The RfII plenum sets up a work programme and committees or working groups to prepare RfII reports and recommendations on selected topics. As of November 2017 the following projects have been implemented:
With the growth in digital research data, new challenges arise for quality concepts and quality assurance. It is not only necessary to ensure the integrity of specific data sets. In fact, the digitality of research makes it necessary to ensure data quality is maintained in every step of the so-called “data life cycle”. The quality of data management, metadata, standards, and tools, including the corresponding publication, dissemination, and communication cultures, are caught up in a whirlwind of new options and negotiation processes due to the digital transformation. In its position paper PERFORMANCE THROUGHT DIVERSITY, the RfII presented initial recommendations to ensure all stakeholders share responsibility for quality and will provide more detailed recommendations in a second position paper.
New approaches to the digitisation of science and consolidation of information infrastructures are being created not only in Germany, but at the European level as well. The RfII monitors these developments, among others the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), to provide science and scientific policy with advice in the upcoming stages. Furthermore, the RfII wishes to support the development and communication of German positions in European and international debates – taking into account the objectives and approaches of various German stakeholders.
The progressive digitisation of science urgently requires more qualified personnel for data management and analysis as well as new methodical skills in the scientific disciplines. However, there are not enough specific training and education opportunities available that actually meet the technical, organizational, and scientific requirements. The job situation is equally unsatisfactory. In light of the numerous detailed suggestions already presented on the topic of skills development, the RfII monitors effective options for the rapid and differentiated transformation of the development of human resources in the scientific sector.
The establishment of a national research data infrastructure (NFDI) will require the joint effort of all stakeholders in the scientific system, and therefore correspondingly intensive scientific policy and cross-party support. Further suggestions are required to develop the NFDI and integrate it into the German, European, and international scientific system. In addition to clarifying the options for participation and financing, this also applies to questions regarding evaluation and quality assurance as well as integration of the numerous services already existing in the area of research data management. In the long term legal adjustments will be required as well. In close coordination with the Joint Science Conference and in communicative exchanges with other key organisations in the scientific system, the RfII is working on answers to these questions in order to provide optimal support during the starting phase of the NFDI.