It was March 2013 that the first plenary of Research Data Alliance took place. I attended that meeting in Göteborg, Sweden. On 26-28 March 2014 Dublin, Ireland, was the venue for the third plenary. It coincided with a lot of satellite meetings, and DataCite also had its General Assembly and strategy meeting on the two days before the RDA. So I combined the two, and was present (in a way pretty straightforward being a Board Member of DataCite) at the DataCite gatherings and the first day of the RDA.
It is not really possible to tell a lot then about all the things that happened at the RDA. I observed that there were a lot of interest group and working group sessions for the remainder of the conference. The first morning was a real plenary one. I thought that the introductory talk of Mark Ferguson (DG of Science Foundation Ireland) was interesting. He made a few statements that would be worth checking (I would love to have his sources!):
– The most highly-cited papers find their origin in:
- collaboration between academia /industry
- international collaboration
- national collaboration
“Isolated” research is at the bottom of the list. I can imagine that there a few parameters influencing this ranking, e.g. the discipline or the sort of peer groups you work with. Another statement was about the hitrate for patents, where he claimed that jointly funded projects give a better chance, and that the patent is often not attributed to the first (original) research(er). For Ferguson a reason to promote open innovation.
The panel about data policy was more a range of short presentations, which was in a way OK. I have to look at the ideas that Mercé Crosas (Director of Data Science, Harvard University) put forward. Being the initiator of Dataverse Network, she showed us their guidelines for data publishing. Moreover she referred to guidelines for connecting journals to data, where integration between journals and data is encouraged through Dataverse. That is a different use of Dataverse than I knew about.
In retrospect, but this is based on a very short (1-day) presence, I had expected more real activity and results (after 1 year) to come out of the RDA groups and workshops. The problem of course is that one can only attend one session at the time. I am eager to hear what is happening in all these groups, but it is difficult to get a “quick-and-dirty” overview.
The people I talked to were very positive about the excellent networking opportunities. Everybody you want to talk to, is at the RDA! Finally, to conclude this very short report I thought that I heard (at least) one very interesting idea at the Data Publishing Interest Group Introductory session, and that was the idea by Laure Haak (ORCID) to assign doi’s to data management plans. That could solve a missing link in the chain from project to data to publication. Simon Hodson (CODATA) who hammered at the plenary panel on the fact that at RDA it should be about putting all the available principles to practice (I could not agree more!), showed the very good cycle created by ANDS (one of the co-organisers of this plenary) of building a culture of data citation: create, use, measure and reward.
And to end with the beginning: apart from a lot of good discussions and nice get-togethers three things stood out from the DataCite meetings:
– DataCite will endorse the data citation principles that were recently published by Force11.
– DataCite has entered an agreement with Databib / Re3data. First step is that both data repository registries will merge their two projects into one service and this one service will be managed under the auspices of DataCite by the end of 2015.
– DataCite and RDA have signed a memorandum of understanding, so that both organisations can intensify their dialogue, and actively work on promoting data citation as an important element in the scholarly workflow.