Research Data Alliance (RDA)

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global forum to enable open sharing of scientific data across disciplines, technologies and countries. The Alliance operates through a number of Working and Interest groups, formed by experts from academia, industry and governments across the globe. The topics are data technology-related across all sciences, like data citation and data archiving as well as discipline specific such as wheat data interoperability or metabolomics.

The ELIXIR RDA Activities Focus Group is a directed initiative supported by the ELIXIR Hub to harmonise collaboration around RDA life science activities. ELIXIR members who are involved in RDA Working or Interest groups come together monthly to leverage the bidirectional opportunities and synergies of the two organisations.

ELIXIR has established the Life Science Data Infrastructures Interest Group to connect ELIXIR with relevant RDA Interest and Working Groups, e.g. those on agricultural data, big data analysis, federated identity management, marine data, structural biology, toxicogenomics, and data publishing. This interest group is reflected inside ELIXIR in the RDA-Contact working group. 

A few examples of RDA-related tasks of importance for life sciences are:

  • Interoperability of different kinds of large-scale (“omics”) data
  • Sustainability of life science data identifiers
  • Mechanisms for secure access to sensitive data, including authorisation and authentication issues
  • Strategies for data storage allowing for computationally intensive analyses  

The Life Science Data Infrastructures Interest Group in RDA also works closely with the FAIRsharing Registry Working Group. The two groups regularly organise joint sessions to discuss and present the recent developments in life science data services.