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Connecting Communities to Promote FAIR Resources: Perspectives from an RDA / EOSC Future Domain Ambassador

The Research Data Alliance is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a series of events and activities. Dr Allyson Lister presented a talk on community building and engagement for the FAIRsharing Community Champions Programme

Allyson Lister. Communities to promote FAIR resources talk November 2023

Dr Allyson Lister

In 2023 the Research Data Alliance (RDA) is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. To commemorate this important milestone they have organised a series of international and regional events and activities. From February to November, each month has been dedicated to a specific theme related to research data management of relevance to the RDA community. 

In one of the final webinars of the anniversary year, Allyson Lister presented
Connecting communities to promote FAIR resources: perspectives from an RDA / EOSC Future Domain Ambassador’.  The focus of the talk was on community building and engagement for the FAIRsharing Community Champions Programme, launched as part of Allyson’s RDA / EOSC Future Ambassadorship. The programme brings together discipline experts to curate FAIRsharing content and create FAIR educational material. In return, the Champions are attributed for their efforts, gain expertise and become a part of a network of like-minded data enthusiasts that will continue for years to come. 

This webinar highlighted the work of these enthusiastic domain experts, and how they have worked to connect their communities with the material and resources they need. It also summarised the methods and tools used to build an effective community of champions within FAIRsharing. Of primary importance in the creation and establishment of this community of Champions is the relationships that we build as part of a research community. This was exemplified in the Connected Community Lifecycle:

Modified from the Community Lifecycle model described by CSCCE, this lifecycle places the building of relationships both at the start of the community building process, and as the method established and maturing communities continue to connect and grow. As the exploration, building, and extending of an individual’s professional network is key for the successful development of a research career, so is it key in the creation and ongoing success of a research community.

Since the programme began just over a year ago, the FAIRsharing Community Champions have updated or created over 600 records within the FAIRsharing registry, making more than 3700 individual edits. They have also contributed to educational infographics, presented on the FAIRsharing project, and authored blog posts about their own communities and how the programme helps them in their work. In return, they gain attribution in a variety of ways, undertake training, and increase the richness of their own professional networks. Built upon a strong foundation within the research data community, the Champions will continue to enrich FAIRsharing as well as their own skills, taking that knowledge back to their ‘home’ communities.

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