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International Data Week Retrospective

Having taken some time to reflect on and recuperate from International Data Week 2023 (IDW2023), we’re excited to embark on new projects, start new collaborations, and dive into deliverables addressing the needs of the World Data System (WDS) members and the wider research community.

The tone for IDW2023 was set for us during the WDS Members Forum, which took place the day before the official start of the Festival of Data. The forum showcased incredible lightning talks from WDS members and illustrated some key areas of success and concern among repositories. Some areas of high priority for the WDS identified by our membership included:

  • Sustainability of operations, especially financial sustainability
  • Data access and availability
  • Quality assessments of data and services
  • Community engagement, specifically with early career researchers and those from minority groups
  • Education, training, and advocacy of data management and stewardship
  • Changes to research assessment 

While the WDS can’t tackle everything all at once, we were pleased to introduce a new project to identify and consolidate salient value propositions for repositories. Especially regarding sustainability of repositories, we anticipate that having globally vetted and curated value propositions to pull from during proposal and grant writing will assist in repositories securing more and longer term support.

As IDW2023 started and progressed, we heard and participated in discussions that often came back to these same areas of concern. In particular, common themes we gathered from IDW2023 were:

  • Identifying, defining, and distinguishing between data quality, integrity, and reliability
  • Addressing hurdles and barriers to certification
  • Changing the research assessment and evaluation procedures to be more holistic and recognize data management and stewardship roles and responsibilities
  • Financial sustainability and funding for Research Data Alliance (RDA) groups, data management and stewardship activities and roles, and research infrastructure in general
  • Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and usage of AI, including preparing data and research infrastructure for AI use

With clear overlap between what the international research community and the WDS members need, we are currently identifying new projects and avenues of work for the WDS International Technology Office. 

Did you miss sessions from IDW2023? Recordings of all the sessions are available to registrants now, and will be available for everyone through the RDA Youtube channel in early December 2023. You can also find daily highlights, a photo gallery, and information about the posters at the poster session. Not sure where to start? In addition to all the plenaries, here are some great sessions to consider: