23 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 The Radical Collaboration of RDA and What It Means for Developing Institutional Data Management Services Amy Nurnberger, Program Head, Data Management Services, MIT Libraries, and Co-Chair, Research Data Alliance Organisational Advisory Board The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is an organization dedicated to reducing barriers to data sharing and exchange.1 While there are many technical barriers that must still be surmounted, it is a core principle of RDA that technical impediments are not the only ones. Often the more challenging barriers are the less visible social roadblocks and those blockades constructed at the intersections of the technical and the social. In my experience in developing and working in institutional data management services, these services are also dedicated to easing the way to data sharing and are likewise subject to a similar set of barriers. The connections between how RDA works, how data management services develop in institutions, and how radical collaboration happens may map out a route to more successful service development practices. In my personal experience as a member of RDA and co-chair of multiple subgroups, the primary, yet less-noted, obstacles that RDA removes are those between the diverse people who work with or care about research data in some fashion. Whether you are an information technologist, archivist, researcher, scientist, librarian, professor, program or project manager, chief corporate officer, managing director, policy developer or manager, funder, other data professional, otherwise impacted by data, or some magical unicorn-like combination thereof, you will find like minds at RDA in RDA brings people together across experiences, roles, and disciplines in the common cause of sharing research data in a responsible manner that supports the scholarly record of research.
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