Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Research Data Alliance: Plenary 6 and Climate Change Data Challenge

As you may already know, the 6th Plenary of the Research Data Alliance will take place in Paris from 23-25 September 2015. This Plenary has a special focus on research data for climate change, and Cap Digital and the Research Data Alliance have created a Data Challenge to bring together data sets related to climate change with organisations that have practical applications for these data sets.

If you are a holder of data sets in one of the Challenge’s three focus areas, air quality, energy, and urban activity, you can submit data sets, preferably together with some indication of possible applications that might constitute a challenge goal, by the 21st of May, 2015.  

The submission needs to contain your contact details, a description of the data set(s) you want to submit, including title, creators & contributors, publisher & location, type & format, size/volume, and identifiers if any, an indication of possible applications that might constitute a challenge, and (optionally) any further, practical details regarding your data. Please note, these data sets do not need to be global data sets.

Please contact either p6-challenge@rd-alliance.org or Stefanie.Kethers@ands.org.au if you would like help with submitting data sets, or have any questions!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Research Data Alliance Plenary 5 - an ANDS Trip Report

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) continues to be a rapidly growing international organisation (from eight to over 2700 members in under 2 years), with a vision of a world where researchers and innovators openly share data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the big challenges of society.

The membership of RDA is also continuing to expand to more countries.

ANDS has been involved in the governance of RDA from the beginning, and currently provides a member of Council (Ross Wilkinson), a co-chair of the Technical Advisory Board (Andrew Treloar) and a member of the Secretariat (Stefanie Kethers).  The RDA accomplishes its mission through Working Groups (producing deliverables within an 18-month time frame that will be implemented and adopted by one or more specific communities), and Interest Groups (serving as a platform for communication and coordination among individuals with shared interests). ANDS staff are also involved at this level: Adrian Burton co-chairs the RDA/WDS Publishing Data Services Working Group, and together with Amir Aryani leads the Data Description Registry Interoperability (DDRI) Working Group. It’s great that Australia continues to have this level of input into the operation of an increasingly important international organisation.

The previous Plenary was held in September last year with the theme of “Reaping the Fruits” – a reference to the opportunity to showcase the outputs of the first Working Groups. The theme for the most recent event, from the 9th to the 11th of March in San Diego, was Adoption - focussing on organisations who were taking the outputs and adopting them. For those involved at a governance level, the Plenary started with a full day strategy meeting on the Saturday. On the Sunday, a special Adoption Day was held, where a number of organisations talked about their adoption experiences (their presentations are linked from the programme).The Adoption session was then followed by other governance meetings in the afternoon. The Plenary itself ran over three days, followed by another day of coordination/governance meetings on Thursday.

Of particular note for ANDS at Plenary 5 was the work that has been led by Amir Aryani on the Research Data Switchboard (for an overview, see the second talk in this recording; to see it in operation got to http://www.rd-switchboard.org). The Switchboard came out of the DDRI WG and has now moved from a prototype to a production level service. ANDS has created a fully automated discovery service that identifies research datasets by Australian researchers in Dryad, CERN, Figshare. The developed service is extendable to other repositories with a minimum effort, and the team have done the preliminary work on designing an open API to share this information with the research sector. The current service is capable of identifying the connection between datasets, data publications and ORCID identifiers and ANDS is now in active discussions with a range of service providers to help them build connections.

From an Australian point of view, this was another very successful event. There were 12 delegates from Australia, drawn from ANDS, AURIN (Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network), CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, Griffith University, NCI (National Computational Infrastructure), NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources), TERN (Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network), and the University of Queensland. The Australian delegates took part in the Organisational Assembly, led a Working Group on Data Description Registry Interoperability, co-led Working Groups on Data Publishing Services and Urban Quality of Life Indicators, and took part in lots of sessions. The challenge over the next six months is to encourage greater involvement by a wider range of Australian participants.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Welcome to the “Research Data Alliance in Australia” Blog!

This Blog aims to:
  • Provide views from Australian researchers, “data people” and other stakeholders on a variety of topics related to the Research Data Alliance (RDA, http://rd-alliance.org). this includes e.g. brief reports from participants of the biannual RDA Plenaries
  • Provide specific information to people in Australia interested in the Research Data Alliance
  • Showcase RDA Outcomes and adoptions / deployments of RDA Outcomes in Australia 
This Blog is maintained by Stefanie Kethers from the Australian National Data Service (ANDS, http://ands.org.au). If you have any questions or would like to contribute to the Blog, please email Stefanie.Kethers@ands.org.au.