Research Data Alliance: toward better data discovery

Research data has been the main focus of data intensive scientific discovery for more than a decade; however, these days it has a wider audience both in scholarly community and public sector. Research data is transforming to be a first class outcome of research, and a key enabler for research collaboration.


RDA Logo


The third plenary of Research Data Alliance (RDA) in Dublin (March 2014) was a good demonstration of raising the international interest in research data. More than four hundred researchers and policy makers got together to talk about the future of research data and data infrastructure.


Researchers are interested to…

  • discover datasets related to their research,

  • enable other researchers to discover their datasets and develop new collaborations,

  • identify high impact datasets (highly cited or the result of major research funding), and

  • find where their data has been reused in scholarly work.


While funding agencies and university administrators are keen to

  • discover the impact of their investment in research and research data, and

  • identify the opportunities for research collaboration where their investment in research data can lead to new collaborative research and innovation.


Given the strong interest in discovery of research data among RDA members, interoperability was a key topic of discussion in many RDA groups, and DataCite and ORCID played an important role in these discussions. While DateCite is providing unique identifiers for datasets, ORCID enables the researchers to link these identifiers to their author identifiers, creating an open and transparent connection between researchers and their research outcome.


The interoperability between ORCID and DataCite is essential to build a fabric of collaboration among research capabilities, and ODIN is the manifestation of this collaboration. It is apparent that ODIN outcome can be adopted with many RDA communities; hence it is important for ODIN members to continue communication of ODIN achievements with the RDA groups, and share the lessons learnt from this project.