The Research Data Alliance is an international organization created in 2013 to facilitate and expand research data sharing around the world. It pursues this mission by hosting twice yearly plenaries where members can congregate to coordinate and work on the technical and social problems related to sharing research data. RDA members, who come from every stage of their career and a broad range of disciplines and scientific domains, build infrastructure and create guidelines that help scholars share their research broadly. This means that human knowledge can expand more quickly as data does not need to be reproduced.
Bridget Almas, an RDA member and lead software developer for the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University, will serve as the first liaison between the Research Data Alliance and the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations. In May 2015, RDA/US hosted a digital humanities workshop at Johns Hopkins University to discuss the DH communities’ needs for data infrastructure. Next, at DH2015 in Australia, Almas and other RDA members hosted a meeting to discuss a potential relationship between the two organizations, exploring why the digital humanities need shared infrastructure. At the Research Data Alliance’s recent plenary in Paris, Almas met with various interest and working groups to discuss developments that are potentially useful to the DH community.
As liaison, Almas will keep ADHO informed of new outputs and deliverables from the RDA that are interesting for DH projects. The Research Data Alliance is regularly seeking adopters for its outputs, which presently include automated data management policies, persistent identifiers for various data types, and a foundational data vocabulary, among others. Future work will provide guidance on metadata and publishing data bibliometrics and services, outputs of great value to the digital humanities. As liaison, Almas will also facilitate ADHO members’ participation in RDA working and interest groups, such as the domain interest group on Digital Practices in History and Ethnography.
For more information about the Research Data Alliance, please visit their website.