Bird of a Feather session about Research Data Graph at RDA Plenary on April 3

The research data graph connects research data with other research activities, including but not limited to publications, software, people, institutions, grants and funders. There is great interest by a number of organizations to contribute to and/or consume this research data graph. The general architecture and main use cases are well understood thanks in particular to the work by the RDA Data Description Registry Interoperability (DDRI) Working Group. The RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) Working Group has added significantly to our understanding of the subset of the research data graph connecting data and literature. Both working groups have done extensive work on implementation of services and community adoption.

Both the DDRI and now Scholix working groups are now in maintenance mode, but other projects continue to work on the research data graph, including the OpenAIRE scholarly communication graph and the FREYA PID Graph.

The goal of the session is to provide an overview of current research data graph activities and discuss potential collaboration opportunities in the context of RDA going forward. The session organizers invite all RDA community members with an interest in and potentially ongoing work on the research data graph to attend. Potential outcomes include a summary document describing the current state of activities and common understanding, and the formation of a research data graph RDA Interest Group or Working Group.

For more information, see the description in the RDA Plenary program.


This is interesting in the light of activity we are doing in the UK ORCID consortium bringing together information from ORCID registry and institutional systems to track known links between researchers and their affiliations. Some of the team have been looking at a common ‘schema’ to map across the information held by the ORCID registry and the information held by institutional systems so we can help institutional admins understand the landscape and plan their outreach (basically understand who is using ORCID and how, and have they linked to the institutional system).

Do you know if anyone is looking at the researcher ID <-> institutional ID links specifically? (besides ORCID of course) and focusing on that aspect of the research data graph?

(More about our work here:

(I’m about to go on leave, so will go quiet for a bit)

Sorry I’m missing RDA this time (and it’s not far from home either!)

On the research data graph and specifically researcher - institution links, there’s been a lot of improvement in the research-related data on Wikidata lately along those lines. Much of it comes via ORCID, but there’s a lot of independent data on that too (especially for any researcher with a Wikipedia page about them). The “Scholia” app shows the potential for this:

The main defect is still the incompleteness of the data - but that’s true of any of these efforts I think! There’s a lot of exciting potential there anyway.

Monica and Arthur, thanks for your posts.

Linking researchers and their institutions is certainly part of that graph as I see it, with two caveats:

  • RDA focusses on research data, so for activities within RDA the researcher/institution link is probably seen in the wider context of how this is connected to research data
  • institutional identifiers are not (yet) as widely adopted as for example identifiers for people and research data. I hope that ROR will change that.

Research data graphs have a data model similar to research information (CRIS) systems, and there is a strong connection between the two, and this was also briefly discussed during the BoF.

BoF presentation by Amir: