CLOSER’s Metadata Officer, Becky Oldroyd, introduces CODATA’s Research Data Management (RDM) Terminology – a resource of over 300 clearly defined research terms designed to unite the RDM community – and highlights how you can participate in the public review process.
What is Research Data Management?
Research data management (RDM) is an integral part of the research process. It involves organising, maintaining, and archiving data created throughout the data lifecycle, from planning a research project to reusing the data. RDM is used across all research disciplines, as well as computer science, open data advocacy, and digital archiving. Due to the wide variety of RDM stakeholders, it is crucial to develop a common understanding of RDM terminologies to ensure consistency across disciplines.
To establish transdisciplinary consistency, a RDM terminology has been created by the Consortia Advancing Standards in Research Administration Information (CASRAI). The terminology is now managed by the Committee on Data of the International Science Council (CODATA), who aim to enhance the availability and usability of research data. Creating a standardised set of RDM terms eliminates ambiguity which is essential in a rapidly evolving field.
The terminology currently includes over 300 RDM terms (e.g., Archives, Database, Interoperability, Metadata), each with clear, unambiguous definitions that are applicable across disciplines. In cases where terms have more than one definition, context-specific definitions are provided. The RDM terminology is a living document, so the terms are reviewed annually by the Research Data Management Terminology (RDMT) Working Group.
The RDMT Working Group
The RDMT Working Group comprises several experts from a variety of backgrounds, including data analysts, data managers, librarians, and researchers. New members are recruited for each annual review cycle to ensure that the terminology is reviewed by as diverse a group as possible. At the beginning of the review process, Working Group members provide feedback on the terms, deciding whether they should be accepted, edited, or removed, as well as suggesting new terms for inclusion. Following this, the group collectively agrees on the suggested edits, removals, and additions. The 2021-22 Working Group completed their review of the terminology in February 2022, and now CODATA’s RDM terminology has entered the final stage of the process: the public review.
Get Involved – Have Your Say!
CODATA are now calling for public feedback on the latest version of the RDM terminology, which is openly available on Google Docs.
There are no restrictions on who can participate, and contributors can provide feedback on as many or as few of the RDM terms as they would like. More general feedback on the terminology is also welcomed and can be sent via email to the RDMT Working Group convenor, Laura Molloy (email@example.com). The glossary will remain open for contributions to the review process until the end of the day on Friday 30th September 2022.
If you are interested in reviewing the 2021-22 RDM terminology – a resource which aims to unite the RDM community – please take a look at the terminology on Google Docs. If you have any questions or would like more information about the public review process, please contact CODATA’s RDMT Working Group convenor Laura Molloy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Becky Oldroyd is a Metadata Officer for CLOSER. Follow Becky on Twitter: @Becky_Oldroyd
Oldroyd, B. (2022). ‘Have Your Say on CODATA’s Research Data Management Terminology’. CLOSER. 23 August 2022. Available at: https://www.closer.ac.uk/news-opinion/blog/codata-rdm-glossary/