Thursday, September 19, 2013

RDA 2nd Plenary Meeting: Day 1

The first day of the 2nd Plenary Meeting of RDA is over. It was dedicated to interesting key-note speeches, presentations on the status and progress made during the previous months, affiliation/liaisons with other organizations / initiatives. More specifically, the meeting started with a nice buffet breakfast, which also provided the opportunity to the participants to get to know each other and start matching faces to names. I was surprised to see and get to talk to Phil Archer from W3C, as I have been using the W3C documentation on Linked Data as a prototype for the work done towards the publication of the agINFRA data as Linked Data. We had a really nice discussion about the fact that publishing data as Linked Data is not as easy as it should be; we both expect that things will change for the better in the next period.

The National Academy of Sciences

The meeting was hosted at the National Academy of Sciences and started with Plenary I, which consisted of keynote speeches from various people activated in the context of the Research Data Alliance. After the first coffee break, Herman Stehouwer chaired a session (Plenary II) dedicated to the progress of RDA during the last months, such as the progress of the various Working and Interest Groups of RDA. The networking lunch provided another opportunity for chatting and networking, as well as tasting the tasty dishes.

Plenary III included discussions related to affiliation between RDA and various related organizations and initiatives. It started by an interesting discussion led by a panel which included, among others, a really important Greek person; Kostas Glinos, the Head of the e-Infrastructure division of the European Commission. During the coffee break we had a short discussion, only to realize that we both come from the same Greek island (Naxos)! What a coincidence, especially if one takes into consideration that the introduction was made by Natalia Manola from the OpenAIRE project who also comes from Naxos! We are not talking about the Greek lobby, but a more specific one ;-)

The discussion was followed by discussion of representatives from affiliated organizations and initiatives, such as W3C, CODATA, DataCite and ESIP. The first part of the meeting ended with Plenary IV, which included the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) in a discussion about WGs and IGs, as well as a nice presentation of the candidates who are interested to become members of TAB.

Nice animation automatically created by Google, by merging a number of my photos

After a short 1 1/2 hour break, we moved to Washington Marriott for the poster session. There we were provided with space for putting up our posters and brochures and had the opportunity to check what each one of the RDA meeting participants was actually involved in. The agINFRA team was represented by +Johannes Keizer (FAO), Devika Madalli (ISI) and me. The poster session was collocated with a well-thought reception. The drinks and light atmosphere allowed the participants to enjoy themselves and get engaged to discussions not limited to the RDA meeting. The reception was sponsored by Microsoft and in fact there was a short speech by Tony Hey, Vice President of Microsoft Research Connections. I was really hoping that there will be a pack of Microsoft Surface Tablets in the room as well, to be distributed to the participants (at least the ones who use Windows Phones!) but of course this did not happen... :-S

That was the end of the day - and there were still things to be done for the next day! I have uploaded some photos from the 1st day of the meeting here. You can also check out the heavy tweeting that took place during the Plenary using the hashtag #rdaplenary and of course by following RDA at Twitter: @resdatall

The full program of the RDA 2nd Plenary Meeting is available here.