Commissioner Neelie Kroes opened the RDA launch event with a speech heralding “a new era of open science”. Commissioner Kroes welcomes the global approach embodied by the RDA and highlighted the need for interoperability, discoverability and an open approach.
150 individuals representing stakeholders from the sciences, infrastructures, libraries, technology providers etc. were present at the meeting. Major research data related initiatives from across the globe were represented in the attendance list, including COAR and OpenAire.
As well as talks introducing the concept of RDA, we heard from researchers willing to share their own experience of using research data. One such speaker was Manfried Laubichler, Professor of Theoretical Biology and History of Biology at Arizona State University, sharing his experience of data driven research in the humanities. Laubichler made the case for the opening up of data in the humanities, in particular the history of science, and for new forms of publication to exploit this e.g. the ability to publish alongside/within the original digitised object. Turning archives into data, open and transparent data, and the linking of repositories, are necessary to facilitate the integration of humanities approaches and science.
Collaboration with libraries was also positively highlighted by Laubichler, who had worked with librarians from the beginning of his research ensuring that quality metadata was in place from the beginning.
The majority of the event was dedicated to workshops. These workshops were aimed at establishing working groups to work towards quick solutions to facilitate the growth of data sharing. RDA working groups tasked with addressing both technical and soft solutions have now been established. These include data citation, persistent identification, preservation, linking data to publications, developing skills, engaging researchers, and legal interoperability as well as discipline specific groups.
There is lots of scope for individual libraries to engage in these working groups and ensure that the role of libraries in the research data arena is recognised on a global scale. From working to help ensure interoperability through common metadata and ontologies to devising ways to engage the research community, libraries can and should have a lot to contribute.
To find out more about the working groups (and possibly join) go to: