RDA-US endorses Developing a US National PID Strategy report

June 10, 2024

Research Data Alliance – United States is pleased to give its unqualified endorsement1 to the report Developing a US National PID Strategy (https://zenodo.org/records/10811008), released in March 2024. The report outlines the benefits of Persistent IDs, their associated metadata, and the systems that connect them. Its objective is to advance open scholarship goals in the United States and achieve that objective through guidance to US stakeholders on the effective use of PIDs for connecting and tracking research in the context of the research ecosystem.

The RDA-US steering committee lauded the report’s significant relevance for PID adoption in the United States. The report aligns well with the RDA-US organization’s mission to advance open science and scholarship in the US. RDA-US endorsement principles state that a document meets the criteria for endorsement if it is a definitive work on the topic. It was noted that the PID Strategy document is titled “Developing a US National PID Strategy” suggesting an evolving nature that could be considered non-definitive. Still, the committee felt the work was a significant enough entry into a national conversation on PIDs to warrant RDA-US endorsement.

We offer several observations made by the RDA-US committee and community for future improvements to the strategy. RDA-US principles state that its actions are unbiased in societal benefit. As such, we recommend that the principles of CARE and TRUST be reflected in future versions of the report; and further suggest avoidance of any impression of favor towards private sector options. Finally, it was noted that there are multiple solutions for PIDs for research software including DOIs and Software Heritage IDs (SWHIDS).

1RDA-US Endorsement Process: https://rdaus.org/rda-us-endorsement/

Link to PDF of Endorsement.

RDA-US program office involvement in the RDA 22nd Plenary Meeting

The Research Data Alliance’s 22nd Plenary meeting (VP22) took place as a fully virtual event. Organized by the RDA Secretariat, VP22 was held for half-days spread across two weeks, between 14-23 May 2024.

With the theme “Local Action – Global Connection”, which also aligns with the four themes of RDA’s Strategic Plan, the plenary focused on collaboration and engagement with our global community through the sharing of local experiences, best practices and recommendations.

To make VP22 a truly global event, RDA invited Regional RDA Partners (RDA in the Americas, RDA Europe and RDA Oceania) to host plenary sessions and Office Hours to highlight their work. As well as sharing regional updates, the sessions gave attendees the chance to network with experts from their region and discover how they can get involved, identifying synergies across nations and continents.

The RDA-US Program Office collaborated with Digital Research Alliance of Canada / RDA Canada to host the session Engagement in the Americas. This session opened with region updates including ways for RDA members to become involved within their respective region, but also across regions. Drawing on local communities, the session included area experts on topics of mutual interest to both regions. The session closed with open discussion between multiple regions with the goal of identifying synergies that could lead to potential collaborative opportunities.

Speakers included:

  • Lee Wilson, Director of Research Data Management, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Beth Plale, Executive Director, Research Data Alliance – US
  • Fares Dhane, Data analyst, Digital Research Alliance of Canada
  • Rob Quick, TIGRUS Program Manager, Research Data Alliance – US (TIGRUS)
  • CJ Woodford, Project Manager, Digital Research Alliance of Canada, (Global Open Research Commons (GORC) Working Group in RDA)
  • Yolanda Meleco, Research Data Alliance – US
  • Robert Ping, Program Manager, Research Data Alliance – US (moderator)

The discussion after presentations included RDA members from many different regions, countries, and institutions:

  • Research Software Alliance, Digital Research Alliance of Canada, Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN), and folks from Ontario, Nova Scotia, Montreal in Canada.
  • Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute, Columbia University, University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, American Geophysical Union, Figshare, George Mason University, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Purdue University, Boston, Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), California Digital Library (CDL), Center for International Earth Science Information Network – Columbia University (CIESIN) in the United States.
  • Attendees from Chili, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Switzerland, Scotland, United Kingdom, Peru, Italy, Greece, and Costa Rica.

RDA-US also participated in a joint session with Research Data Alliance facilitation of Targeted International working Groups for EOSC-related Research solutions (RDA TIGER) to talk about the new Targeted International working Group US (TIGER) facilitation program.

During this joint TIGER/TIGRUS session the EU and US offices presented the TIGER/TIGRUS facilitation services and the value they bring to the RDA community. Invited TIGER-supported working groups (WGs) provided their experiences with TIGER and how it has helped them achieve their goals.

The session included a survey of attendees, presentations by both facilitation programs and the RDA directorate, and a lively question/answer session.

Speakers included:

  • Connie Clare, Community Development Manager, Research Data Alliance
  • Robert Ping, Program Manager, RDA-US, Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute
  • Ryan O’Connor, Senior Facilitator, RDA TIGER, Research Data Alliance Association AISBL
  • Matti Heikkurinen, Research Project Portfolio Manager, Research Data Alliance Association AISBL
  • Alexandra Delipalta, Director of Operations, RDA Europe (moderator)

The final session RDA-US hosted was RDA-US Office Hours. Attendees connected with the RDA-US program office to ask questions or learn more about RDA-US initiatives. It opened with a short presentation about RDA-US and the TIGRUS (Targeted International working Groups US) facilitation program and a rousing discussion followed.

In addition to Indiana University, attendees represented Rutgers University, NIST, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington University in St. Louis, Carnegie Mellon, Figshare, IRI – Columbia University, Research Space, UCOP / CDL (UC3), and Stanford.

RDA-US Endorsement Process

The RDA-US organization will on occasion put its collective voice behind a work product by giving it RDA-US endorsement. RDA-US applies the guidance contained herein as it considers a product for endorsement. RDA-US may endorse an RDA work product (an “RDA Recommendation”) as is applied in a situation; it will not endorse the RDA Recommendation itself.

Endorsement occurs when a work product is approved by two-thirds majority of the RDA-US Steering Committee who actively cast votes. Vote categories are (yes/no/abstain); abstentions must be justified. Per RDA-US’ organization chart, the RDA-US Steering Committee (SC) includes program officers and steering committee members; these members make up the voting body.

RDA-US will not retract a previous endorsement, but as the research data environment in which RDA-US operates changes over time, RDA-US reserves the right to endorse a work product that appears to directly conflict with an earlier endorsed work product. In these cases, RDA-US will issue a clarifying statement.

RDA-US endorses work products that meet the following criteria:

  • Aligns with values of the organization (RDA-US)
  • Has strong US relevance
  • Has clearly articulated principles
  • Is a definitive written work on a topic
  • Is unbiased in its societal benefit

Endorsement process:

  1. RDA-US Program Office confirms with agents of the endorsement (authors) their support for the request for RDA-US endorsement.
  2. Public announcement is made of input period (approximately 1 month in duration) wherein RDA-US seeks input from the RDA US community.
  3. RDA-US endorsement may be accompanied by an RDA-US statement providing context, support, “important going forward” details and other matters related to its discussion. This endorsement supplement should not in any way be interpreted as a qualifying of (weakening of) the endorsement.
  4. Upon RDA-US endorsement and release of any accompanying statement, RDA-US registers endorsement on RDA-US web page and promotes in RDA communication channels.
  5. The organization or group who authored the endorsed document: Records RDA-US endorsement in a document if possible and in related communications; endorsement should include the RDA-US logo (available here) and the following:
  • Officially endorsed by:
  • Research Data Alliance – US
  • Bloomington, IN United States
  • https://www.rd-alliance.org/groups/rda-us

The endorsement process described above may be reassessed and modified to reflect the evolution of the RDA-US needs. It is the goal of the RDA-US not to confuse this endorsement process with the process of the global RDA. RDA-US will reassess this process on a bi-yearly schedule.

View the most recent version of the endorsement process.

TIGRUS program chooses pilot Working Groups

Rob Quick, program manager for the RDA-US Targeted International working GRoup United States (TIGRUS) facilitation program announced two groups who have accepted to be part of the TIGRUS pilot. The TIGRUS Program leverages RDA’s Working Group structure to address data challenges happening within the US.

The first group in the pilot is the National PID Strategies WG. A Persistent Unique Identifier (PID) is a string of letters and numbers used to distinguish between and locate different objects, people, or concepts. A well-known example of a PID is a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which is used to locate specific digital objects, frequently a journal article.

The work of this group follows the RDA National PID Strategies WG which created an RDA National PID Strategies Guide and Checklist. Within the Guide, the working group concluded “All national PID strategies are currently in development and therefore subject to a high degree of change. During the course of the WG, nine case studies were collected and several of these needed to be updated prior to the Group’s final output due to changes that had taken place in those countries.” So the main goal of this TIGRUS-facilitated group is to develop a national PID strategy for the United States. It is co-chaired by Todd Carpenter, National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and John Chodacki, California Digital Library, University of California Office of the President, and RDA-US.

Utilizing the framework created by the Research Data Alliance, the group published a report, Developing a US National PID Strategy, in March 2024 which was created in collaboration with members of the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS Open) and the Community Effort on Research Output Tracking workstreams organized by the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG).

The report outlines the benefits of PIDs, their associated metadata, and the systems that connect them in advancing open scholarship goals in the United States. It provides information on the research and policy landscape associated with PIDs, discusses the value of PID infrastructure, and offers recommendations for effective utilization of PIDs in connecting and tracking research outputs. Ideally, this guidance will be widely adopted by organizations throughout the research ecosystem in the US and potentially adapted globally in other national contexts around the world, as part of a growing movement to deploy national persistent identifier strategies.

The second group in the pilot is the Common Standard for Machine-actionable Data Management Plans WG. This working group is based on the RDA DMP Standards WG who published a report, RDA DMP Common Standard for Machine-actionable Data Management Plans, in September 2020 and work follows with the development of DMP Tool by California Digital Library (CDL) in the US.

The report summary states Data Management Plans are free-form text documents describing the data that is used and produced during the course of research activities. They specify where the data will be archived, which licenses and constraints apply, and to whom credit should be given, etc. The workload and bureaucracy often associated with traditional DMPs can be reduced when they become machine-actionable.

The DMP Common Standards WG has developed an application profile that allows to express information from traditional DMPs in a machine-actionable way. It allows for automatic exchange, integration, and validation of information provided in DMPs. Thus, it facilitates exchange of information between systems acting on behalf of stakeholders involved in the research life cycle, such as, researchers, funders, repository managers, ICT providers, librarians, etc.

This report summarizes the application profile. The full specification can be found: https://github.com/RDA-DMP-Common/RDA-DMP-Common-Standard.

TIGRUS will work with Maria Praetzellis, Associate Director, and others from the California Digital Library UC3 (UC Creation Center) to move the work of the DMPTool forward in the US.

RDA-US and TIGRUS is supported by Indiana University’s (IU) Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI). PTI, is IU’s flagship organization for research and development in cyberinfrastructure, informatics, and computer science in support of science and engineering research, scholarship, and cybersecurity.

To learn more contact TIGRUS program manager, Rob Quick, or the RDA-US Program Manager, Robert Ping.

RDA-US launches TIGRUS facilitation program

Announced during Plenary 21, the Targeted International Working GRoups – US Program, TIGRUS, is officially launched and underway at RDA-US.

Led by RDA-US Executive Director Beth Plale and TIGRUS Program Manager Rob Quick, the TIGRUS Facilitation Program leverages RDA’s Working Group structure to address data challenges happening within the US. Through the creation and support of RDA groups interested in developing solutions to data challenges specific to the US, the Program will facilitate collaboration efforts among its members and with the international RDA community. TIGRUS is also poised to facilitate the efforts of US-funded research projects that come together on consensus solutions (“standards”) that promote interoperability and/or best practices.

Caption: Banner image with text which reads Targeted International working GRoups U S, TIGRUS in black, facilitation program in red, and R D A U S in black running down one edge. The central character is a playful orange tiger jumping toward the viewer.

RDA-US and TIGRUS is supported by Indiana University’s (IU) Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI). PTI, is IU’s flagship organization for research and development in cyberinfrastructure, informatics, and computer science in support of science and engineering research, scholarship, and cybersecurity.

According to Plale, who is also Executive Director of IU’s PTI and the Data to Insight Center, “PTI’s investment in the RDA-US and the TIGRUS Program is a testament to the shared commitment of RDA-US and IU to advance open science in the US and beyond.”

The TIGRUS Program will take place in phases, with the first phase spanning over the next two years. Objectives for this phase include the formation of a limited number of Working Group projects. As the program develops, additional support is anticipated, enabling it to scale and accommodate more groups tackling data challenges directly impacting our country. RDA-US and the TIGRUS Program also plan to support and collaborate with various federal agencies organizations to promote open science and innovation, while also developing the RDA-US community and the experiences of early career researchers.

PTI’s investment in the RDA-US and the TIGRUS Program is a testament to the shared commitment of RDA-US and IU to advance open science in the US and beyond.

Beth Plale, RDA-US Executive Director

A Steering Committee, who will have their second meeting on February 27, will guide the selection of new Working Group topics, help advance those groups through the approval process within RDA and manage the group projects. Steering committee members, representing various disciplines and areas of expertise, include:

  • Stuart Chalk, University of North Florida
  • Zach Chandler, Stanford University
  • Sayeed Choudhury, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Steven Diggs, University of California
  • Erin Ellis, Indiana University
  • Meredith Goins, World Data System
  • Yolanda Meleco, Indiana University
  • Natalie Meyers, University of Notre Dame
  • Amy Nurnberger, MIT Libraries
  • Robert Ping, Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University
  • Beth Plale, Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University
  • Rob Quick, Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University
  • Shelley Stall, American Geophysical Union
  • Cynthia Vitale, Association of Research Libraries
  • Michael Witt, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies

According to Rob Quick regarding TIGRUS, “Universities and funders in the US are positioning themselves to be responsive to data centric and global research. Community organizations like RDA offer consensus guidance that can influence research, infrastructure, and student training. The TIGRUS Program is an excellent opportunity for RDA and all organizations to synergize efforts for the common good.”

If you are interested in engaging further with RDA-US and the TIGRUS program, email Rob Quick at rquick@iu.edu.

Indiana University joins forces with RDA-US to advance Open Science Standards

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Indiana University (IU)’s Data To Insight Center (D2I) and the Cyberinfrastructure Research Integration Center (CIRC) are pleased to announce a partnership with the Research Data Alliance-United States (RDA-US), a national hub of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) representing emerging research and data management communities throughout the US.

Read the full news release.

RDA Celebrates 10-year Anniversary

Last month, the organizers of the RDA-US May meeting spent a few days reconnecting with many of you during Plenary 20 in beautiful Gothenburg, Sweden.  It was a whirlwind, filled with meetings and networking, and it reminded us once again that RDA is an organization like no other, largely due to its members.  

For those that did attend, either virtually or in person, thank you for your participation!  Your engagement means more than you know, especially with RDA-US approaching significant transitions in the coming months.  

As announced during Plenary 20, Rebecca Kosela will be retiring later this year and Beth Plale will be assuming leadership of the RDA-US.  Beth is an early founder of RDA and the Executive Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University.

We encourage you to attend the RDA-US 10th Anniversary Celebration on May 23 in Washington DC to welcome Beth, celebrate RDA’s 10th anniversary, and gather community feedback on where RDA-US should invest going forward.  This celebration will offer you, a member of the RDA-US community, an opportunity to discuss recent US policy changes and strategies and explore further RDA-US collaborations.  The agenda will showcase some outputs and recommendations from RDA working groups and interest groups including the Schools of Research Data Science (SoRDS), Machine Actionalble Data Management Plans, PID infrastructure, and many more. Registration is available here.

With new opportunities for RDA-US on the horizon, your continued support is essential to our success.  Please consider joining us on May 23 to celebrate our past and plan for the future.

RDA-US announces new leadership

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year, and the RDA-US also celebrates its decadal birthday, having been formed at the same time as RDA to focus global RDA activity on regional challenges. RDA-US is using this milestone as an opportunity to celebrate the community of US members who have contributed leadership, support, and ideas to numerous RDA outputs and guidance documents over the decade. 

RDA-US is also at a turning point.  Rebecca Koskela, RDA-US Executive Director, who has artfully led RDA-US for the last 4 years, will be stepping down from her post and onto her next adventure in retirement.  Rebecca has overseen the formation of the Region of the Americas, which contributed to a 20% growth in individual members to the RDA. She has led a successful 3-year webinar series that has both Spanish and French channels, and co-chaired the RDA Regional Advisory Board. “I am proud of what we’ve accomplished for RDA and the Americas,“ said Ms. Koskela.

RDA-US is pleased to announce that Dr. Beth Plale has agreed to assume the leadership role of RDA-US. An early founder of RDA and the Executive Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University, Dr. Plale’s numerous contributions to RDA include guidance on PIDs, data fabric infrastructure, a US early-career program, and inaugural co-chair of RDA’s Technical Advisory Board. 

In 2022, RDA-US embarked on a strategic visioning exercise to review its strengths and direction. As an outcome, the strategic vision for RDA-US going forward is as an organizational entity dedicated to amplifying the voice and expertise of the RDA-US community and capitalizing on the products and approaches embodied in RDA-endorsed contributions, both targeting urgent challenges of open science and reproducible science and scholarship facing the US as captured in the OSTP Nelson memo. RDA-US will accomplish its work in partnership with other organizations, and continue close coordination with global RDA.

The RDA-US community is strong. Many members have been part of the community from the inception of RDA.  The community represents substantial expertise, experience, and commitment that can serve as a collective voice. The RDA-US community has contributed significantly to the success of RDA as well.  In partnership with volunteers and organizations across the world, RDA-US has developed consensus solutions and approaches to research data sharing that have been tested and contextualized in various settings locally and internationally (e.g., policies, approaches, infrastructure architecting, tool requirements).

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead RDA-US in this next phase”, says Dr. Plale. “The OSTP year of Open Science is a challenge to which RDA-US can amply contribute and is excited to embark upon.”