RDA-US Research Data Sharing in our Region

You are here

03 Nov 2020

RDA-US Research Data Sharing in our Region

RDA Virtual Plenary 16 - Knowledge Ecology - Nov. 9-12 - Costa Rica

Co-organized by CONARE Costa Rica, RDA-US, and Research Data Canada

Taking into consideration the health and well-being of our community, Plenary 16 is being offered virtually. VP16 will provide attendees the opportunity to remotely attend plenary sessions, participate in multiple breakout sessions, attend poster sessions, and collaborate with fellow attendees.


Registration is open for VP16 in Costa Rica!


Click to register and have access to the sessions


Knowledge Ecology, in this context, refers to human systems that require balanced relational dynamics capable of generating mutual feedback, just as living systems in nature generate complex and balanced reciprocal relationships. Scientific knowledge creation and its mobility has been in a context of inequality, which reduces the chances of interaction and feedback needed to understand the complex reality inherent in human systems. The Open Science approach to knowledge mobility proposes to find meeting points, where different scientific-academic knowledge and perspectives can dialogue and learn from one another and their contribution, from a framework of equity, horizontality, and from the legitimacy of each theoretical, methodological and contextual approach. Information and Communication Technologies make this exchange possible increasing the health and resilience of information, as in ecologically healthy systems.

Here are highlights of some key US contributions to watch for at this plenary:


65 US members contributed to the creation of the RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations for Data-Sharing! The RDA-US office also provided some project management services and staff resources to help support the development of the Recommendations and Supporting Outputs.



Our US membership is approximately 21% of all RDA members, amounting to over 2000 members, representing individuals from every state; we have 19 organizational members and continue to grow our membership. 69% of our members are from academia and research while over 20% represent government, public services and enterprise; the remaining members encompass press/media, large corporations, policy/funding agencies and IT consultancy/development. 


One of our key partners, the National Science Foundation (NSF), has funded several adoption projects:


RDA-US has hosted two COVID-19 webinars; click on the links below:


Upcoming Webinar:

The RDA FAIR Data Maturity Model WG: Aligning International Initiatives for Promoting and Assessing FAIR Data


Join us for a webinar on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:00 PM GMT.


This webinar will convene a group of experts representing national science organizations to discuss their current initiatives to enhance the FAIRness of the science within their communities and the use of the FAIR Data Maturity Model as a framework for comparing results. The presentations and discussions will particularly interest policy makers and organizational leaders interested in learning about successful strategies for integrating the FAIR Data Maturity Model within overarching organizational strategies for promoting open science.




We always want your feedback and if there are webinar topics you are interested in having RDA-US host, please click on the survey at the bottom of the newsletter and let us know!

Thank you to our donors: Springer Nature, Moore Foundation, NSF and Sloan Foundation. We could not do this important work without your support of our infrastructure, IGs, WGs and our efforts to promote and disseminate recommendations and outputs.



The RDA-US Team


Highlighting RDA-US Member and New Executive Director, Rebecca Koskela:

Rebecca has a strong background in scientific data management, bioinformatics, and high-performance computing and has been an RDA member since RDA’s inception in 2013. In addition to her bioinformatics experience, Rebecca specialized in system performance and analysis at Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cray Research, Intel, and IBM.  


  1. What inspires you about RDA?

RDA is a community-driven organization

  1. What has been your connection to RDA?

I’ve been involved with RDA since the beginning, including planning meetings before the first plenary meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2013. Jane Greenburg and I created the first metadata group that was approved as a Working Group after adding a European co-chair. It’s been interesting to be involved in RDA from the beginning and participating in its growth for the past seven plus years. I have been involved with the bi-annual Chair meetings, co-chair of the Organisational  Advisory Board, and ex-officio member of the RDA Council.

  1. What interested you in becoming the Executive Director of RDA-US?

 I was a member of the first US RDA Advisory Board and believe in the goals of RDA. RDA Europe has built a strong community and I think the same is possible in the US. RDA-US has funding from the NSF for two years.  The challenge is to figure out how to sustain the success of RDA with diversified funding other than NSF. One way to accomplish this is to partner with other US organizations interested in data management and open science.

  1. What is your vision of RDA-US; what ideas do you have to fulfill it and how can the RDA-US membership support you?

My first priority for RDA-US is to reenergize the community. Resources are limited so the recent priority of RDA-US was to establish the region of the Americas. That is successfully underway so it’s now time to focus on community building in the US. Many ideas emerged during meetings of RDA-US that were sponsored by NIST and I would like to revisit those ideas as well as form a few task forces to figure out the next steps forward. We have participation from the research and library communities, but it would also be good to reach out to scholarly organizations that we can partner with and also domain groups that are currently under-represented in RDA.

  1. Is there anything else you would like to share with the RDA-US community?

I want to encourage everyone to register for the RDA Virtual Plenary 16. After attending this virtual meeting, as well as other meetings that have had to go virtual, it would be good to compare notes on what makes a successful virtual meeting. I don’t think there is one platform that has risen to the top. COVID-19 has forced us to virtual meetings but 2 in-person meetings a year at various locations are probably not sustainable so after our experience with virtual meetings, it is a good time to consider options going forward.


Mary Uhlmansiek: Implementation and Outreach Director

Mary possesses the strong analytical, organizational and communication skills needed for this role and will continue as a member of the RDA with expertise and interest in health data sharing and reproducible research, and will also support the activities of the Secretariat.

Yolanda Meleco: Project Director for RDA-US and Communications Lead for the Global RDA 

Yolanda contributes to the project direction of the RDA-US organization, budget and financial administration for the RDA-US including sustainability and strategic planning, development and execution of the RDA communications plan and oversight of the RDA Plenaries. 


Laura S. Wittcoff: Capacity Development Consultant

Laura serves as a consultant supporting sustainability efforts by building relationships with funders including government, foundations, corporations as well as potential partnerships for plenaries and on specific projects.


Stephanie Hagstrom: Director of Community Development

Stephanie coordinates initiatives to increase community engagement and create opportunities for RDA members to openly share knowledge. Stephanie has a strong background in systems development in the areas of scholarly communication, bioinformatics and informatics in multi science domains.  `


Meghan Underwood: Special Project Administrator

Meghan organizes all of the administrative tasks from day-to-day project tasks, reimbursement reports from members awarded travel grants, communications and video production to general administrative duties for the team and the Secretariat. 


The RDA-US team is very excited about the direction the RDA-US is taking to further support RDA-US membership and engagement. Our goal is to better serve our RDA-US community members and expand our US network and reach. We plan to revitalize regular communication with the US membership and solicit input on improving your membership experience.


Link to RDA-US Group Page


Build our community of RDA-US members:

Share the newsletters with others who are not currently members and see if they would like to join this community effort by sharing this link.

Global Corner - here are some RDA-Global highlights you may have missed:

TAB elections:


Check out the RDA member candidates nominated for the 2020 Technical Advisory Board (TAB) election. For members not familiar with TAB, this RDA governance group provides technical expertise and advice to RDA Council, and assists in the development, review and promotion of RDA Working & Interest Groups. For this election, five seats on TAB are open and the following individuals are candidates. Voting will open on 9 November 2020, at Virtual Plenary 16, and close on 23 November 2020 (two weeks later). All RDA members are encouraged to review the "Candidate Details" page and set some time aside next month to cast your vote when online voting opens. For more information on the roles of TAB, please visit “TAB: What We Do and How We Do It”.


Community review - Request for Comments:

Responding to the request for comments is an important way to continue our mission of being community-driven, community-responsive and community-supportive.


Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to comment on the following:

How to Better Serve our RDA-US Members:

We want to better serve our RDA-US region. Please click on this Brief Survey to share your insights and ideas with us. The survey should only take between 5-10 minutes and will help guide our planning in prioritizing our support activities for the region. Thank you!