The Research Data Alliance (RDA) officially releases its first 4 Recommendations as ICT technical specifications
The Research Data Alliance (RDA), which gathers more than 5800 members from 128 countries belonging to academia, research, public administration or the private sector, has officially released its first 4 Recommendations as ICT technical specifications -published for referencing in public procurement as per Article 13 of Regulation 1025/2012 on European Standardisation.
The 4 RDA recommendations, published on 24 July 2017, represent a key milestone for RDA's contribution to making research data open, sharable and re-usable across technologies, disciplines, and countries and are building blocks for an interoperable research data environment:
- The Basic Vocabulary of Foundational Terminology and Query Tool Recommendation - produced by the Data Foundation and Terminology WG, ensures that researchers use a common terminology when referring to data.
- The Data Type Model and Registry - published by the Data Type Registries WG provides machine-readable and researcher-accessible registries of data types and a common data model to be applied for making data accessible and accurately re-usable
- The Persistent Identifier Type Registry produced by the PID Information Types WG, a conceptual model for structuring typed information to better identify PIDs, common interface for access to this information.
- The Machine Actionable Policy Templates produced by the Practical Policy WG, can be used to enforce data management, automate administrative tasks, validate assessment criteria, and automate scientific analyses. It builds the trust needed to foster data sharing.
The Recommendations and Outputs are delivered by the RDA Working and Interest groups, self-formed and directly managed by the RDA members and are envisioned as social and technical bridges because they connect different systems, communities, tools etc. and generally take the form of technical specifications, data and reference models, recommended practice and harmonization of existing standards.
The ICT standardisation effort in EU is the cornerstone of the Digital Single Market initiative, ensuring compatibility between systems and guaranteeing the competitiveness and the openness of ICT markets. ICT technical specifications are not referenced as standards, but are an agile tool for the European Commission to address the constantly evolving technology in ICT markets, and to realise its ambitious plans of building the European Open Science Cloud. Specifically, the ICT technical specifications allow public authorities to make use of the full range of specifications when buying IT hardware, software and services, fostering competition in the field and reducing the risk of lock-in to proprietary systems and promoting openness and interoperability.
An expert advisory group, the European Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP) supports the European Commission in the process of the selection and evaluation of ICT Specifications and in defining the future priorities. RDA Europe, the European plug-in to the global RDA, has carried forward the evaluation, approval and publication of the 4 Recommendations as ICT specifications and is currently working on the submission of a new set of 5 Recommendations for this Autumn.