Introducing Rorie Edmunds, Samples Community Manager

Regular readers of the Blog will already be aware of both the partnership between DataCite and IGSN to transition the IGSN IDs into the DataCite infrastructure, services, and APIs; as well as the support that the work has been given through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. A major component of the grant was to recruit a Samples Community Manager. I am delighted to say that I was offered this position in January, and was able to commence the job in mid-February.

I am hugely looking forward to serving both the IGSN and DataCite communities, assisting both to register IGSN IDs for physical samples in any domain that catalogues specimens and related sampling features. In the initial stages, I will be liaising closely with current IGSN allocating agents to bring them into the DataCite family and to create IGSN-DOI registration services, including transitioning the current ca. 10 million IGSN IDs. Once this has been achieved, my main focus will be on going out into the community—starting with DataCite members—to communicate with all stakeholders in the collection and open sharing of physical samples, and advocate the adoption of IGSN IDs. My hope is to engage with relevant disciplinary communities in the Natural and Social Sciences and the Humanities, and to strengthen the connections between researchers collecting samples out in the field and the repositories registering and storing the results of their efforts.

I might be a familiar name and face to some of you in the small and wonderful world that is ‘Open Data’. However, for those who I am yet to have the pleasure of meeting, please indulge me for a moment whilst I do something that is incredibly awkward for a Brit: promote my achievements.

So…as should be obvious from the title above, my name is Rorie Edmunds. I am originally from the West Country in the UK, but have been living in Japan for almost 12 years, mostly in Tokyo. I am old enough to know better, and young enough to often ignore that knowledge. My scientific background is quite multidisciplinary, and has covered fields including structural geology, nonlinear mathematics, design engineering, optimization, and sustainable mechanical systems. Despite being a mathematician, I deliberately chose a PhD in the area of geology, as it has always been a fascination of mine—I was the little boy who collected interesting looking rocks and minerals when walking in the local countryside or on the beach, and who went fossil hunting on the banks of the river near my grandparents’ house. Even as an adult, things have not changed very much!

Lin et al., 2020. The TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories. Scientific Data.
PrincipleGuidance for Repositories
TransparencyTo be transparent about specific repository services and data holdings that are verifiable by publicly accessible evidence.
ResponsibilityTo be responsible for ensuring the authenticity and integrity of data holdings and for the reliability and persistence of its service.
User FocusTo ensure that the data management norms and expectations of target user communities are met.
SustainabilityTo sustain services and preserve data holdings for the long-term.
TechnologyTo provide infrastructure and capabilities to support secure, persistent, and reliable services.

For much of the past 10 years, I worked for the International Programme Office of the World Data System of the International Science Council (WDS; a DataCite partner organization): as Programme Officer from August 2012, and then Executive Director from June 2018 to March 2021. My roles at WDS have given me significant experience in coordinating, leading, and promoting international projects, with an emphasis on building and developing communities of actors in Research Data Management from across scientific fields and geographies. My expertise includes data repository certification and maturity, as well as data sharing and policies, FAIR data, and data publishing. In particular, I co-chaired the DSA–WDS Working Group under the Research Data Alliance (also a DataCite partner organization) that developed the Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements forming the basis of the CoreTrustSeal certification standard, and was highly instrumental in the creation of CoreTrustSeal itself. I am also an author of the TRUST (Transparency, Responsibility, User focus, Sustainability, Technology) Principles for Digital Repositories that have been endorsed by a number of DataCite members.

If you would like to learn more about the IGSN–DataCite partnership or have an interest in registering IGSN IDs for samples, then please contact me through the DataCite Support email address.