Data Discovery Paradigms IG


Group details

Secretariat Liaison: 
Stefanie Kethers
TAB Liaison: 
Andrew Treloar
Case Statement: 
IG Established

RDA Interest Group Charter

Name of Interest Group:  Data Discovery Paradigms IG


An emerging statement on research data is that it should be FAIR: “Findable, Accessible, Interpretable and Reusable”. To comply with the first of these criteria, being Findable, we need a data infrastructure that supports users in discovering research data regardless of its location or the manner in which it is stored, described and exposed. This is a significant and growing challenge, as the number of research data repositories, and the need for cross-disciplinary data discovery, increases. This interest group aims to explore common elements and shared issues that those who search for data, and who build systems that enable data search, share.



The objectives for this interest group are to provide a forum where representatives from across the spectrum of stakeholders and roles pertaining to data search can discuss issues related to improving data discovery. The goal is to identify concrete deliverables such as a registry of data search engines, common test datasets, usage metrics, and a collection of data search use cases and competency questions.


Key questions the IG wishes to address:

At RDAP8, we identified a long list of topics pertaining to data discovery, which were then voted by the group members to a shortlist of 10 topics. The top 5 of these have been selected as the key Task Forces which the group is focusing on (linked to the wiki page for each Task Force).

Two of the Task Forces are sceduled to be officially closed at the RDA P11 after producing the corresponding outputs; specifically TFs:

The following two Task Forces are active and continue their work as planned: 

Finally, we have four additional topics for potential Task Forces that will be initiated in the near future, i.e.

  • Cataloging Common API's for Data Query

  • Using to improve dataset description and discoverability by search engines

  • Granularity and domain-specific / cross-domain issues

  • Data Discovery for Institutional Repositories

For more details on the full list of potential task forces and the process followed in selecting them, please see the page on Task Forces.


Related Activities:

  • NASA’s WG on Search Relevancy – focus is on improving search result relevance for EOSDIS data
  • ESIP’s Information Quality Cluster and NASA’s WG on Data Quality are both addressing ways of capturing and conveying quality information
  • W3C’s Best Practices for Spatial Data on the Web aims to improve discoverability and accessibility of geodata

Other RDA IGs whose activities are of interest and who we will interact with:

  • Metadata
  • Registries
  • Brokering
  • PIDs
  • Research data collections



The Data Discovery Paradigms Interest Group is open to all members and encourages active participation through the Task Force mechanism. Task Forces have phone coniferences on a regular basis. To become active in either the Task Forces or propose other activities for the IG, please contact the Chairs. 



File RDADataSearchInterestGroup.docx29.04 KB

Recent Activity

11 Jul 2018

AGU 2018 Call for abstracts: Data Set Discovery, Access and Usability: Leveraging

Dear Colleagues,
The deadline for abstracts to the AGU Fall Meeting 2018 in Washington, DC, is coming up soon (1 August 2018, 23.59 EDT). I believe this AGU session would be of interest to the members of the Data Discovery Paradigms IG. Growing interest in the use of for data discovery has been shown in work by NSF EarthCube [1], Google Research [2] and others [3]. This session provides an opportunity for community growth and exchange around implementation patterns for describing data repositories and their holding and the methods used to deploy on the web.

05 Jun 2018

The RDA Data Discovery interest Group: Summary of the P11 session and the steps ahead

Greetings, members of the Data Discovery Paradigms Interest Group!
As it's been some time since the P11 in Berlin, we would like to share with
everyone in the group the discussions held within our session, as well as to
capture your thoughts on forming and joining the new set of Task Forces (see
points 3 and 4 below). But first, here's the summary of the session:
1. Summary
DDPIG had its 4th break-out session this March at the RDA P11 in Berlin. The
main objectives of the meeting were to inform all members and interested

22 Mar 2018

proposal for task group

In the IG meeting today (2018-03-22) there was discussion of a task group to gather issues and propose solutions for using vocabularies to document science data sets. I've drafted a task group proposal to get the ball rolling. Please make suggestions and add your name if you're interested in participating.



22 Mar 2018

Don't miss the Data Discovery Paradigms session today!

Dear Colleagues,
We wish to remind you that the Data Discovery Paradigms IG session is
scheduled for today, 13:30-15:00 CET in Room A01 at the Berlin Congress
Center. We also have remote participation as an option, which is
detailed on the session webpage:
The agenda, and meeting notes are here:

25 Jan 2018

Methods for auto-generating structured metadata

Hello DDPIG Members,

The Metadata Enhancement Task Force, a sub-committee of the
Research Data Alliance Data Discovery Paradigms Interest Group, is
investigating methods for auto-generating structured metadata.
Enhancing the metadata records associated with research data
improves search and supports automation services such as data
processing workflows.

20 Dec 2017

RE: [datadiscovery] Re: [datadiscovery] The RDA Data Discovery interest Group:...

That is something that NOAA has implemented (and found it to be startlingly effective), with their oceanic and climate data.
Jeff DLB could tell you if what they did is actually relevant to this topic and whether there might be someone at NOAA interested in this proposed task force.
- Show quoted text -From: sjskhalsa [mailto:***@***.***]
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 10:22 AM
To: Dewaard, Anita (ELS-HBE) <***@***.***>; Pete McQuilton

19 Dec 2017

Re: [datadiscovery] The RDA Data Discovery interest Group: Looking back and...

Hi all,
Thanks SiriJodha for the Earthcube link, the documentation looks very
I'd like to add another link if I may, for the bioschemas initiative
(, which aims to improve data interoperability in
the life sciences, through and 'bioschema' extensions, where

12 Dec 2017

RE: [datadiscovery] The RDA Data Discovery interest Group: Looking back and...

Dear Kerstin,
Thank you very much for your interest and enthusiasm; indeed, discussing granularity and domain-specific / cross-domain issues is an important aspect of Data Discovery and a great concept for a Task Force.
Would you be interested in leading such a Task Force? If so, what would be your general plan of action (i.e. the particular objectives and expected outcomes) for the TF?

01 Dec 2017

The RDA Data Discovery interest Group: Looking back and looking ahead

Greetings, members of the Data Discovery Paradigms Interest Group!
We want to make sure we get this message out to you as the end of 2017 comes into view, to let you know of the developments we’ve been working on, as well as new opportunities for 2018.
In particular, we are interested in your thoughts on forming and joining a new set of Task Forces (see point 3), before the end of the year. But first, here’s what we’ve been up to!
1. Meetings.
1. RDA P10: