Insights of the Agricultural Data Interest Group (IGAD) Pre-Meeting and the RDA 6th Plenary Meeting

The IGAD pre-Meeting took place on the 21st and 22nd of September 2015 and focussed on a wide range of topics within the agricultural research data management area as a preparation for the sixth RDA plenary meeting (RDA6). 45 people from 20 countries (representing Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania) attended the event. Participants came from research institutions, universities, private companies, the European Commission, international organizations and international projects. 

Discussed topics of the meeting were:

1.   Adoption of good data management in institutions 
2.   Different aspects of agricultural soils research data management in different regions 
3.   Data access and data availability
4.   Interoperability
5.   Semantics for interoperability 

After having exchanged the state-of-the-art of projects and initiatives within 18 presentations on the first day, four working groups discussed on how to progress in the specific areas on the second day:

Group 1: Institutional issues: how to get policies on openness and good data management adopted and implemented?
Group 2: Increase data access and availability (formats, users)
Group 3: Interoperability (policies, tools, taxonomies, standards)
Group 4: Soil Data Discussion Group

In general, the participants agreed that awareness raising is crucial for the promotion of good data management. This can be done for different objectives:

  • To promote open data repositories within researchers and private actors networks
  • To implement good data management policies within institutions to support openness and standards that should be applied to data repositories.
  • To promote the existence of tools and already existing standards that just have to be used in order to facilitate good data management.

With successful use cases implemented by champions it may be easier to also motivate others to revise their data management systems.
Furthermore the activation of synergies between existing communities and initiatives can help to advocate for good data management. In this regard, the GODAN initiative could significantly support the community.