Working Group: Goals and Outcomes
Goal of RDA Working Groups
RDA Working Groups should tangibly accelerate progress in concrete ways for specific communities with the overarching goal of increasing data-driven innovation. RDA Working Group (WG) efforts are intended to promote data sharing and exchange, interoperability, data use and re-use, data discoverability and analysis, data stewardship and preservation, and best practice for substantive communities.
Although Working Group outcomes will vary, RDA Working Groups should strive for “focused effort and tangible progress”. This can be interpreted as encouraging
- “Harvestable” efforts for which roughly 12-18 months of work can eliminate a roadblock for a substantial community focused on innovation.
- Efforts that have substantive applicability to particular segments of the data community, but may not apply to everyone.
- Efforts where working scientists and researchers can start today to get something done now, while more long-term or far-reaching solutions are being appropriately discussed through other vehicles.
In addition to the shorter-term, outcome-oriented focus of the RDA Working Groups described herein, critical longer-term R&D efforts, supported by Government sponsors, the Private Sector, and others, must continue to promote innovation and discovery. The Research Data Alliance Working Group process is meant to complement those efforts in the short-term by removing existing roadblocks, and accelerating forward progress for working scientists and researchers.
Working Group Outcomes
Working group outcomes or “deliverables” should facilitate tangible progress towards innovation for a significant cohort within the international data community. There are many ways to make progress and Working Group outcomes /deliverables may come in a variety of forms including:
- New data standards or harmonization of existing standards. RDA WGs focusing on standards and harmonization should include specific communities who will benefit from this effort and who will adopt the new or harmonized standards, effectively putting them into “action” at the completion of the Working Group. (RDA is not a standards organization comparable to the ISO for example. It draws on the rough consensus approach of the IETF)
- Greater data sharing, exchange, interoperability, usability and re-usability. RDA WGs focusing on data sharing, exchange, interoperability, usability, and/or re-usability should evolve or create new infrastructure, tools, technologies, services, approaches, policies, or other vehicles that improve upon current practice for a significant cohort within the data community. Deliverables for this work should be adopted / put into practice by WG members, at the least.
- Greater discoverability of research data sets. RDA WGs focusing on data discoverability should evolve or create new infrastructure, tools, technologies, registries, approaches, policies, or other vehicles that facilitate the discoverability of research data beyond current practice for a significant cohort. Deliverables for this work should include adoption of those vehicles. (For these purposes, “research data” is broadly defined to be digital data sets generated or used by the research community)
- Better management, stewardship, and preservation of research data. RDA WGs focusing on management, stewardship, and preservation should evolve or create practice, policy, infrastructure, and/or other appropriate vehicles, and facilitate their adoption/implementation within Working Group institutions and organizations and beyond.
Because of the short life-span for Working Groups (12-18 months), any issues of Intellectual Property, and relevant national or international law, policy, or regulation must be well-understood and addressed up- front.