RDA Unconference/Do-a-thon at P13

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07 February 2019 2798 reads


The rich diversity of themes, skillsets, and perspectives within RDA is what makes the mission possible: "RDA builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing and re-use of data." 


This event occurred on the 4 April 2019.  Event details remain unchanged bellow, if you are looking for follow up information see one of the following links.

  • If you are looking for the notes captured during the event see the schedule and links available here
  • If you attended the event and wish to submit a survey response please do so here (RDA login required)
  • If you wish to comment on the report on the event please do so here.

 In response to the ongoing conversations about our potential to do more and be more effective as "researchers and innovators openly share data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society", we are trial-running the first RDA unconference at P13.  We hope this will result in; greater numbers of and new collaborations; more interoperability between groups, fields, and data; more open and FAIR data; and more recommendation adoption sucesses within and without of RDA.  All members of the community are welcome to come explore what everyone else is working on, get inspired, find new collaborators, and save yourself time and money discovering great work others have already done, at RDA's first mini unconference/do-athon.  

Submit topic suggestions here, and sign up to attend (or just show up) here.
(if you submitted to the gdoc previously, fear not your topic is being migrated to the voting site as we speak)




14:00-18;00, 4 April 2019, Thursday late afternoon just after the plenary ends.



In the same venue as the plenary.  We're working on food and drinks supply to keep you energised.


What it is

This is  an informal but structured forum to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange. In short: (1) The audience proposes topics of interest on a theme, and (2) Then we break up into groups to explore them.  If you've never attended a unconference, read a blog about an RDA member attending one here, or see this for how to prepare to attend one.

14:00- 14:30:  Introduction, last votes, scheduling

  • A quick introduction to unconferences and how the session will run
  • Real time digital topic proposal and voting
  • Schedule creation

14:30 - 16:00:  2x 40+5min sessions

  • Multiple parallel tracks for each session

16:00 - 16:15: Break and rapid report back

  • Live reports and tweet your report and docs link #RDAUnconf19

16:15-17:45 2x 40+5min sessions 

  • Multiple parallel tracks for each session

17:45 - 18:00: Short wrap up and rapid report back

  • Live reports and tweet your report and docs link #RDAUnconf19


What it's NOT

It's not just for geeks, you don't have to know github or how to code, no experience needed, no presentations are given, no preparation is necessary on your part. 

How to join in

Sign up here and submit suggested topics or vote on existing ones here 
(if you submitted to the gdoc previously, fear not your topic is being migrated to the voting site as we speak)

There will be a space to submit topic ideas via post-it throughout the plenary too, and you're welcome to join without signing up or submitting any topic ideas, sign up is purely to help our planning.

What the literature says

“Unconference”, refers to a range of less structured gathering formats, from Birds of a Feather type short sessions, through to multi-day events that replace conventional conference gatherings, and various formats between these 2 extremes.  Common to all formats is the difference that where traditional conferences’ theme, structure, and content are all pre-arranged by an organising committee, unconferences are facilitated by organisers but the content and structure is driven by those in attendance and the event is dominated by informal rather than formal interactions.  Initially this can sound as if it would be too chaotic to be efficient, however, within academic literature and the authors’ experiences there is significant evidence for how various instantiations of such events have significantly benefited communities [1–4].  To select just 2 quotes that stand out as relevant: “Unconferences are well suited to promoting interactions and networking between attendees as they allow a more flexible agenda. Discussion topics are shaped and influenced by participants, with exchanges of knowledge from many to many.”[1]. “Participants have claimed they can accomplish more in two days using an open-space-like model than they might after months of attacking an issue through other means.”[2].


[1]     Budd A, Dinkel H, Corpas M, Fuller JC, Rubinat L, Devos DP, et al. Ten simple rules for organizing an unconference. PLoS Comput Biol. 2015;11: e1003905.
[2]     Ingebretsen M. Unconferences Catch On with Developers. IEEE Softw. 2008;25: 108–110.
[3]     Foo’s paradise. Nature. 2006;442: 848.
[4]     Cameron Craddock R, S Margulies D, Bellec P, Nolan Nichols B, Alcauter S, A Barrios F, et al. Brainhack: a collaborative workshop for the open neuroscience community. Gigascience. 2016;5: 16.





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