Things that help RDA groups coordinate and communicate
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ID #Actionable Idea (new ideas AND things that seem to work well now)Description
Contributor (optional)
1splitting groups into 'tracks'Like AGU/EGU, other large interdisciplinary orgs - split meetings, groups, communications(?) into tracks (ie. Domain groups track, infrastructure track, etc). Members will only get info from their track, and any strategic cross-cutting info. The idea is to limit the information firehose and allow space for more engagement, like with group reviews, etc.
2make TAB biggeradd TAB membersMark Parsons
3challenge-driven groupsMechanism(s) in RDA to identify and formulate "data challenges" across Working and Interest groups (regular sessions of the group chairs could be one of such mechanisms but not the only one), then guide collaborative work on the identified challenges (or clusters of interrelated challenges). Vasily Bunakov
4data challenges"including regular white books or executive summaries of what "data challenges" are actual nowadays and what is being done to address them"Vasily Bunakov
5use-case driven mtgsput out a small number of use cases before each Plenary, ask the groups to engageJay Pearlman
6common groups or what Larry calls inter-group aggregation (DTR trying this?)"Some time ago, there was an effort to bring the IGWGs into groups common in some way. This would be an easier structure i to envision and “manage”. We could again consider such groups as meeting foci for the co-chair discussions. I would find this a step forward. "
Jay Pearlman, Larry Lannom
7use of a survey or voting tool [to choose WG/IG mtg topics]"everyone can contribute their requests for topics in an open forum and vote on the ones that are important to them."Bridget Almas
8Use session plenaries to keep other chairs informed"sessions at the plenaries are no longer the main working sessions of the groups, but are becoming meetings where the IG/WG informs the interested audience about the progress they have made the last half year and/or consult a broader group of interested people. It feels like these kind of sessions at the plenaries can be ! used by us chairs to inform themselves of topics related to their own."Rob Hooft
9look at the RDA from the future -> backwardsBrainstorrm during an afternoon Plenary session: divide those taking part into groups of 8 or 10, and set questions, to which each must respond, concerning aspects of getting from Date D back to Date C. Questions prime the direction of thinking, e.g. (to use my own example of IAU structure): "We sorted the IGs into distinctive divisions, with IGs as their corporate members. How well did that work, and should we have designed the structure differently?" Then do the same for Date C back to Date B, e.g., "We let the RDA continue to run as at present, until problems of confusion started to outweigh the freedom from any structure. What caused it to crunch, and did we spot it coming early enough?" Each Q and its Answer is only allowed something like 10 minutes, so people knuckle down to work in earnest.
Elizabeth Griffen
10early on - IETF 'area directors'rejected by RDA 2 years ago (but when we had 10 groups)TAB and others
11Webinar seriesGive groups an opportunity to demo their stuff. This seems to be working for the dynamic data citation folks
12Off-cycle chairs meetings with a particular focussed topicAs an example of things that seem to be working well nowMark Parsons
13Gamified Intergroup poster sessionHave ALL groups (WG, IG, BOFs) make a poster for a networking session (think AGU poster session) with a gamification aspect - scavanger hunt/etc. Theory being that if I hear about XYZ that is a natural link to my ABC the details will follow, I just need to know XYZ exists which quick gamified interaction can achieveJane Wyngaard
14Formalise cross-group liasonWe're only just setting up an IG, but we plan to have at least 4 members of the group formally nominate themselves to also join a relevant group and report back during our meetings.
Lauren Gawne (& LDIG)
15Create a business for cross-discipline synergismIt has proven over the decades that developing data standards in a single discipline is extremely difficult, time-consuming, and vastly underfunded. To develop these on a cross-disciplinary basis adds enormously to the challenge. While it is an admirable goal to have, for example, all chemistry data compatible with all bio-medical data, creating such a perfection can get in the way of the good of having all chemistry data self-compatible and all bio-medical data similarly so. What is the real business case for the cross-disciplinary thrust? Can the extra cost, delays, and complexity be justified by the result? I have serious doubts. John Rumble
16Facilitate the development of a Map of Groups and InterestsResearch Data Canada is looking at a similar challenge with describing the organizations in the research data managemernt space in Canada, and linking them via services, resources and outputs they provide/generate. We wanted to create a "directory" of these, and also allow for effectve search and visualization of the intersections, common interests, etc. We are currently working with VIVO to do this, although we are in early stages. This may provide a single view on the groups, conversations and topic threads and also provide a higher degree of actionability?Mark Leggott
17Use a common terminology to describe activities/interestsIt may be useful to ask groups to use a common vocabulary to descibe their activities and interests to make it easier to find overlap and intersections. One that comnes to mind which is also undergoing a degree of internationalization is the CASRAI IRIDIUM Glossary.Mark Leggott
18The role of "information brokers" is essential for coordinating and communicating issues across groups. But at the end, it is all about leadership and engagement.These "information brokers" should not belong to any specific group, but should rotate their participation in different WG, IG and BOFs. They should meet on a regular basis trying to find synergies across all RDA groups. Then, from those meetings they should be able to communicate their conclusions to all groups at RDA, and to make specific proposals of coordinations and common interests. These proposals should be considered by each of the groups, and be able to have concrete names and roles of who they should contact in each of groups involved in the proposed potential relationship. This "information broker" group should have a coordinator who should be able to track all the proposals and be able to follow up if synergies and coordination are being met. And if not, he or she should be able to find out what is failing. Inma Aleixos
19Accept overlapRather than trying to design a perfect segmentation of the RDA landscape, it may be better to identify potential overlap areas and enforce an atmosphere in which a continued dialog is used to align activities between pairs of groups that have been identified to have common goals but different perspectives.Rob Hooft
20Continue existing TAB representatives in each groupThey work.Rob Hooft
21Make a thesaurusOverlap can be caused by people not understanding that some others may use other words but be working at the same things. It may help if we have not only a "dictionary" as made by DFT, but also a thesaurus that all members can contribute to, and where others can comment on suggested equivalences.
Rob Hooft (+1 Pete McQuilton)
22More co-organized sessions at the plenariesSuggest co-organized sessions to groups for which some people think that they are working on overlapping subjects, to force breaking the ice.Rob Hooft
23develop metrics tracking activity of IG/WGsWe need to make it easier to find IG/WGs doing related work, and items 16, 17 & 21 would help with this. A missing piece of information is how active a given group is. If it's dormant or never really got off the ground then it is wasted time reaching out to them. I propose developing some automated metric of group activity based on email traffic, web page updates and outputs. This then goes into the "map" proposed in item 16.SiriJodha Khalsa
24Get a high level research data key words for 'classification' (kinda a thesaurus)There are several projects I am working on - e.g., the RDA Mapping the Landscape (MLT), the Casrai Iridium Research Data Glossary (, etc., where the lack of a high level ontology/thesaurus is making things unmanageable. If you look at this list of research data terms on its just a bit worse than looking at the list of RDA WG/IG's (well not quite!). You can see that you could break these research data terms into really high level groups like people, process, function, infrastructure. However, if we could have some high level key words as a start we could then we could tag each IG/WG with say a maximum of 5 key words and pick which ones are possibly doing similar work, and better still, if we had a proper data model/ontology we could map relationships. And more importantly we could then Map the Landscape of RDA WG/IG's as well as the rest of the research data world.Lesley Wyborn
25Collaboration across IG/WG borders in the webEven if current web pages are enhanced and serves very well groups, communication and collaboration needs more feeds, streams and flexilibility i.e. some kind of slack/yammer/etc. style tools and concept. This could make communication of groups between plenaries easier and across. For example, if we use tags, we can create feeds based on them for RDA people (and others). Additionally, if someone like to propose for example a new WG/IG for RDA or looking for partners for some project, she/he could open dicussion for everyone in the web (without connecting any current WG or IG).Ville Tenhunen
26REVUER supports the RDA InitiativeThis should fit with remarks above about cross-discipline synergism, hence along development REVUER cf. envisions to contribute increasingly to the RDA. One ultimate goal is indeed to deliver to researcher all kinds of efficient disciplinary and above all interdisciplinary linkage, implying interdisciplinary modeling framework itself implying that fields can themselves be modeled including interactions between their theories and experiments as classes of objects. From past experiments it results that this need be organized and appropriated primarily by universities labs and research groups per area (basically countries) but the main point is that the promise of interdisciplinary integration, hence enhanced predictability, might be enough, if or when credible enough, to drag researchers and universities significantly into sharing the involved data and protocols. It seems that the organizational constraints, roughly such as emphasized by the RDA, may be a prerequisite.Phil Journeau
Should interest groups be the connectors that link WGs?
Amir Aryani
28Have RDA paid staff dedicated to coordinationThe volunteers cannot be responsible for donating their time to implementing strategic goals or have an overarching function. We need more paid staff to do the cross-walks and implement the functions that are key priorities. Certainly, better communication is another function that is not simply a volunteer function. Adoption of outputs by the RDA community is important, but what is being done to implement adoption worldwide? We need people dedicated to that function, which is time consuming and a continuing role that the short-term groups do not and cannot address. How else will the outputs be broadly adopted? This needs attention, but is given short-shrift, which is a common problem in the grant-driven and short-term oversight committee research process. Paul Uhlir
29Condense rather than expandRemain focussed on a countable number of high impact topics where RDA can make a difference. Adopt a shifting window of topics to concentrate on so as to permanently keep in pace with new developments, but also dare not to do everything. So expand in support and memberships, not in scope.Patrick Aerts
30Use the FAIR framework to structure the IGs and especially WGs into groups working on similar problemsOne of the issues is that different disciplines are often working on the same problem, resulting in competing solutions, or discordant terminology. Giving groups a framework within which can then work to solve a specific problem, will help focus the outputs to something tangible and therefore implementable (adoptable) by others. Additionally once a solution has been found, people should feel able to step down and move onto the next challenge to be solved.Varsha Khodiyar
31How our community has solved your problem in the pastA new session at each plenary
From plenary discussion
32Paid IETF-style leads incorporated into RDA who strategically encourage new WG activity emerging from existing IGs. Mindset around organizing a WG proposal and effort is quite valuable for RDA and has far higher likelihood of resulting on concrete, consensus oriented, and usable result. IGs at double size of WGs is an opportunity if capitalized in this way, or burden if not.Beth Plale
33Carefully develop a topic down component to the bottum up developments to provide a technical and social vision and messageAfter the "strurm and drang" phase of the RDA which let a thousends flowers bloom it may be time to add a top-down component to the bottum-up activities to help coordinate and steer the overall RDA activity. A high level conceptual architecture, organised as a matrix, separated in technology, social and domain can provide the long term guidance helping to make the RDA more productive by helping to identify gaps and overlap by providing a common reference. The FAIR principles, as mentioned above, can help to set up that conceptual RDA picture. The clustering of the RDA activities, as presented before, provides another input.Stefan Decker
34Find and appoint storytellers to bridge across groups in a more compelling and memorable way Ambassadors and networkers are great and hugely important in connecting people. Storytellers on the other hand create and share narratives that spread further than the storytellers ever could. Stories are simple, they are easy to retell, yet they convey the essence of a topic. Storytelling is an art yet there are people who do it naturally and intuitively. Find these people and use them! Oh yes and use case isn't automatically a story!Jonathan Clark
35Implement a suitably granular metadata schema for RDA groups (think "Active DMPs for RDA activities")This would allow the creation of tools that can slice and dice the RDA landscape in user-defined waysDaniel Mietchen
36Modernize the licensing termsThe current T&Cs stand in the way of reuse, which also inhibits communicationDaniel Mietchen
37Support the session chairs at the plenaries by providing the participant listsThis had been tried in previous plenaries but the lists have not always been delivered to the session/group chairs. It would help the chairs to know their audience as well as the Landscape groups to identify interests and streams.Rainer Stotzka
38Provide "virtual guides/tours" at the plenaries by identifying common topics, e.g. vocabularies, from the session descriptionsThis overlaps with the "Tagging" in 16, 17 and 24. The idea came up at the P9 TAB-Chairs
meeting, but I don't remember who.
XXX, Rainer Stotzka
39Improve the search capabilities oon the web site by providing a content-based search The search on the web site is currently text-based and not based on content of the working and interest groups. This makes it difficult for a newcomer to identify interesting groups and to "mine" the information hidden in the web site and the activity of the groups. Also it would be very helpful if RDA documents could be searched.Rainer Stotzka
40Interest groups could provide regular reports about their activities and outputsSome outputs and activities of interest groups are not sufficiently visible and recognised. Short reports published on the web site and updated regularely, e.g. every 18 months, 1 page max., could improve the visibility of the groups' success.Rainer Stotzka
41Create word clouds or similar for each groupbased on the documents and Web pages in their areas. Show them somewhere prominent, analyse them across groups and bring groups together that use similar terms Stefanie Kethers
42Use the knowledge the Early Career fellows acquire that support individual groups Bring them together to discuss what has happpened in each group and work out connections, synergies etc. and contribute to representation of this in some formStefanie Kethers
43Create a conceptual map of concepts and connections to the groups using / working on themStefanie Kethers
44At the meetings, have better WiFiWiFi issues have limited participation in many waysDaniel Mietchen
45Between meetings, make better use of online tools for collaborationLots of RDA activities still use mainly email, Word and PDF, none of which are very friendly to collaborative workingDaniel Mietchen
46At and between meetings (e.g. at WG telcons), take notes collaboratively rather than everyone by themselvesThis allows for notes to be shared - and commented on - as they are being drafted. Still useful to have someone assigned to be responsible for overseeing the process, but point here is that they don't have to do all the reporting on their own (rapporteur style), and the notes can be posted when session ends.Daniel Mietchen
47Default to making slides available when talk startsSharing slides is always useful, but sharing them such that the audience can follow them on their own pace (or click on the link in slide 5 or check the Miller at al. reference) is more useful than sharing hours, days or weeks after the talk, when everybody has moved on to other things.Daniel Mietchen
48Another votes for increased tagging, semantic description of activities.As time goes by more and more outputs and discussions will be carried out, it will become harder and harder for people to keep track of the interelationships between WGs IGs and outputs. Using semantic keyword tagging, and potentially parent and child relationships would make it easier to follow the flow and development of work.Joe Padfield
49Move the content of this spreadsheet to a platform better suited to handling idease.g. or an issue tracker like GitHub, Phabricator or BugzillaDaniel Mietchen
50Would an RDA wiki be useful - Wikipedia for the planing of work, description of work etcPerhaps not needed, but just a thought as I am new to RDA and still need to explore the website more.Joe Padfield
51Have more demos, both at meetings and on the website in betweenThe online part would help people who were not in the session or who are not in that working group to understand what is going on there. Often more effective than just another blob of X pages of textDaniel Mietchen
52Within a given RDA group: publish smaller chunks of work, more often.Think newsletters, podcasts, tweets etc. Leverage existing scholcomms infrastructure within RDA and participating groups/ institutionsDaniel Mietchen
53Across RDA groups: Have a webinar/ podcast series/ newsletter all-year round (think "Radio RDA")to which each group could contribute, nobody must, such that there is a go-to-place for people to find out about new things RDADaniel Mietchen
Incorporate more flexibility into plenary schedule
For Plenary schedule, provide room for "late-breaking" kinds of talks, e.g. about things not known or prominent at application deadline; also consider having an "unconference" or hackathon trackDaniel Mietchen
55Tweet each of these suggestionswith a link to some place where people (and/ or machines) can engage with the issue at handDaniel Mietchen
56Think about having regional satellite eventsNot everyone interested in RDA matters can or should travel to the plenary meetings, but the group of participants could be enlarged by having satellite events at different locationsDaniel Mietchen
57Remote plenaryWhat about having one of the upcoming plenaries be mainly remote, perhaps in conjunction with in-person events around the planet?Daniel Mietchen
58Provide more outreach materials under open licenses and in open formatsopenness encourages and enables reuse, e.g. in Wikipedia articles about subjects covered by RDA activitiesDaniel Mietchen
Cordination ideas