DataCite Celebrate and Reflect on a Year of Global Community Collaboration

As the world emerged from the global COVID-19 restrictions, 2022 will go down in history. When many of us observed the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, geopolitical unrest, inflation, and tightening of the monetary policy started to have an impact on the global community. Despite these uncertainties, the DataCite community remained resilient and committed to our mission. 

Our community continued to grow, with now over 2.700 repositories and 1.200 organizations across 52 countries. The team spent considerable effort this year in operationalising our multi-year strategic plan and setting the stage for 2023. Reflecting our consistent community growth and adoption of the sustainable membership model in 2020, financially DataCite continued to track positively with a stable outlook for the year ahead. 

The Metadata Working Group had a productive year with drafting the schema 4.5 to be released and implemented in the first half of 2023. Isabel and Jan (Metadata Working Group Co-Chairs) noted

“During 2022, we took a deep dive into a number of issues for the 4.5 schema release, with a focus on clarifying relatedItem usage and the inclusion of new properties around instruments, registrations and distributionURLs. We have also worked on preparing technical documentation in html format, so that it is easier to use. For the first time we have shared a schema draft as a public RFC before releasing a final Version 4.5. We hope this ensures that it addresses ways in which it might work better for DataCite community members.”

Isabel Bernal
Jan Ashton (British Library)

Building on our strategic technical efforts, Torsten Reimer (Board Member and Services & Technology Steering Group Chair) shared

Torsten Reimer
(University of Chicago)

2022 was a year of change for STSG as we welcomed new members and said goodbye to colleagues who helped steer DataCite’s approach to technology services. A particular focus of discussions this year was gathering input for the ongoing development of DataCite Commons. I am grateful for suggestions and ideas put forward that will help DataCite to develop its services in line with evolving user needs.

The Community Engagement Steering Group, together with the Regional Expert Groups focussed on tracking community needs and providing feedback related to our engagement strategies, technical service features, and roadmap. Natasha and Rebecca (Community Engagement Steering Group Co-Chairs) commented

It’s been fantastic to see strong engagement from the international community of experts represented on the CESG to help progress DataCite’s vision, mission and strategic goals in 2022. Our discussions have been focused, interesting and of great value in helping DataCite to make research outputs and resources findable, citable, connected and reused globally.” 

Rebecca Ross (CKRN)
Natasha Simons (ARDC)

The Membership Model Advisory Group focussed on aligning our member model across membership types, bringing consistency to our fees, and developing a comprehensive approach towards global access and support for emerging regions (more on this in early 2023!).

In 2022, our team added five new employee staff (Rorie, Cody, Kelly, Gabi, and Bryceson) to help meet the community’s evolving needs. We launched the multi-year strategy plan with an emphasis on collaboration and streamlined processes. Our governance groups welcomed new members and strengthened their purpose with the adoption of the Terms of Reference. In addition to adding functionality across services, our engineering team also made improvements to infrastructure stability, dealt with technical debt, and enhanced our design methodology. We accelerated our Make Data Count initiatives, launched IGSN registration services, celebrated re3data’s 10th anniversary, and reaffirmed our commitment to ROR as key infrastructure through partnerships. Our community engagement team spent a lot of time identifying and resolving community needs as well as improving communication and events strategies, drafting the next schema version, hosting our annual meeting, and developing best practice and implementation workflows. We also had the opportunity to be able to meet up in person as a team during 2022. Many of us had never met in person before, so this was a significant chance for us to bond as colleagues (being a completely remote team).

As cliché as it may sound, it is crucial to continually thank the DataCite members and governance group members for their support and dedication. Without their combined efforts, our work would not be feasible. Additional appreciation is due to our enthusiastic and dedicated staff at DataCite, which I am immensely proud to lead. In 2023, we have a ton of exciting plans, and we’re looking forward to sharing more in the coming year.