December 2018 Newsletter

blog arrowPosted on: Feb 25, 2019

Welcome to the December edition of the RDC Newsletter, a periodic update from the RDC stakeholder community and beyond. If you would like to make a suggestion or comment about the contents or get involved in RDC activities, please contact RDC’s Executive Director, Mark Leggott ( You can view past issues on the RDC Website, and subscribe to receive the Newsletter.

RDC Committees and Working Groups

RDC is facilitating a 1.5-day National Data Services Framework Summit January 24-25, which will focus on current and emerging Canadian research data management platforms, and a discussion about building a sustainable future state. Registration for the Summit is now open, and a draft Discussion Document is under development: interested community members are encouraged to add comments.

Earlier this year the RDC community developed a Charter for the RDC Best Practices Designation, and a Working Group is now establishing the framework for submission and review. Our goal is to have this framework in place for the Spring, at which time we will launch a call for submissions for the designation. If you have ideas for RDM services or resources that we could use to help us create the framework, contact Mark Leggott.

RDC’s Executive Director has joined the Coalition Advisory Committee as a Member. is a strategic partnership created by Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project in the spring of 2017. Coalition is dedicated to the advancement of research dissemination and digital publishing in the social sciences and humanities in Canada and abroad. 

RDC is interested in expanding membership on its Committees and Working Groups, which encompass the broad areas of Communications, Outreach and EducationInfrastructurePolicy, and Standards & Interoperability. Check the Committee charters linked to above, and feel free to reach out to Mark Leggott for more information about how to get involved.

Laura Gerlitz started November 5th as the RDC Intern. Laura comes to Ottawa from Edmonton, where she is completing a dual MLIS and MA in Digital Humanities at the University of Alberta. While at the University, Laura was the Digital Projects Assistant at the Library’s Digital Initiatives Unit, and involved in a variety of data-related projects. Laura has a number of projects she will be working on, but a key one is a refresh of the RDC website, so if you have any suggestions or feedback, Laura would be happy to hear them.

RDC Communications and Special Events

Colleges and Institutes Outreach

RDC worked with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), Centennial College, and CARL Portage to facilitate a day-long RDM Workshop for Colleges, Institutes and Polytechnics. A key goal was to review the draft Tri-Council data management policy, and facilitate the development of individual institutions’ approaches to the policy and data management in general. 

News from RDC Stakeholders

The World Data System International Technology Office officially launched this year, and Karen Payne has joined the team as the Director. Mark Leggott and Karen had a chance to connect at International Data Week in Botswana in October, and agreed that the creation of the inaugural office at the University of Victoria presents a great opportunity for Canada to shine on the international landscape. One particularly promising area is the promotion of the CoreTrustSeal for Canadian data repositories, joining the 3 Canadian data centres that have achieved this important level of certification: Ocean Networks CanadaCanadian Astronomy Data Centre, and Polar Data Catalogue.

CANARIE announced 9 projects funded in its inaugural funding call of the RDM Program, and they represent a strong mix of generic and domain-specific services. The project participants will come together for an all-day workshop on January 23rd, and after that will attend the NDSF Summit to determine how they and existing RDM platforms can contribute to a sustainable digital research infrastructure in Canada.

Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR)’s RDM learning module is now live. The module focuses on key themes, challenges, and considerations in RDM, and includes information, tools and resources to support effective RDM practices. The module has been developed as a compliment to the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, which articulates Canadian RDM priorities and funder expectations. Anticipated requirements from the Draft Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy have also informed the development of the module.

At the 12th RDA Plenary in Botswana, the Tri-Agencies coordinated a birds of a feather session focused on Research Data Management and Sharing in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Co-organized by the Canadian granting agencies and the Welcome Trust, the session provided a forum to discuss issues concerning the implementation of funders’ policies on open research and data management. Specifically, the session focused on the opportunities and challenges for funders in promoting research data sharing when funding research in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings. While many of the technical, cultural, legal and ethical barriers that exist to data sharing in high-income settings exist equally in LMICs, additional considerations and concerns may arise when supporting research in these settings. Examples of these additional considerations (i.e. equity, benefit-sharing, capacity building, governance and trust, etc.) were discussed. The session provided an opportunity for international and Africa-based research funders to share their experiences and perspectives on these issues and how they could be addressed.

ORCID has completed their survey seeking responses to the Draft Recommendations of ORCID in Repositories. A summary of the feedback from Canadian constituents has been posted online. The Taskforce is now reviewing these responses to improve the Draft.

International News

Conferences and Special Events

The International Data Week conference (a coming together of the RDA Plenary, SciDataCon, and World Data System conference) was held in Gaborone Botswana, October 29 – November 2. You can access links to session descriptions and working notes for the RDA Plenary sessions on the IDW website, and additional material will be made accessible in the future. RDC’s Executive Director attended a number of sessions, but one that resonated as especially relevant to Canada’s current efforts was the SciDataCon session Delivering a Global Open Science Commons. The session resulted in the creation of a task group to plan a meeting of the global open science community in 2019, in which the RDC Executive Director will participate. Mark Leggott also chaired a meeting to present the draft RDA Regional Engagement Draft Framework, which will outline the details for the creation of regional groups within the RDA community, that looks to provide a more sustainable business model for this important international initiative.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is holding an hour-long webinar on WikiCite and WikiData as part of their Research Data Management Webinar Series on December 7th. Registration can be found on their website here. Questions can be sent to Ann Glusker: Those interested may also want to check out past webinars in the series, which have been posted online.

The Pacific Northwest Data Curators Meetup will be held on Friday, November 30th at SFU Harbour Centre in Vancouver, BC. There will be talks on Dataverse North, the Open Science Foundation, the Federated Research Data Repository, and more. A full schedule can be found on their website.

The 7th annual North American Data Documentation Initiative (NADDI) Conference will be hosted by Statistics Canada in Ottawa, and the Call for Proposals has been released.. The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioural, economic, and health sciences. The conference theme is “Benefits of Describing Statistical Production and Variables,” which emphasizes the benefits of using metadata to drive efficiencies in a research data lifecycle, as well as promotes subsequent re-use of end data products, especially those generated by federal and national statistical agencies. The keynote speaker will be Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada.

New Products, Services and Publications

SPARC Europe and the Digital Curation Centre have created an evaluation tool for institutions who have implemented RDM policies.

Recent RDM-Focused Resources 

1. Wikidata and BHL [Biodiversity Heritage Library], by Katie Mika.
2. Do authors comply when funders enforce open access to research? by Vincent Larivière & Cassidy R. Sugimoto.
3. The State of Digital Preservation in 2018: A Snapshot of Challenges and Gaps, by Oya Y. Rieger.
4. The History, Advocacy and Efficacy of Data Management Plans, by Nicholas Smale, Kathryn J Unsworth, Gareth Denyer, Daniel P Barr.
5. Building an open database of information on all clinical trials, Open Knowledge International.
6. Innovation in Evidence: Evidence that works: Building the Canadian evidence infrastructure for social policy, by Anne White.
7. Does Adopting a Strict Data Sharing Policy Affect Submissions? by Tim Vines.
8. Identifiers for Digital Objects: the Case of Software Source Code Preservation, by Roberto Di Cosmo, Morane Gruenpeter, Stefano Zacchiroli.
9. Data Access Archipelago: mapping the myriad ways we share data, by Jared Robert Keller.
10. How a typo in a catalog number led to the correction of a scientific paper — and what we can learn from that, by Anita Bandrowski.

Research Data Canada is supported by CANARIE, an organization dedicated to advancing Canada’s knowledge and innovation infrastructure.