Adopting Outputs from the Research Data Alliance

Stefanie Kethers1, Malcolm Wolski2, Jingbo Wang3, Andrew Treloar4, Jeff Christiansen5

1ANDS, Caulfield East, VIC, 3145,

2Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4111,

3National Computational Infrastructure, Canberra, ACT 2601,

4ANDS, Caulfield East, VIC, 3145,

5EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource – (QCIF node), St Lucia, QLD, 4072,


The Research Data Alliance (RDA,, founded in 2013 by the Australian Government’s [then] Department of Innovation, the European Commission, and the US National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, aims to build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. The RDA vision is researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society. Participation in RDA is open to anyone who agrees to its guiding principles of openness, consensus, balance, harmonisation, with a community driven and non-profit approach. RDA has a broad, committed membership of individuals from academia, industry and government – over 5,700 members from 128 countries (June 2017).

RDA provides a neutral space where its members come together through focused global Working and Interest Groups to develop and adopt infrastructure that promotes data-sharing and data-driven research, and accelerate the growth of a cohesive data community that integrates contributors across domain, research, national, geographical and generational boundaries.

RDA Outputs (see for a list of current outputs) are the technical and social infrastructure solutions developed by RDA Working or Interest Groups that enable data sharing, exchange, and interoperability. These outputs have an important impact in two areas: solving problems, and incorporation and/or adoption in infrastructure environments by individuals, projects and organisations. RDA encourages organisations to adopt RDA Recommendations and thus collaborate with RDA in fostering a global change of data practices related to managing, re-using and combining data in science, industry and society.

This 60-minute BoF will provide an overview of current RDA Outputs and where they are being adopted worldwide. It will also give the audience the opportunity to hear from some Australian adopters of RDA Outputs, and to discuss their needs in terms of how to be kept informed about outputs, and what support they would need if adopting RDA Outputs.

The proposed outline for this session is:

  • Introduction and brief overview of current RDA Outputs and their adopters (Stefanie Kethers / Andrew Treloar, 10 mins)
  • An organizational perspective on RDA outputs adoption (Malcolm Wolski, 10 mins)
  • An infrastructure provider’s perspective on RDA outputs adoption (Jingbo Wang, 10 mins)
  • A researcher’s perspective on the value and uptake of the Biosharing registry (Jeff Christiansen, 10 mins)
  • Discussion (20 mins) about the audience’s needs with regard to barriers to
    • Finding out about RDA Outputs
    • Adopting RDA Outputs


Dr Stefanie Kethers is a Senior Business Analyst with the Australian National Data Service and the Director of Operations, Research Data Alliance. Stefanie’s background is in computer science, and she has a strong interest in supporting researchers within and across disciplines by bringing data and people together.

Stefanie received her Dr. (PhD) from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, in 2000 with a thesis on modelling and analyzing cooperative processes. She worked as a researcher at CSIRO and Monash University, continuing her work on cooperative processes, before joining ANDS in 2009.

Malcolm Wolski is the Director, eResearch Services at Griffith University. Malcolm is a part of the senior leadership team providing library, information and IT services at Griffith University.  In his role, he is responsible for the development, management and delivery of eResearch services to the University’s research community, which includes the associated information management systems, applications, infrastructure, high performance computing, data management as well as a small media production service. These services are delivered through an integrated service delivery team by working closely his colleagues in the library and enterprise IT. More recent projects and other activities have involved working closely with national and international organisations, including groups such as NeCTAR, ANDS and he is a member of the Organisational Assembly Board of the Research Data Alliance.

Malcolm has a background in IT, library, strategic planning and operations research.

Jingbo Wang is the Data Collections Manager at the National Computational Infrastructure where she is leading the migration of data collections onto the RDS (Research Data Service) funded filesystems. Jingbo’s focus is on building the infrastructure to support data registry, data quality control and assurance, data publishing, data citation, and end-to-end data management workflow. She is also interested in how to provide the best data services to the research community through provenance, graph database, etc., technology. As a scientist, she is working on how to advance the science through interdisciplinary research that combines the HPC/HPD platform with the massive national collections at NCI.

Jeff Christiansen has multiple roles as the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource Key Area Coordinator, as well as Health & Life Sciences Program Manager at both QCIF (the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation) and the University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre (RCC).  He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Queensland, and started his career conducting research in the fields of cancer, molecular genetics and embryo development in both Australia and the UK, prior to moving into the management of large biological data assets (sequence, images, etc.) through the establishment of EMAGE, a UK-based international database of gene expression and anatomy.  Previously, Jeff has also been based at Intersect Australia in Sydney where he was the National Manager of the RDS-funded project and also responsible for a number of biology-focused data and IT-related projects across NSW (biobanking, omics, etc.), as well as in Melbourne at the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), where he was involved in commissioning and monitoring a number of biology/medicine-focused national data management projects.

Dr Andrew Treloar is the Director of Technology for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) (, with particular responsibility for international engagement. In 2008 he led the project to establish ANDS. Prior to that he was associated with a number of e-research projects as Director or Technical Architect), as well as the development of an Information Management Strategy for Monash University. His research interests include data management, institutional repositories and scholarly communication. He never seems to be able to make enough time for practising his ‘cello, or reading, but does try to prioritise talking to his chickens and working in his vegetable garden and orchard. Further details at or follow him on Twitter as @atreloar. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts with first-class honours, majoring in Germanic Languages and Linguistics, a Graduate Diploma in computer science, a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Ph. D. with the thesis topic Hypermedia Online Publishing – The Transformation of the Scholarly Journal.

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