RDA's 19th Plenary Highlights

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30 June 2022 2357 reads

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Highlights of the Research Data Alliance 19th Plenary Meeting as a part of International Data Week (IDW) 2022, Seoul, the Republic of Korea 

20-23 June 2022, fully virtual & Seoul, South Korea

First hybrid plenary meeting

IDW 2022 combined the 19th RDA Plenary Meeting, the biannual meeting of this international member organization working to develop and support global infrastructure facilitating data sharing and reuse, and SciDataCon 2022, the scientific conference addressing the frontiers of data in research organized by World Data System (WDS), the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and World Data System (WDS).

RDA plenary meetings are the twice-annual meetings where the members of the RDA meet to discuss possible new topics through Birds of a Feather (BoF) meetings, hold Working and Interest Group and Community of Practice (CoP) meetings, and conduct RDA business. These plenary meetings serve as important milestones in the life of the Work of RDA, especially in terms of achievements and outputs.

From March 2013 until October 2019, all RDA plenary meetings were in-person events with remote participation facilitated. 

Since March 2020, RDA has organised four fully virtual plenary meetings in collaboration with local organisers (March 2020 – Australia, November 2020 – Costa Rica, April 2021 - Scotland) and one fully virtual meeting organised by the RDA Secretariat in November 2021. The 19th Plenary meeting as a part of International Data Week was held as a hybrid event with onsite and fully virtual participations for the first time.  

To facilitate participation by the RDA’s global membership, meeting components were organized across a series of international time zones. All sessions were recorded and available to registered participants on the IDW 2022 event platform, Whova, until mid-September 2022.



Rundown of International Data Week 2022, including RDA 19th Hybrid Plenary meeting:

  • 827 participants (182 onsite and 645 online) from over 50 countries

  • 139 sessions (Hybrid-91, Virtual-48) of which there were

    • 8 Plenary meetings

    • 7 Co-located events

    • 47 SciDataCon sessions

    • 58 posters from across the world

    • 73 RDA sessions in total of which there were:

      • 11 BoF meetings (Hybrid-6, Virtual-5)

      • 27 Interest Group meetings (Hybrid-12, Virtual-15)

      • 15 Working Group meetings (Hybrid-5, Virtual-10)

      • 3 Joint group sessions (Fully virtual)

      • 1 Community of practice meeting (Fully virtual)

      • 39 RDA posters (Hybrid-7, Virtual-32)

Plenary Pathways:

For new and less seasoned members of the RDA community, the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) created a series of Plenary Pathways, as a means to navigate the rich programme by the following topics / areas of interest. 

  • FAIR, CARE, TRUST - Principles 

  • FAIR, CARE, TRUST - Adoption, Implementation, and Deployment 

  • Data Infrastructures and Environments - Institutional 

  • Data Infrastructures and Environments - Regional or Disciplinary 

  • Data Infrastructures and Environments - International 

  • Training, Stewardship, and Data Management Planning 

  • Semantics, Ontology, Standardisation 

  • Data Lifecycles - Versioning, Provenance, Citation, and Reward 

  • Discipline Focused Data Issues 

  • Other (see below for topics under "Other")

    • Open Science activities

    • Data policy

    • Community Building, Self Sustainability


The graph outlines the number of sessions per pathway, giving an indication of the current “trends” across the RDA groups and their topics’ focus.

Post Plenary 19 Webinar 

The webinar, organised by the Technical Advisory Board, offered the whole RDA community an opportunity to understand the key takeaways and next steps from the RDA 19th Plenary Meeting Breakouts sessions. This was the first time a webinar of this type being offered at RDA, which provided members a clearer understanding of the collaboration approaches among RDA working and interest groups, as well as an opportunity to hear directly from chairs on their vision for future activities. The webinar recordings are available HERE.

Daily Highlights Summaries

The Research Data Alliance 19th Plenary Meeting, part of International Data Week (IDW2022)

20-23 June 2022, Seoul, Republic of Korea

What an incredible time we had in Seoul, Republic of Korea, for International Data Week! With the overarching conference theme of ‘Data to Improve Our World’, we were also highlighting the need for data education and governance, demonstrating the importance of high-quality research data stewardship, data science, data infrastructures, and exploring the ‘state of the art’ in all things data. 

The conference was opened by the Mayor of Seoul, National Assembly representatives, local hosts and by members of the Organising Committee. The traditional Flower Crown Dance performance was a vibrant end of the Opening plenary and a nice transition into the ‘active’ part of the week with many exciting plenaries, breakouts and sessions. If you missed it, you can watch it on KISTI’s Youtube channel.

Day 1 - June 20, 2022

We saw a very lively start to our Breakout Sessions on Day 1. An Interest Group, Sharing Rewards and Credit (SHARC), ran an informative and interactive virtual session, aimed at discussing the necessity of rewarding Open Science activities. It raised an interesting question on whether monetary-based rewards should be used at all. Elsewhere, Leveraging Data community strengths and High Performance Computing opportunities discussed the fact that HPC is competitive, but is also environmentally costly. And rounding off, Evaluation of Research heard a discussion with presentations about the critical importance of changing the current practices of research evaluation, as part of the larger cultural shift required for the implementation of Open Science to be truly successful. Last but not least the very busy day concluded with a nice reception onsite in the Seoul Dragon City conference venue which allowed for further discussions and networking of attendees. 

Day 2 - June 21, 2022

Our Breakout Sessions during Day 2 again provided some fabulous discussions. The BoF on Complex Data Citations: Formulating a Community Recommendation discussed the challenges of citing complex data/digital objects in a manner that is complete enough to support reproducibility. Comments from attendees included: Is reliquary the right term to be using? And they may be opening a competition to find a friendlier-sounding term!

Another Interest Group Bringing Together Data Management and Computation - Social and Architectural Challenges discussed the challenges of having a supercompute centre closely linked to an institution with its own data management processes - they don’t seem to be very connected, and this is apparently a pattern among other institutions. The key takeaway was the value of personnel & expertise in research fields. Researchers need help to utilise compute resources and it’s critical for them to have a plan to manage the volume of data they’re working with.

Finally, the Interest Group on FAIR Principles for Research Hardware: FAIR Principles for Research Hardware (FAIR4RH) was a new group in RDA with a goal of building a consistent approach to research hardware documentation, starting with a definition of what constitutes research hardware. Discussion centred on a variety of examples and some potential users of FAIR4RH guidance, when is hardware documentation necessary?

Day 3 - June 22, 2022

We kicked off Day 3 of International Data Week with #4 in our series of Breakout Sessions. First off, the group, Data Repository Attributes, sought to harmonize a list of common attributes that describe research data repositories with a definition for each attribute, a rationale for its value and use, the feasibility of its implementation, and a gap analysis of its current availability from repositories. The breakout sessions also heard from the group Raising FAIRness in health data and health research performing organisations. An interesting takeaway from that session was: What makes applying FAIR in the health sector different from other sectors? They are now looking for potential early adopters to validate these guidelines.

Finally, we also heard from a well-established interest group that has been going since 2017. ESIP/RDA Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences IG samples Curation Cluster, creating guidelines for publishing samples and sample-related data, in partnership with AGU. They talked about a goal of empowering an individual to directly cite large numbers of research objects that span multiple repositories (able to cite material in a way that recognizes all the individual elements in an otherwise collapsed, single entity), and to enable the appropriate tracking of these direct citations.

Day 4 - June 23, 2022

We followed on with our Breakout Sessions #6, which included a working group on 10 Things for Curating Reproducible and FAIR Research, which is coming to the end of an RDA endorsement process very soon. Potential adopters were putting questions to the co-chairs on how learners can be confident they’ve learnt each of the 10 Things and how trainers can evaluate workshop participants’ learning. If you’re a potential adopter, watch the recorded video of the session for the answers!

Finishing off the IDW conference, and our own Plenary 19 overall - whilst contributing admirably to the overall IDW theme of ‘Data to Improve Our World’ – our final Breakout Session included Global communities in data training and education improving our world which brought together practitioners involved in education and training on handling research data, from Data Science to Data Stewardship and Research Data Management, to actively learn about and advance current community initiatives. 

A full list of RDA Breakout Sessions can be found in the RDA Plenary 19 Programme. If you attended IDW, either in person or virtually and you missed any of the RDA sessions that ran throughout International Data Week, you can access the session video recordings via the Whova event website up until mid August. Following that, all RDA session recordings will be available on the RDA Youtube channel.

Thank you

Our sincerest thanks to the local hosts the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), the National Library of Korea (NLK) and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) for their support and for organising such a wonderful hybrid conference. We would also like to thank our co-founding partners in International Data Week, the International Science Council’s (ISC) Committee on Data (CODATA), and World Data System (WDS). We look forward to the next edition of International Data Week from 23-26 October 2023 in Salzburg, Austria.