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Standard Glossary for Research Data Management (IRIDIUM)

Open Review of IRIDIUM Research Data Management Glossary is now invited and is open until 30 June 2017

The International Research Data Management (IRiDiuM) Glossary ( and ( is intended as a practical reference for individuals and working groups concerned with the improvement of research data management, and as a meeting place for further discussion and development of terms.

The aim is to create a stable and sustainably governed standard glossary of community accepted terms and definitions, and to keep it relevant by maintaining it as a ‘living document’ that is updated when necessary.

Definitions should be clear and unambiguous, and where possible, fit with common usage. Definitions should be apposite across research data management activities of key stakeholders, including, but not limited to: researchers/authors, research management, research policy, computer science, IM/IT, research administration, libraries; scholarly publishers, and research funders. Some terms may have more than one definition, in which case the relevant context should be specified.

In this year’s first review cycle, the Working Group convened by CASRAI, CODATA and Research Data Canada has delivered a subset of new and edited terms for addition to the IRIDUM Glossary.

Open Review is now invited for these new and revised terms.  This review is open until June 30, 2017.

Issue Statement:

Improvement of research data management is a rapidly developing field that is increasingly recognized as a key element in advancing research and innovation in government, academic, and private sectors. A major difficulty in any newly emerging field is the lack of consistent terminology and precise, definitive definitions of these terms. Such a complex endeavour involving people and technologies from different fields, and transcending each of those fields, requires a standardization and harmonization of terms and definitions used. Currently, there is no formal international standard for terminology in the field of research data management, although some standards contain some relevant terms. In the meantime, there is a pressing need for a common, practical vocabulary. The aim of this activity is to advance a stable and sustainably governed international glossary of community accepted terms and definitions, and to keep it relevant by maintaining it as a ‘living reference’ that is updated as necessary.

The CASRAI Annual Process:

CASRAI maintains a standard master glossary of terms and definitions (including but not limited to RDM terms). This master glossary is maintained and developed via an annual cycle of coordinated Subject Experts at the Steering, Working and Review levels.  The work on the ‘Standard Glossary for Research Data Management (IRIDIUM)’ will follow this process.

  1. Annual Open Call (to which the current call is related) issued jointly by all CASRAI Steering Committees to signal upcoming work cycles, seek feedback on scoping and volunteer subject experts for the noted priorities;
  2. Steering Committees process all submissions and form Working Groups (WG) and Review Groups (RG);
  3. From January through to March all WGs deliberate (coordinated and facilitated by the CASRAI Secretariat) on their part of the master glossary (in 3 monthly cycles of online calls with term and definition writing assignments between calls);
  4. In April the WGs open their work to the wider RG community for comments;
  5. In May the WGs finalize their work based on the RG feedback and submit to the applicable Steering Committee for formal approval before publishing in the online glossary;
  6. In June begins a wider promotion and adoption period for the WG outputs – and the planning cycle starts again for the next annual period.
The tasks of the 2017 IRIDIUM WG will be to:
  1. Identify priority terms absent from the pilot glossary;
  2. Revue existing terms, identify definitions which need to be revised and improve those definitions;
  3. Scope above items into a proposed work Package for the 2017 cycle;
  4. Participate in the 4 month deliberations and review to develop the new and revised glossary definitions.
It is hoped, additionally, that WG members will be available in April to participate in an online webinar to present the works to the wider community before the review period starts.