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Universities join forces for further development of RDM tool Yoda

27 March 2023
On Thursday 23 March, the Yoda consortium was officially established. Five universities and SURF signed a cooperation agreement stipulating that they will use the research data management tool YODA for processing and storing (sensitive) data.

Yoda is an open source application that supports researchers in their research data management. The software was developed by Utrecht University and is provided to higher education institutions by SURF. In Yoda, researchers can securely store, share, publish and preserve large amounts of research data during all phases of a research project.

The Yoda consortium was set up to ensure the continued development of Yoda and to join forces around training and building expertise. The partners in the project are Leiden University, TU Eindhoven, Wageningen University, Erasmus University, Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and SURF. The establishment of the Yoda consortium was celebrated at a well-attended National Yoda Event in the historic Academy Building in Utrecht. Guest speakers included project manager Imke Limpens (VU) and professor Chantal Kemner (UU). At the time, Yoda was developed especially for Kemner's long-term research programme YOUth, which focused on the health of children living in Utrecht. During this programme, privacy-sensitive data had to be stored securely, while it also had to be published in such a way that it could be reused by other researchers. This is in line with the desire of the universities to make data more FAIR and move towards Open Science.

At the VU, Yoda was officially launched on 23 January. Since then, almost 50 research projects have already used the application. From IT, Peter Vos (ITvO) and Mark Thompson (solutions architect Research) make a crucial contribution. From the University Library, an entire team led by Alexey Pristupa (product owner) and Marcel Ras (manager Network Research Data Support) is working hard to implement and maintain the application. The faculty research data stewards are the first line of enquiry for researchers.