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RDA’s 6th Plenary – Conference Highlights

Research Data Alliance’s 6th RDA Plenary was held at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris, France last September.  The Meeting was attended by more than 700 individuals representing more than 40 countries.  

For those unfamiliar with RDA, Plenaries are three-day events held twice a year in various locations worldwide that provide the RDA community an opportunity to collaborate face-to-face in a format that encompasses a working meeting, a data community "town hall" and a venue to hear from industry experts and world leaders.

Featured Speakers
Featured speakers during this 6th Plenary included European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger, Digital Economy & Society; Robert Jan-Smits, Director-General DG Research and Innovation (RTD); and Axelle Lemaire, Minister of State for Digital Technology, French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Digital Technology.  Additional speakers included Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director, Group on Earth Observations and Jean-Paul Leroux, Big Data and Fast Data Marketing Manager, Orange Business Server.

Announcement of New RDA Deliverables
During the Plenary, attendees had the opportunity to learn about RDA’s newly-released deliverables, which include:


Description and Impact

Repository Audit and Certification

A convergent Data Seal of Approval and World Data Systems certification standard to help eliminate duplication of effort, increase certification procedure coherence and compatibility

RDA/WDS Publishing Data Bibliometrics

Improved research data metrics and corresponding services, with the final goal of increasing the overall availability and quality of citations and research data itself

RDA/WDS Publishing Data Services

A universal interlinking service between data and the scientific literature

RDA/WDS Publishing Data Workflows

Enhanced possibilities for greater discoverability and more reliable reuse of research data

Testimonials from RDA Adopters
Successful adoption cases of RDA’s previous deliverables were also presented to attendees from the following organizations:

Enterprise Engagement with a Focus on Climate Change
With this Plenary’s theme titled “Enterprise Engagement with a Focus on Climate Change,” RDA invited private sector and academic organizations to participate in a “Data Challenge” and use open data made available by RDA members and other organizations to address real and developing problems emerging from rapid climate change. Participants were judged on the novelty of their approach, the range and diversity of data used, and the use of RDA technologies and practices. Biovel, Plume Labs and Vizonomy were selected as finalists of this Challenge and are now invited to present their solutions during the COP21 conference in Paris, December 2015.

Working and Interest Group and Birds of a Feather Sessions
Throughout each day of the Meeting, a multitude of Working and Interest group meetings took place focusing on topics related to metadata, biodiversity data integration, marine data harmonization, data rescue, big data, domain repositories, ethics and social aspects of data, research data science summer schools, digital practices in history and ethnography, and more.

Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions were also prevalent throughout the Meeting, where attendees met to discuss a particular topic to determine if there was enough interest to develop a working or interest group.  Some BoF Sessions included:

  • Data Cultures, Practices, and Ethics
  • Journal Research Data Policies
  • International Access to Sensitive Social and Economic Microdata

Additional Information

Upcoming Plenaries

About RDA
With support from Europe (the European Commission), Australia (the Australian National Data Service) and the United States (NIST, Sloan Foundation and RPI through the National Science Foundation), RDA has grown into a community of more than 3,300 members representing 104 countries since its inception in 2013.