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The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is an international initiative to build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data. As a result of Australia's significant investments in research data,  Australia was invited to become a founding partner.

RDA was founded in 2013 with major funding provided by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme through the RDA Europe project, the National Science Foundation (USA), and by the Australian Commonwealth Government through ANDS.

Why is ANDS involved with the RDA?

RDA gives Australia influence over the kinds of data sharing environments that Australian researchers will work with when they collaborate with international colleagues.

RDA also provides an opportunity to work with leading international researchers and data experts in tackling challenges and barriers to open data sharing.

ANDS' international outreach with RDA is intended to maximise the return from ANDS Australian investment through:

  • ensuring ongoing compatibility of Australian tools and thinking with international initiatives
  • influencing international thinking based on ANDS' learning and experiences
  • ensuring Australia maintains international visibility and engagement with global research efforts

Getting involved in the RDA

Individual members

More than 3,000 individual members from over 100 countries are currently contributing to RDA, mostly working on a voluntary basis. Any individual who agrees with the RDA's six guiding principles can become a member by registering. Individuals can contribute to RDA in various ways, including:

  • joining or initiating Working and Interest Groups
  • providing input on documents currently under community review
  • adopting RDA Outputs
  • attending biannual plenaries
  • contributing to RDA bodies such as Governance and Coordination Groups.

Organisations and Institutions

Organisational Memberscontribute funding and expertise. Benefits include  the opportunity to:

  • act as early adopters for newly developed standards and protocols
  • exercise considerable influence in the development of standards for data exchange
  • receive regular briefings on developments in data interoperability.

Australian organisational members include ANDS, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), and Division of Information Services, Griffith University.

Groups and Plenaries

Working and Interest Groups

Any member of the RDA who is committed to enabling data sharing, exchange, or interoperability can join Working or Interest Groups.

  • Working Groups: short term (12-18 months) with concrete outputs addressing specific issues.
  • Interest Groups: platforms for longer-term communication and coordination among individuals with shared interests, outside and within RDA.

Several Working and Interest Groups have active Australian contributors, including:

If you would like to start a Working or Interest Group in an area that is not currently covered, please have a look at the Group Process and Procedures before contacting to discuss your idea.

Governance and Coordination Groups

RDA has the following governance and coordination groups (all of which have active Australian participants):

  • The RDA Council is responsible for the oversight, sustainability, and overall success of RDA. Ross Wilkinson (ANDS) is currently a Council member.
  • The Secretariat carries out the administration for the RDA. Stefanie Kethers (ANDS) is a member of the Secretariat.
  • The RDA Technical Advisory Board (TAB) provides technical expertise and advice to the Council. It also assists in developing and reviewing    RDA Working Groups to promote their impact and effectiveness. Two Australian representatives, Simon Cox (CSIRO) and Andrew Treloar (ANDS), are elected members of the TAB. Andrew Treloar is    currently a TAB co-chair.
  • The Organisational Advisory Board (OAB) provides organisational advice to the    RDA Council. Its membership is drawn from representatives of the Organisation Members. Malcolm Wolski (Griffith University) and Siddeswara Guru (TERN) are currently members of the OAB.


RDA hosts biannual plenaries which typically bring together 400-500 RDA members to enable:

  • working and Interest Groups to work towards their goals and deliverables
  • inspiring keynotes and discussion of new topics
  • opportunities to learn about RDA's outputs
  • interaction with the RDA coordination groups
  • co-located regional and domain-specific meetings before or after the plenary.

News, Events, Blogs, Webinars

Keep in touch

Presentations and Webinars

For further information, or if you have questions about how to get involved, email