NDS an example of consortium addressing multiple stakeholders

The National Data Service was mentioned in an article that appeared in the March 30, 2017 journal Nature. Written by Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, the commentary "Five ways consortia can catalyse open science" addresses researchers and scientists who may be less inclined to share their data. Part of this effort includes addressing "diverse, changing interests."

A stakeholder can be a research team, an academic department, a professional society, a funder, a publisher or another entity. These generally have both competing and common interests. Successful consortia align stakeholders to recognize and promote mutual benefits and to appreciate separate characteristics. This requires building consensus and resolving conflicts....

Understanding exactly what various groups hope to get out of a project is important. In 2014, leaders from US supercomputing centres, along with university scholars, government agencies, publishers and others, formed the National Data Service (NDS) to promote middleware (software bridging systems and applications) and software services needed for data sharing.

Over a period of six months, they forged a shared vision, but then discovered that the vision meant different things to different stakeholders. For example, scientists just wanted tools and methods that would enhance their workflow. Software developers were motivated by the chance to build popular tools and methods. Cyberinfrastructure providers needed common tools, rather than customized solutions, to serve an increasingly diverse set of clients. Each group had to recognize the others' distinct reasons to participate for the consortium as a whole to make progress.

Read the full article

  • 3/31/2017