March 2019 Newsletter

blog arrowPosted on: Mar 18, 2019

Welcome to the March 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

The National Data Services Framework (NDSF) Working Group (under the RDC Infrastructure Committee) facilitated the development of the 2019 NDSF Summit, which was held in Kanata, ON January 24-25. The meeting was well attended, despite some very cold and snowy weather, and the draft outcomes were just recently made available. These draft documents will be published in their final form after additional feedback from attendees and broader stakeholder members have been incorporated.

The RDC Steering Committee met after the NDSF Summit, and the primary agenda item was the outcomes and next steps following the NDSF Summit. The key takeaway from the meeting was the creation of a Working Group to meet with Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) in February to continue the conversation and feed into the ongoing process of DRI strategy development. ISED is leading on the Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) file, including the strategy for allocation of DRI funds announced in the 2018 federal budget, which includes the priorities for the research data management ecosystem. The Steering Committee deliberations included the outcomes of two other meetings (RDM Training and RDM Workshop) held in that same week, as well as the December 2018 Colleges RDM Workshop:

RDC Communications and Special Events


The most recent RDC Webinar was Introduction to new RDM Capacity Building Initiatives, with a presentation from SSHRC on their new RDM Capacity Building funding initiative, and CIHR on their new RDM Training Module. The full audio with slides is available, as are the individual SSHRC and CIHR presentation decks.

RDC is working on the details for a new multi-part webinar series on Data Ownership. We would like to hear from you about possible ideas and speakers for this series, so please contact Mark with your suggestions. The current outline for the series:

  • Ownership of Research Data (IP) – Part 1
    • Data ownership writ large
  • Ownership of Research Data (IP) – Part 2
    • Indigenous Research Data
  • Ownership of Research Data (IP) – Part 3
    • Research Data in the University context
    • Research Data in the College context
  • Ownership of Research Data (IP) – Part 4
    • Standards and Protocols: Data Use Ontology (DUO), W3C PROV, Other
  • Ownership of Research Data (IP) – Part 5
    • Data Ownership in an Open Science/Open Data Context


The latest Blog post is on the new World Data System – International Technology Office, which was officially launched last year, and the new Executive Director is Karen Payne. Read the post for more information on the inaugural WDS-ITO entity, based at the University of Victoria.

News from RDC Stakeholders

Canadian Research Funders

The Tri-Councils, CFI and Statistics Canada are conducting a consultation on the development of a new Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC 2019), which will provide a standard terminology for the federal granting agencies, and “align Canada with international research and development classification standards”. The consultation period ends March 22nd.


  • Planning Grants Competition
    • CIHR’s Institute of Population & Public Health (IPPH) recently launched a planning grants competition in their Healthy Cities and Equitable AI priority areas. The research community highlighted that planning grants provide crucial funds for creating research teams, developing projects, and building partnerships – especially for early-career investigators. These grants can also play a pivotal role in allowing research teams to achieve further funding through other opportunities including CIHR’s Project and Foundation Schemes.
  • The Health System Impact Fellowship program
    • The Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (IHSPR) recently announced the third launch of The Health System Impact (HSI) Fellowship program. The Science Policy branch at CIHR has earmarked funding to support up to 12 awards focusing on critical challenges in the growing field of data science, data management, and/or data stewardship within the health system.
  • Equitable AI
    • There is also a new stream on Equitable AI that is supported through the CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health. More details for the AI stream can be found here in English and here in French.

CARL/Portage Network

The Portage progress report for the fourth quarter of 2018 is now available. It summarizes Portage activities and accomplishments corresponding to the goals outlined in the Portage Business Plan: 2017-2018 and provides an update on Portage operations and communications undertaken in this period. Read the progress report in English or in French.

The Gordon Foundation

The Gordon Foundation is seeking a Data Specialist Intern to support DataStream, their open access platform for sharing water data. If you have a background in STEM and enjoy working with data, this position might interest you.

International News

The Research Data Alliance’s Exposing DMP Working Group is surveying the community on sharing DMPs with the Exposing Data Management Plans Needs Assessment.

The journal Data Science invites submissions for a special issue on FAIR Data, Systems and Analysis, the goal of which is to “highlight unique contributions towards the development and assessment of FAIR data, systems, and analysis”.

Conferences and Special Events

The 13th RDA Plenary is in Philadelphia April 2-4, and is a great opportunity to attend an RDA without the additional expense of getting to other international venues. There are a number of co-located events which will also be of interest to many in the RDM ecosystem.

The North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI) is in Ottawa this year (April 25-26), so provides a great opportunity for Canadian metadata experts and other interested parties to participate in the event.

This year’s BCNet Conference is April 30-May 2 at the Sheraton YVR Hotel in Richmond, B.C. This year continues to share insights and challenges in the area of technology to advance teaching, learning and research.

ORION, Compute Ontario, and SOSCIP have gathered forces to host the Advance Ontario Conference (May 14-16, MaRS Centre, Toronto, ON), which includes a variety of sessions as well as pre-conference workshops – including the “Certified Blockchain Professional Workshop

The Canadian Research Software Conference will be held May 28-29 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal. Registration and the Call for Presentations will be launched soon.

The Open Government Partnership Global Summit is also in Ottawa, May 29-31, and offers a great way to get involved in the international conversation around open government.

Finally, CANHEIT is in Winnipeg, MB this year, from June 18-21 and has the conference slogan: Let’s Meet in the Middle.

New Products, Services and Publications

The Working Group that wrote the LCDRI document on Data Management has merged this text into a new document called Data Management in Canada: A Backgrounder. The intention is to update this document regularly, publishing a new version annually to reflect changes in the Canadian ecosystem. The current draft is available for comments now – our goal is to publish the first version by the end of mid-April, so any comments should be added by the end of March to allow the authors to produce the final version.

The Globe and Mail has been publishing a series of articles on Canada’s data deficit, starting with In the Dark: The Cost of Canada’s Data Deficit. has been keeping a page dedicated to the articles up to date. The Globe and Mail is also surveying its readers to identify gaps in governmental data.

The University of Victoria has recently released a report that surveyed RDM practices across campus.

The National Library of Medicine has created NLM-Scrubber, a free, HIPAA-compliant, clinic text de-identification tool.

Portage has recently published new training aids for research data management: Research Data Management (RDM) 101 is an online training module, and Data Curation, Dataverse and FRDR have been added to the “Good Enough” 1 pager series. All the new aids are also available in French.

Newly published is the ORCID in Repositories Taskforce Recommendations document. 15 repository experts from 12 countries have come together to provide recommendations on ORCID for repository platform developers.

RDC Committees are Expanding

RDC is interested in expanding membership on its Committees and Working Groups, which encompass the broad areas of Communications, Outreach and Education, Infrastructure, Policy, 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.

Recent RDM-Focused Resources

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