The timbre of talks ranged from optimism (zipping from place to place at 100’s of MPH in driverless pods by 2050) to terror (zipping from place to place at 100’s of MPH in driverless pods by 2050). On the whole speakers told us how the RDM community are facing up to the practical challenges of ever increasing amounts of data, helping researchers to understand the importance of good stewardship while providing them with assistance and reassurance on issues of data privacy.
Data management plans were the subject of a large number of talks, a sign no doubt of the prevalence in DMPs as a funder requirement. Most interesting of the many DMP talks demonstrated platforms that are available to help produce Machine Actionable DMPs (https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006750). This work is actively progressing the DMP from static administrative output to a standards driven process that can be integrated with other data stewardship processes and tools. We saw two implementations based on the open source DMProadmap platform (https://dmp.opidor.fr/ and https://github.com/DMPRoadmap/roadmap/wiki) before Tom Renner demonstrated the implementation that is available as part of the Haplo Research Manager (https://github.com/haplo-org/haplo-research-manager).
Of course almost every talk made reference to the FAIR principles of research data management, the mantra that research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-Usable was much repeated and many speakers shared their thoughts on how to realise these principles whilst managing the practicalities of researcher engagement and data sensitivity. The FAIR principles are increasingly referenced in policy documents and one of the last presentations of the conference, on the European Open Science Cloud, continued this trend. This covered the recently published “Rules for Participation” in the EOSC one of which is that “Data providers will respect principles of FAIR data”.
The event left the impression that Open Data will continue to be integral and grow in importance as part of the UK, European and Global research policy landscape.