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Why RDA?

Data sharing is critical to increase our ability to address key research questions in all domains and accelerate the creation of innovative new businesses, services, and applications.

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) was formed to build and use the infrastructure needed to address data-driven challenges in science and society. Addressing these challenges often involves technical and social infrastructure and may involve researchers combining data sets from different data communities or using data within larger systems.  This data infrastructure helps solve problems, contributes to the development of new treatments and approaches, and helps in forming new and more accurate models of the world around us.

RDA’s approach focuses on the pragmatic.  Working Groups build specific pieces of social and technical infrastructure important to solve the problems of a focused group or community.  They also work to amplify the impact of their infrastructure outputs by making them available to a broader set of users and communities.   RDA data infrastructure covers a broad spectrum and includes:

  • Metadata standard recommendations that provide communities common ways to reference key attributes of data
  • Data type registries and other infrastructure used by machines and humans to uniquely identify data and make it usable in research systems
  • Policies and practices to support broader data sharing
  • Interoperability frameworks to support data harmonization
  • Preservation and stewardship practices to help sustain data now and for the future

RDA also provides a community gathering place for those who care about addressing infrastructure issues, and attracts a broad community of domain scientists, computer and information scientists, librarians and data practitioners, policy makers, etc.

RDA/US is accelerating national issues through the amplification and application of RDA infrastructure in the United States.  It is also bringing critical U.S. technical, social and data policy issues to a global environment in order to develop solutions that draw upon the world’s experience.  Both RDA and RDA/US are creating an increasingly synergistic cache of data infrastructure world-wide and helping coalesce the data community around the globe and within the United States.