDA Groups and outputs should be seen as a starting point for social science researchers that are new to the RDA and wish to receive some guidance through the large amount of work and topics covered by the RDA. The report analysed RDA Groups and, considered them highly relevant if they covered topics that should be of interest for social sciences researchers in general. These topics, for instance, include dealing with privacy-sensitive data or RDA work on research data management. Groups that may be interesting for social sciences researchers depending on their exact field of research or particular interest were labeled as moderately relevant, while groups that did not fit into these prior categories were labeled as being low in relevance.

A similar analysis was performed towards Recommendations and Outputs.

In the latest version of the report, nine Interest Groups, and two Working Groups were classified as particularly relevant to the social science community, covering topics like sensitive data, COVID-19, training and data management planning, as well as data discovery and standards for discipline-specific metadata.

In particular, the Social Science Research Data IG should be highlighted as it was set up to foster diverse professional exchange on issues particular relevant to data originating from the social sciences and humanities.

In the spring of 2020, the working group RDA-COVID19-Social-Sciences was established which we would like to highlight here as well. 

Of the RDA outputs the following five outputs were highlighted as particularly interesting for social sciences researchers.

The most recent version of the report and related dataset can be found here: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1401104