The RDA Organizational Assembly (OA) supports the decision of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary meeting local hosts and organisers, who assume complete financial responsibility of the meetings, to request a participation fee for virtual and hybrid meetings. Bringing together stakeholders from around the globe and providing the rich networking and collaborative experience RDA offers does not come without a cost, and we are committed to ensure all plenaries offer this.
We value technical innovations and platforms that make this possible and support our community coming together. Sharing our work, continuing our collaborations, and celebrating our accomplishments is what makes the RDA so rewarding. Preparing for and hosting a virtual - or indeed a hybrid meeting with a substantial virtual environment as well as a physical one - means more effort, more outreach, more technology, and new skills. There are costs to all of this, as the technical backbone of a virtual integrated environment is significant and needs extra resources in both people and budget.
The lower participation costs and ability to balance attendance with other work and family commitments opens up participation to a more diverse range of members which we hope to build on. We embrace this level of participation and need to ensure that the technical platform and support staff can manage the bandwidth, content, videos, and engagement smoothly. We hope you can all appreciate that a quality experience needs to be supported by registration fees. We look forward to the upcoming plenaries bringing the community together in virtual and hybrid settings, and are excited by the new opportunities these new environments bring.
Related links : https://aas.org/posts/news/2020/12/if-its-virtual-why-does-it-cost-anything-all