“Hardware is a vital part of experiments process and advances in instrumentation have been central to scientific revolutions by expanding observations beyond standard human senses.” But making hardware and especially sharing hardware is neither an easy nor a recognized task in academia. In order to tackle this issue, some of us started a Research Data Alliance (RDA) interest group. The RDA is a social platform where international research data experts meet to exchange views and to agree on topical issues. We think the RDA label will bring our work the credibility needed to develop and push our ideas about Research hardware recognition in the scholarly communication ecosystem. On the other hand, we would like to avoid the pitfall of creating a system that would nurture inequalities, and one of our objectives is therefore to grow and diversify the group members and chairs. Here is therefore a call for participation, it is particularly but not uniquely addressed to researchers from low-income countries.

Benefits of joining this RDA group

– NETWORKING: you will get to know colleagues with similar interests at the crossing path of open hardware and scholarly communication.

– LEARNING: It is interesting to see how the RDA works, who is involved, and how its outputs get recognised at the international level.

– VISIBILITY: Being part of an organised community like RDA brings an official flair to the work done. It can be added to a CV, which can have long-term effects on your career.

– EMPOWERMENT: Recognised that your issues are shared around the globe and that your input and ideas are valuable. 

– IMPACT: By helping the identification of best practices that can be applied to any context, you will push for a hardware work recognition system that is based on inclusive criteria, that is it will ponder your realities to provide a FAIR/fair.

Costs of joining this RDA group:

The RDA is free to join, costs are therefore limited to the time you will invest in the community. At the minimum, one should reserve half an hour per month to keep track of what is happening in the group. One should have the possibility to download emails from the RDA group, more bandwidth will be needed to participate in the online calls. 

You may join the RDA group at rd-alliance.org/user/login?destination=group/node/74820/subscribe/og_user_node

Julien Colomb (0000-0002-3127-5520) and Louise Bezuidenhout (0000-0003-4328-3963)

PS: The diversification of the group and its chair is needed in order to ensure that the dialogue around OSH issues adequately reflects the research realities of OSH practitioners from around the world. If you feel you do not have enough experience or expertise, you are probably most needed in this dialogue. Do not hesitate to drop us an email (julien.colomb[at]hu-berlin.de, or louise.bezuidenhout[at]dans.knaw.nl) if you have questions or remarks you do not want to make public. If you prefer to go through the existing documents, we are working on our charter here, and our meeting minutes are there.