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Me and my DMO (Data Management Office) colleagues actively participated in the webinars during the RDA Plenary and were able to build up our knowledge on a plethora of topics. Just ask us anything and we’ll have the answer! 😉 Here is an extract of the topics of the sessions attended:

  • FAIR software
  • DMPs
  • PIDs – Initiatives & Strategies
  • Rewards and credit
  • Open Science & FAIR Graphs
  • Interoperability
  • Metadata management
  • Professionalising data stewardship
  • Provenance practices
  • Data management training
  • Big data
  • Data citation
  • Data reuse
  • Linked data
  • Vocabularies

I will focus on some thoughts that were provoked from the PID (Persistent Identifiers) sessions that I attended, which provided a very broad view of the current PID landscape, both in terms of PID infrastructures provided, but also a geographical overview of PID practices in place. This made me truly realize that the needs, challenges and solutions in the world of PIDs hardly differs between one part of the world and another. All seem to work towards the same goal, i.e. a coherent PID infrastructure. 

Perceptions of the shared challenges ahead relates to sustainability and trustworthiness issues of the PID providers – ensuring that the crucial PID providers have a stable foundation to build upon, as they are the players in the field who are supposed to ensure persistency in science in the first place. It also became clear that we need to put a lot of effort on promoting the adoption of PIDs, as this simply is not yet a common practice in all scientific disciplines.

To address this issue, many countries have realized that this needs to be addressed on a national level. One way of advancing this is through national strategies, where the research impact and integrity are clearly emphasized as being related to good data management practices ensuring data accessibility through the use of PIDs.

Other generalizable shortcomings of the PID infrastructures are that they are quite scattered and should ideally bring coherence to coordination efforts, especially related to communication and advocacy in order to become more inclusive. This all ties together with interoperability – how can we make the PID providers to become a united front? And how can we make the ones providing persistency in science become persistent themselves?

Josefine Nordling
The writer is specialized in open science and FAIR data support in a international research environment.