GO Unite! Community Workshop – A Recap

On 21 October 2021, the second GO Unite! meeting of 2021 took place (online). 42 participants from different local, institutional, and domain-specific research data management institutions gathered to talk about the activities of the three GO Unite! working groups and to discuss about new common requirements, topics and challenges of the community.

Anna Wałek from the Gdańsk University of Technology Library kicked off the event. She coordinates the Polish DSCC IN national chapter and provided insights into the Polish RDM landscape and the efforts of the Polish DSCC IN chapter on data stewardship. Her (engaging) opening served as a perfect warmup for the topics of GO Unite!

The three existing working groups of GO UNITE!

Connecting the network: Collection of RDM training events

Since the last GO Unite! meeting in February 2021, this working group collected material on RDM training. Because of a substantive overlap with other initiatives and networks, e.g., the special interest group on RDM training within the DINI/nestor working group on research data, GO Unite! is working on an integration of the collected materials into the online collection of DINI/nestor by adopting the metadata scheme of the latter.

In addition, members of the GO Unite! community are participating to a round table of German RDM initiatives and working groups in order to connect these networks and foster informational exchange. One of the main goals of this round table is to improve the cooperation and coordination of German RDM initiatives and working groups.

In the future, the working group would like to identify blank spots in data stewardship development and set impulses for addressing new demands.

Development of a research data management description model

In July 2021 the working group organised a workshop for representatives of RDM institutions to talk about the possibilities of developing a common and abstract description model for RDM service structures and requirements. After five impulse presentations on existing approaches to the modelling of RDM, the 36 participants discussed about the potential of developing a common RDM description model on the basis of service descriptions made by the participants about their own service structures.

A report on this workshop is in preparation. A follow-up workshop will take place in the first half of 2022.


Besides various events and workshops to foster the international exchange between different DSCC IN national chapters, e.g. at the FAIR Festival 2021 and at the DSCC IN Workshop in October 2021, GO Unite! is trying to bring together international members of the DSCC IN and the German GO Unite! community. A possible approach could be the organisation of a data stewardship summer school with different participants from other DSCC IN chapters to bring together various perspectives on specific RDM topics.

Topic Pitches: New Requirements in Data Stewardship

Establishing RDM in curricula at universities

An important future need is to talk about existing strategies to establish RDM within curricula at universities. One focus point in this context could be to develop a concept on how to approach professors and raise their awareness for research data management. GO Unite! members plan to deepen this topic in the working group “Connecting the network” and to bring it to the attention of the special interest group on RDM training within the DINI/nestor working group on research data.

Enhancement of RDM counselling services

Another requirement GO Unite! likes to address in the future is the exchange about common standards on structuring counselling services. Central questions will be: what are best practices for counselling services? Which tools and documentation standards can be used to improve counselling services? What are good ways to foster the exchange between RDM institutions and researchers?

Ethics in research

Ethical questions in research, data protection and privacy are significantly important for many researchers and research questions. Within GO Unite! there are no legal professionals, but there is an option to collect these ethical and legal requirements (e.g. data protection questions) which GO Unite! members have identified in their daily work. A valid goal would be to communicate these requirements to initiatives with legal expertise so as to integrate their work with examples and requirements from the RDM community.

Digital platform for RDM experts

The GO Unite! community will start evaluating the possibilities of building up a digital register for speakers with expertise on RDM topics to foster the transfer of knowledge between institutions, initiatives and among researchers.

This article was written by GO Unite! coordinators Patrick Helling (DCH, Uni Köln) and Monika Linne (KonsortSWD, and Anja Busch (GO FAIR, ZBW).

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