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Survey on Non-standard Research Outputs

The WDS Community is asked to please complete—and to share with colleagues and networks—the following survey concerning what, if anything, should be done by the World Data System to help sustain and guarantee the trustworthiness of (repositories of) components of research activity beyond what is typically thought of as 'data':

The deadline is Monday, 1 October and background Information is given below.


There is an increasing recognition that data-sharing and transparency also requires sharing non-standard research outputs; for example, laboratory or field protocols, code and models, as well as services like vocabularies and registries, and so on. Whilst there are a number of repositories being used to archive parts of these non-standard outputs, such repositories are typically not certified and do not have sustainable long-term funding. 

The remit of the World Data System is—alongside the CoreTrustSeal—to certify holders and providers of data and data products. Other research products are a natural extension of that remit. For example, supposedly FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data cannot be reused over time if the software needed to access and interpret it is lost. Thus, the sustainability of software, as a non-standard output of research, should be close to the heart of these organizations.

WDS has a nascent Working Group that is beginning to explore issues of long-term stewardship of and access to non-standard digital research outputs. It is organizing a Birds of a Feather (BoF) Session at the 12th Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance (part of International Data Week 2018). The results of the above survey will form the basis of a white paper to present at the BoF and expand the conversation to all interested parties on what the community can and should be doing to address these issues.