The Value of the Research Data Alliance to Infrastructure Providers

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21 October 2019 21155 reads

Engaging with the Research Data Alliance
The Value of the Research Data Alliance to Infrastructure Providers


In the current, Open Science context, research infrastructures are increasingly requested to establish data policies and to manage and share their data, with FAIR data and data management plans as core elements among many others. The Research Data Alliance offers a forum for discussion, identification and development of these policies as well as solutions.

Research infrastructure providers need to meet the needs of researchers. Because research disciplines are global, providers of infrastructure for researchers need to ensure that they are providing services that are compatible with those used by the international collaborators of their users.

In the area of research data management and services, the pre-eminent organisation for ensuring globally developed services is RDA.




The Research Data Alliance’s vision is Researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a community-driven organization whose mission is to develop the social and technical data infrastructure needed to drive innovation surrounding data sharing and data interoperability.  Established in 2013, RDA supports more than 9,615 international members representing 137 countries (January 2020), has generated 32 concrete outputs (eight of which are recognized as European ICT technical specifications) with over 75 documented adoption cases (January 2020).
The Research Data Alliance enables data to be shared across barriers through outputs developed by focused Working Groups and Interest Groups, formed of volunteer experts from around the world and drawn from academia, private sector and government. Participation in RDA is open to anyone who agrees to its guiding principles of openness, consensus, balance, harmonisation, with a community-driven and non-profit approach.
RDA has a grass-roots, inclusive approach covering all data lifecycle stages, engaging data producers, users and stewards, addressing data exchange, processing, and storage. It has succeeded in creating the neutral social platform where international research data experts meet to exchange views and to agree on topics including social hurdles on data sharing, education and training challenges, data management plans and certification of data repositories, disciplinary and interdisciplinary interoperability, as well as technological aspects




  • Become part of a large and international data community such as that offered by RDA, where experts meet from a range of domains and countries. Provide an organisational perspective of RDA, influence its direction, and assist in the implementation and adoption of RDA’s Recommendations.
  • As a research infrastructure director, leader, manager, encourage your staff to become RDA community members. Individual membership[1]of the Research Data Alliance is free of charge.


  • Nominate research infrastructure staff to be involved in the Working and Interest Groups of relevance to research infrastructure providers - see here for a full list.
  • Propose a new group to discuss and resolve a research data challenge that your research infrastructure (or groups of related research infrastructures) are facing - see here.


  • Send representatives from your research infrastructure to engage with the RDA Community at the RDA biannual Plenary meetings - see here.

Adopt RDA outputs:

Adoption of RDA Recommendations and Outputs can also help to support the strategic aims of research infrastructure providers in relation to research data management, data curation and preservation.



CoreTrustSeal offers to any interested data repository a core level certification based on the DSA–WDS Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements catalogue and procedures. This universal catalogue of requirements reflects the core characteristics of trustworthy data repositories, and is the culmination of a cooperative effort between the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) and the World Data System of the International Science Council (WDS) under the umbrella of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) to harmonize their data repository certifications. 

The Repository Audit and Certification Catalogues, a two-part recommendation produced by the RDA Repository Audit and Certification DSA–WDS Partnership WG created a common procedures and requirements for certification of repositories at the core level, drawing from the procedures and catalogues of criteria already put in place by the DSA and WDS. On the basis of this effort, the DSA and the WDS Certification of Regular Members merged into the CoreTrustSeal, thereby gradually replacing these predecessor certification standards.

The mission of Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) in the Netherlands is to promote and provide permanent access to digital research information. DANS is and has always been heavily involved in creating and achieving certification for the trustworthiness of digital repositories. Over the years DANS went through the process of acquiring certification with two goals: first, to show their stakeholders the trustworthiness of their repository, and second, to improve their internal processes and update their documentation. Preparing for certification was a perfect opportunity to raise the bar and reinforce collaboration between their archive, IT, policy and legal departments.

“DANS has used the CoreTrustSeal to sustain and display its reputation as trustworthy data repository in a transparent way, which induces stakeholder confidence and differentiates us from others. At the same time, it helps us raise awareness on digital preservation and the importance of long-term availability of data for reuse. Next to that, the procedure of getting certified improves (internal) communication on our overall mission and goals, but also has a positive effect on our processes and procedures making them even more effective and efficient.” --- Dr. Ingrid Dillo, Deputy Director, DANS, The Netherlands

Click here for more information on this adoption story.


For the full RDA Value statement for Infrastructure Providers click here

For the RDA Value for Infrastructure Providers Powerpoint click here