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What are RDA Recommendations & Outputs?

RDA Outputs are the products of the RDA Community that enable data sharing, exchange, and interoperability. As an organisation, the RDA’s goal is to expand awareness and adoption of these Outputs, and hence their impact, within all regions of the world. 

RDA Outputs are the technical and social infrastructure solutions developed by RDA Working Groups (WG), Interest Groups (IG) or Communities of Practice (CoP). These Outputs have an important impact in two areas: solving problems, and incorporation and/or adoption in infrastructure environments by individuals, projects and organisations. Outputs should be demonstrably developed and endorsed by the RDA group, and list the respective WG, IG or CoP as an author where appropriate. 

To ensure the continued right to share, use and build upon the work produced by the RDA community through its various Groups, the RDA applies the following Licensing information to its Outputs: 

“All RDA Recommendations are under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) and all authors, generators, contributors and users of RDA Recommendations are governed by these licensing regulations”.

RDA Outputs have the following classifications:
  • RDA Recommendations: formally endorsed, adopted and adoptable solutions produced by RDA WGs. 
  • Supporting Outputs: guidance reviewed by the RDA Technical Advisory Board and produced by RDA WGs, IGs or CoPs. 
  • Other Outputs: other resources produced by the RDA community.

RDA Recommendations

RDA Recommendations are produced by RDA WGs. They are the official, endorsed results of the RDA and considered our ‘flagship’ Outputs. They have undergone formal phases of discussion, comment, and decision-making, and can be compared to ‘specifications’ or ‘standards’ created and endorsed by other organisations. They are documents in a very broad sense and may include specifications, taxonomies or ontologies, workflows, schemas, data models, etc. To be endorsed as a formal RDA Recommendation by the RDA Council, these products undergo a specific process and are required to meet defined criteria, including being made publicly available and usable, and adoptable and adopted.

Supporting Outputs

Supporting Outputs are useful solutions from RDA WGs, IGs, or CoPs, but may not be as clearly adoptable by organisations as RDA Recommendations. They have undergone a community review, and may include RDA-branded guidelines, brochures and white papers that serve to educate and inform, rather than directly solve a specific data sharing challenge.

If you have something you would like to be considered as a Supporting Output, please contact enquiries[at]

‘Other’ Outputs

‘Other’ Outputs are used to describe resources that have been published on the RDA website following a request by a WG, IG or CoP, but have received no level of endorsement. They could include workshop reports, published articles, survey results, etc. 

If you have something you would like to be posted as an Other Output, please contact  enquiries[at]