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RDA Congratulates IASSIST on Successful Conference

Earlier this month, several members of the Research Data Alliance had the pleasure of attending and participating in the 41st IASSIST Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  With the theme “Bridging the Data Divide: Data in the International Context,” the conference provided an ideal venue for RDA members to exchange perspectives with attendees on numerous data-related challenges and trends as well as share recent accomplishments of the RDA.

Steven Ruggles, Director of the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota, discussed the U.S. Census’ role in data innovation and the Minnesota Population Center’s project to connect census data. Curtiss Cobb, manager at Facebook, was impressive during his presentation detailing Facebook’s approach in evaluating and aggregating publicly available to conduct in-depth analyses. In the presentation covering the implementation of an open data policy in Minneapolis, Andrew Johnson, city councilor, clearly demonstrated the importance of government’s role in ensuring the accessibility of data to the public.

RDA’s panel workshop titled “First Products of the RDA” also was well received.   Several of our members introduced RDA’s recently released products, which include:

  • A terminology query tool, already adopted by DataFed and CLARIN, which ensures researchers use common terminology when referring to data.
  • A data type model and registry that provides machine-readable and researcher-accessible registries of data types that supports the accurate use of data. 
  • Policy templates used to support data sharing and interchange between communities
  • A Prototype Metadata Standards Directory that enables information to be maintained transparently and with full version control. 

For more information on these and other RDA products, view RDA’s brochure titled “Research Data Alliance Outputs.”

Overall, with an agenda enveloping plenaries, workshops and various meetings, the IASSIST conference did an excellent job in covering numerous data-related topics that impact social sciences as well as numerous other disciplines.  RDA looks forward to participating in future IASSIST events and working with the organization to continue to raise awareness on the importance of data sharing and exchange.

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