September 2020 Newsletter

blog arrowPosted on: Sep 24, 2020

Welcome to the June 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 previous issues here, and subscribe to receive occasional updates and news.

RDC Committees and Working Groups

NDSF Summit 2020 and 2021

The outputs from the 2020 National Data Services Framework (NDSF) Summit, held in Kanata, Ontario, February 5-6, 2020, were recently published after a month-long period of public review and incorporation of a variety of valuable feedback from RDC Committee members and stakeholders.

Planning will soon commence for NDSF Summit 2021, which is expected to serve as a working meeting that addresses the major challenges and issues raised at the 2020 Summit.


The RDC Roadmap 2020-2022 has been updated to better reflect recent progress, current activities, and overarching goals as RDC works toward embedding the National Data Service Framework, building international linkages and partnerships, and strengthening the RDM ecosystem during the transition into the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO).

Steering Committee

The RDC Steering Committee met in July to discuss the transition of RDC to NDRIO. Committee members expressed the importance of a principles-based approach to the transition with emphasis on agility and responsiveness and commented on the successes and achievements of RDC since its inception. Feedback from this meeting was summarized and presented to CANARIE to aid in their transition planning.


The NDRIO Board of Directors recently announced the appointment of Nizar Ladak as the organization’s first permanent Chief Executive Officer. Ladak will be joining NDRIO from his current role as President and CEO of Compute Ontario, and has already expressed his keen interest in furthering research data management and research software goals in the Canadian ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the NDRIO Data Management team have been working steadily on a position paper that will provide a comprehensive overview of the current Canadian landscape and will be available to the community shortly.


The World Data System-International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) has received funding from NDRIO to develop technical components that will improve the discovery of metadata in the research ecosystem and maximize the impact of individual researchers’ efforts.

  1. Harvestable Metadata Services: This effort will review the latest technology and provide data repositories with software services to help increase the availability of their assets by allowing large aggregators to harvest or copy their metadata. This will enhance the ability for people to find data from a range or data repositories without having to go to a host of individual sites.
  2. Search Engine Optimization: This effort will allow data managers to optimize their data collections to be more easily recognized by large aggregators like Google Data, making their collections more available not only to other scientists but to the general public, journalists, and data scientists who aren’t research data management specialists, but may have skills in things like data visualization.

RDC Communications and Special Events


Upcoming Webinars

  • National Data Services Framework (NDSF) Summit 2020 Outcomes
    October 8, 2020, 13:00-14:00 ET
  • TRUST Principles in the Canadian Context
    November 17, 2020, 13:00-15:30 ET
    • Co-presented by RDC and the Portage Network, this webinar will serve as a follow-up to the TRUST Principles Mini Symposium and examine the Principles in the Canadian context from a variety of stakeholder perspectives.
  • RDC Webinar Series on Data Ownership
    October to December 2020 (exact dates TBC)
    • The outline of the series is as follows (speakers and dates to be confirmed):
    • Part 1: Data Ownership Writ Large | October 2020
      • An introduction to issues around data ownership and intellectual property in the research context.
    • Part 2: Indigenous Research Data | October 2020
      • A discussion panel with representation from a variety of Canadian Indigenous perspectives – First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
  • Part 3: Research Data in the Higher Education Context | November 2020
    • A dive into research data ownership in the context of academic post-secondary institutions, with representation from both university and college perspectives.
  • Part 4: Standards and Protocols | November 2020
    • Research data ownership in the context of standards and protocols, such as the Data Use Ontology (DUO), W3C PROV, and others.
  • Part 5: Data Ownership in an Open Science and Open Data Context | December 2020
    • Addressing research data ownership in the context of Open Science and Open Data.

If you’d like to suggest a topic for an upcoming webinar, please contact RDC’s Executive Director, Mark Leggott.

View the list of upcoming webinars here.

Past Webinars

  • RDA COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations on Data Sharing, Part 2: Navigational Tools and Other Outputs
    September 16, 2020 (video recording | slides)
    • A follow-up to last month’s introduction to the RDA COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations, presenters Rob Hooft and Mark Leggott will delve further into the upcoming series of guides and navigational tools that are in development to further facilitate access to the full set of detailed guidelines, including the infographic designed by CANARIE.
  • Research Data Alliance (RDA) COVID-19 Guidelines and Recommendations on Data Sharing
    August 12, 2020 (video recording | slides)
  • TRUST Principles Mini Symposium
    July 7, 2020 (video recording | slides: Part 1; Part 2)

View the list of past webinars here.


News from RDC Stakeholders

The Portage Network

The Portage Network and Scholars Portal announced that several Scholars Portal Dataverse institutions are now searchable in the Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) Discovery Service. Scholars Portal Dataverse allows researchers to store, share, publish, and discover research data through partnerships with 55 academic institutions across Canada. FRDR currently includes over 60 Canadian research data repositories in its discovery service. Those interested can also check out ‘Get Started with FRDR’, a series of short instructional videos designed to help new users learn the basics of the platform.

The FRDR team is also conducting usability testing of the platform and seeking graduate students or faculty from a range of disciplines and regions across Canada who are willing to try out FRDR and give feedback while using it. Eligible participants must be new to FRDR, collect research data that could potentially be published in a repository, and be a graduate student or faculty member. If you are willing to participate, or know someone who is, contact David Pinelle at the University of Saskatchewan.


The Canadian Tri-Agency Councils, encompassing Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), have postponed launching the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy until further notice due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (read the full announcement here). Once launched, the agencies will continue to collaborate with the research community to phase in the policy requirements.


SHHRC recently announced the renewal of the Research Data Management Capacity Building Initiative which aims to continue helping the Canadian social sciences and humanities research community better understand data management, and incorporate data management considerations into best practices through funding future Connection Grants proposals.

International News

Research Data Alliance (RDA)

In late March 2020, Research Data Alliance (RDA) was requested by the European Commission to create global guidelines and recommendations for data sharing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the formation of the RDA COVID-19 Working Group (CWG). By April, over 600 data professionals and domain experts were working collaboratively on this monumental task, and by June 30, RDA published the final version of the RDA COVID-19 Recommendations and Guidelines on Data Sharing (for more information, see The Value of RDA for COVID-19).


RDC Executive Director Mark Leggott was appointed as the new chair of the International Data Policy Committee (IDPC). The IDPC works with CODATA members and provides expert input on the development and implementation of data policies to a range of international initiatives. This appointment presents an opportunity to enact some of the objectives and aims of the Data Together declaration and ensure a rich and increasingly coordinated collaboration between CODATA, GO FAIR, RDA, and WDS.


The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) have released their report on building digital workforce capacity and skills for data-intensive science which looks at the human resource requirements, focusing primarily on research conducted in the public sector, and the related challenges and training needs.

Conferences and Special Events

  • In the absence of a 2020 iPRES Conference on international digital preservation, organizers present WeMissiPres, a light online symposium taking place September 22-24, 2020. The intended 2020 event in Beijing has been moved to 2021, followed by 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • The BCNET Cybersecurity & Research Innovation Summit will take place virtually September 23rd-24th, 2020, providing higher ed researchers, cybersecurity and IT professionals the opportunity to explore timely topics while connecting with like-minded peers.
  • The eResearch Australasia Online Conference 2020 will take place virtually October 19-23, 2020, providing the opportunity for expansion of accessibility and global attendance.
  • The RDA 16th Plenary Meeting will take place November 9-12, 2020, with this year’s theme centering around Knowledge Ecology. A full programme will be available later this month on September 26th. The Call for Posters for VP16 is also still open, closing on October 11th at 23:59 UTC.
  • The RDA 17th Plenary Meeting has also been announced, and will take place April 20-22, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The event will be hosted by the Digital Curation Centre, in collaboration with Jisc and STFC-UKRI, with more details to follow in the coming months.
  • Finally, International Data Week 2021 will take place November 8-11, 2021 in Seoul, South Korea.

New Products, Services and Publications

  • The Open Science Framework (OSF) has introduced the Open Scholarship Knowledge Base (OSKB), a free repository of open practice education and training resources. In partnership with open science advocates from the global research community, OSKB addresses the need for high-quality up-to-date instruction to aid in the adoption of open and reproducible practice, while also allowing integration into virtual learning environments.
  • Following an event co-hosted with the Standards Council of Canada on July 2, 2020, Open North has released their “Consultation Brief: What we heard during our Open COVID-19 Data consultation,” summarizing participant feedback and identifying data needs and challenges faced by Canadian COVID-19 data users.
  • The new Finnish Research Information Hub was launched on June 9, 2020. The hub collects and connects information about Finnish research from various sources and represents an interesting and comprehensive approach to highlighting research outputs in a national context, partially aided by the use of ORCID persistent identifiers (read more here).

Recent RDM Focused Resources