Project discussion: Dare UK and the community#

Chair: Fergus McDonald (DARE UK)


  • “Interest Groups (IGs) are open-ended in terms of their longevity. They focus on a broad-based challenge within the programme’s scope (e.g., software tooling to support information governance decision-making, reproducible research methodologies), and they should spawn WGs to address specific pieces of work.”

  • “Working Groups (WGs) are short-term (<18 months) in terms of their longevity. They focus on a specific, tractable piece of work – be that tools, policy, practices, products, proof of concepts, etc. – within the programme’s scope.”

  • “Communities are open-ended in terms of longevity. They are community-led, established, and managed. They are an open forum or ‘town square’ for the fostering of open communication across that specific community.”

  • Recent Birds of a Feather (BoF) discussion at Research Data Alliance (RDA) around essentially TREs


  • General idea: template for groups to submit an e.g. 1 page proposal to DARE for:

    • an interest group (open-ended, no defined length, broad remit)

    • which creates multiple working groups (focussed on specific thing, target deadline)

  • Inspired by other groups having a similar model (Research Data Alliance)

  • DARE-UK decides if it makes sense, does it overlap with others

  • This would open guiding the direction of work to ‘the community’

  • Would require significant community buy in

    • How do we do that?

  • Do we think this is a good idea

    • DataShield community has grown faster than anticipated. There is pain from not establishing processes soon enough

    • How prescriptive can DARE be?

    • Came up with 6 “themes” to encourage community to “help itself”

    • Is it useful for the ‘programme’ to provide infrastructure like Teams, GitHub Org? Or is it better to leave that to individual groups?

    • Conflict between being overbearing and allowing participants to work. However, making effort to support and welcome contributions is important. DARE being a monolith in this case might be a step too far as it could make people wary to disagreeing with DARE or other DARE work.

    • Providing some infrastructure if an IG/WG wants it could help avoid arguments over Team vs Slack, GitHub vs GitLab etc.

    • DARE being in a position to enforce(?)/recommend a code of conduct and/or community guidelines would be beneficial

    • We have all bought into community knowledge sharing etc. We find making more tangible, significant efforts difficult. “We all already have full time jobs”.