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CDS - Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
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Abstract Reference: 30046
Identifier: O5.3
Presentation: Oral communication
Key Theme: 2 Management of Scientific and Data Analysis Projects 

The Research Data Alliance: building bridges to enable scientific data sharing  

Genova Francoise

The Research Data Alliance ( is an international organization which aims at building the technical and sociological bridges that enable the open sharing of scientific data. It is a remarkable forum to discuss all the aspects of scientific data sharing with colleagues from all around the world: in May 2016,after slightly more than 3 years of existence, it has 4 000 members from 110 countries. The bi-yearly Plenary meetings, which gather several hundred participants, are rotating between different regions. The March 2017 one will be held in Barcelona, after Tokyo and Denver in 2016.

The RDA work is organized bottom-up, with Working Groups which have 18 months to produce “implementable” deliverables and Interest Groups which serve as platforms of communication and discussion and also produce important outputs such as surveys and reports. There are currently 27 Working Groups and 45 Interest Groups, tackling a wide diversity of subjects, including community needs, reference for sharing, data stewardship and services, and topics related to the base infrastructure of data sharing.

Some scientific communities use the RDA as a neutral forum to define their own disciplinary data sharing framework, with major successes such as the “Wheat Data Interoperability Working Group” which worked in coordination with the international initiative which coordinates global research for Wheat. Astronomy has the IVOA to define its interoperability standards, and so we do not need to create a Group for that purpose in the RDA. But many topics discussed in the RDA have a strong interest for us, for instance on data citation or certification of data repositories. We have a lot to share from what we have learnt in building our disciplinary global data infrastructure; we also have a lot to learn from others. I will discuss RDA current themes or results of interest for astronomy data providers, and topics on which we may want to propose new RDA Groups.