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Unfortunately, far too many standards development processes stop at this stage. Group members might say or think, “We have developed the schema, so let us publish it, and then we are done.” But the problem is that getting people to use a standard is the most difficult part of the process. Just as with the latest technology product, in order for it to reach mass-market appeal, it needs promotion, marketing, and encouragement to get people to use it. So, we need to spend a lot of time, effort, and energy on these later stages to make a standard succeed. If we do come up with a standard data citation format, schema for metadata about data sets, or publication policies, and after we have obtained consensus on the citation structure, we have to invest time and effort in getting people to actually use it.

Finally, I want to reflect on who is the audience for the project we are developing? “Who” is one of the most critical questions regarding the adoption of a standard or best practice that has been developed. Among those who need to be deeply engaged in data citation standards adoption are researchers, educators, data centers, publishers, promotion tenure committees, administrators, funding agencies, consumers of the data, and repositories. Among the challenges as we move forward is ensuring that we have engaged the right communities to ensure that what we have done here and what we will continue to do over the next year will get adopted? I think that is probably the biggest challenge facing us now, as it is with any standards development organization, or any standards community.

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