RDA – Research Data Alliance

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a community-driven global organisation with members from over 140 countries, whose goal is to develop an infrastructure and activities that enable researchers and innovators to openly share and re-use data. As the coordinator of the Swedish node of RDA, SND has a mission to lead the RDA work in Sweden.

RDA Sweden logotype

What is RDA?

RDA was launched in 2013 and is driven by its more than 10,000 members. A large part of their operations is carried out on the RDA platform, where researchers and other research data experts meet to exchange and develop ideas, technology, and tools for data sharing, data management, certification of data repositories, and education and training. The RDA vision is that researchers and innovators can openly share data across countries, disciplines, and technologies. Openness and harmonisation are two of the guiding principles of the organisation. The RDA meetings and process are open, and the materials they produce are openly accessible. There is a focus on the work to achieve harmonisation across data standards, policies, technologies, and infrastructure.

Most of the practical work in RDA happens in the Interest and Working Groups. The Interest Groups take a long-term approach and focus on discussing broader issues in data sharing and in identifying what kind of infrastructure needs to be built. In order to address specific problems, the Interest Groups can form short-term Working Groups. In the Working Groups, experts from different fields come together to develop and implement tools, policy, practices and products. The outputs and recommendations from these groups are made openly available on the RDA Recommendations and Outputs site.

The role of SND in RDA

SND coordinates the Swedish node of RDA Europe, RDA in Sweden. The purpose of the national RDA work is to promote best practices in research data management, and to strive to increase awareness for RDA and research data-related questions in Sweden. The work will also contribute to common solutions to data management and increased adherence to the FAIR data principles, or FAIRness, in the national research data landscape, as well as across disciplines.

SND staff, researchers, and research data experts in the SND network contribute to the development work in RDA as individual members. Several of them are involved in various Interest and Working Groups.   

Benefits to the research community

RDA provides researchers and other research data professionals with opportunities to engage in a global community and to take an active part in developing infrastructure, education and training, technology, and tools to facilitate research data management and dissemination in a variety of scientific disciplines and in other research data contexts. This ensures that the output and recommendations from the organisation are adapted to the specific needs and conditions of the research community, as well as of other stakeholders.


Further reading