Research Data Alliance – Getting Involved

The current global research data landscape is highly fragmented, by disciplines or by domains, from oceanography, life sciences and health, to agriculture, space and climate. When it comes to cross-disciplinary activities, the notions of “building  blocks”  of  common  data  infrastructures  and  building  specific  “data  bridges”  are  becoming  accepted metaphors for approaching the data complexity and enable data sharing. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) aims to build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.

RDA enables data to be shared across barriers through focused Working Groups and Interest G roups, formed of experts from around the world – from academia, industry and government. Participation in RDA is open to anyone who agrees to its guiding principles of openness, consensus, balance, harmonisation, with a community driven and non -profit approach. It was started in 2013 by a core group of interested agencies – the Australian Government’s [then] Department of Innovation, the European Commission, the US National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology. RDA also has a broad, committed membership of individuals – now 1600 from 70+ countries since RDA was launched in March 2013 – dedicated to improving data exchange.

This Chat in the Lounge session first provides an overview of the Research Data Alliance. Having been involved with two RDA Plenaries and having been on a couple of interest groups, the author can talk about his experience with the RDA and the advantages of becoming involved. The outcomes of a couple of working groups will be discussed.

Malcolm Wolski
Griffith University

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