Engaging with the Research Data Alliance
The Value of the Research Data Alliance to Libraries
WHY DOES RDA WANT TO PARTNER WITH LIBRARIES?
RDA is a multi-disciplinary and cross-domain global initiative, offering an all-encompassing community of stakeholders. As the global community works towards the harmonisation of research data management, library professionals have skills and expertise which can contribute greatly to the development of best practices. Libraries offer significant contributions to the Research Data Alliance by:
- Augmenting and enriching the worldwide network of international data experts and information professionals to address data challenges via RDA groups;
- Contributing to the development and maintenance of high-quality, practical solutions for data interoperability in libraries across the globe, as well as addressing real-world challenges when creating and shaping RDA’s future Recommendations;
- Acting as the bridge and communication hub for all activities surrounding the data creation and publication lifecycle;
- Acting as RDA adopters who amplify, direct, and promote RDA Recommendations for the greatest effect and utility in libraries.
Libraries offer access to knowledge and data of the past, present and the future to their physical and virtual visitors every day and preserving cultural and scientific heritage for the long term. In this digital age, the focus, position and tasks of libraries are rapidly changing and they need to deal more and more with a growing amount of data. Many libraries around the world are stepping into new roles and reviewing their value propositions.
ENGAGEMENT WITH RDA CAN ENABLE LIBRARIES TO REDEFINE AND EXPAND THEIR NEW ROLES AND BECOME AN ESSENTIAL PLAYER IN THE AREA OF RESEARCH DATA MANAGEMENT (RDM), DATA CURATION AND PRESERVATION.
Library and information service professionals within RDA are one of the largest single stakeholder groups in the community, currently counting over 12% of the members. There are many on-going activities in RDA of interest to libraries and their staff, and it is clear that libraries are taking the initiative in addressing the technical and social infrastructure needed to enable and sustain open research.
The Research Data Alliance’s vision is Researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a community-driven organization whose mission is to develop the social and technical data infrastructure needed to drive innovation surrounding data sharing and data interoperability. Established in 2013, RDA supports more than 9,615 international members representing 137 countries (January 2020), has generated 32 concrete outputs (eight of which are recognized as European ICT technical specifications) with over 75 documented adoption cases (January 2020).
For the full RDA Value statement for Libraries click here
For the RDA Value for Libraries Powerpoint click here
The National Library of Ireland Adoption Case
The NLI is developing a data publication policy, encompassing areas such as the appropriate licensing of born-digital and digitised collections, licensing of metadata, and data citation and persistent identifiers. This work aims to develop a policy which allows for the maximum openness of the data, while considering legislation and policy, including of course copyright legislation. The RDA & CODATA Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines are being used to guide the research and development of this policy, particularly in regards to the open publication and licensing of NLI collections. The output provides high-level principles (for example, “Determine the rights to and responsibilities for the data”) while also detailing guidelines for the application of these principles to data collections. The use of the output to underpin the NLI’s policy will ensure a focus on openness where appropriate while balancing this with NLI’s legal obligations and the rights of creators and donors.
Figure 1 Overview of Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles & Implementation Guidelines
 1060 RDA members classify themselves as Librarians, see stats at https://www.rd-alliance.org/about-rda/who-rda.html