SciDataCon 2016 is the scientific research conference that will advance the frontiers of data in research c onvened by the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) and the World Data System (WDS), interdisciplinary bodies of the International Council for Science (ICSU) . The Programme Committee of the conference will play a key role in shaping the scientific programme. Geoffrey ...
In October 2015, more than 110 people gathered at the Second Polar Data Forum (PDF II) co-organized by WDS at the University of Waterloo, Canada, to address the technical, social, policy, and economic challenges around polar data management. Data managers, scientists, funding programme managers, indigenous people and their representatives, students, and others from eighteen nations shared ...
The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) and WDS International Programme Office would like to welcome Isabelle Gärtner-Roer and Alfredo Tolmasquim to ICSU-WDS, after both were invited by the ICSU Executive Board to serve on the WDS-SC for a period of three years. Isabelle replaces Rob Kitchin who resigned from the WDS-SC in autumn 2015, whilst Alfredo fills the vacant thirteenth seat made ...
The ICSU World Data System, ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), and Research Data Alliance (RDA) are delighted to announce that International Data Week 2016 (IDW 2016) will be held from 11–17 September 2016 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Under the theme From Big Data to Open Data – Mobilizing the Data Revolution, IDW will bring together data ...
WGMS Glacier App – Worldwide Glacier Information System To Go!
Which glaciers are still advancing?
How many are melting?
Which glaciers are being monitored in your country?
A new smartphone application from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS; WDS Regular Member) shows how glaciers have evolved around the globe. It provides easy and public access to glacier observation data and photographs of more than 3700 glaciers. The wgms Glacier App—recently launched at a side-event of COP21—is based on a comprehensive research database and aims at bringing corresponding facts and figures to decision makers, to outdoor people, researchers, and anybody interested in the topic, in order to provide information and raise awareness of ongoing climatic changes.
The wgms Glacier App shows all observed glaciers on a satellite map. Basic information is provided for each glacier, including photographs and general information on size and elevation. A text search allows users to filter the glaciers by name, country, region, and measurement type. For example, one can find out which glaciers have gained or lost ice over the past decade. A compass shows the closest observed glaciers in all directions from the user’s current position, and a 'card game' (Glacier Top Trumps) enables users to compare the best observed glaciers in the world and compete against the computer. In addition, graphs with observation data illustrate the glacier's development, along with information on local investigators, and detailed explanations of measurement types. WGMS wants to increase the visibility of the hundreds of glacier observers around the globe whose work documents the impact of climate change on glaciers.
CODATA Webinar: Data Accessibility Benchmark Organizational Self-assessment Tool
The ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA; WDS Associate Member) will host a webinar on 18–19 January on the Data Accessibility Benchmark Organizational Self-assessment Tool developed by Coastal and Ocean Information Network Atlantic (COINAtlantic) and Dalhousie University. This webinar will be presented by Andrew Sherin, Director of the COINAtlantic Secretariat.
To cater to different time zones, the webinar will be run twice: at 16.00 UTC on 18 January 2016 and at 01.00 UTC on 19 January. To view the presentation abstract and to register for either of the above slots, please visit:
How to Compromise Data Quality and Service of Data From the 'Dark Long Tail'
A Blog post by Toshihiko Iyemori (WDS-SC)
The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) requests WDS Members to maintain the quality of their data and services. Another important task for the WDS-SC is to recruit data centres from various disciplines, as many and wide as possible, to serve their data to promote science—in particular interdisciplinary science. However, based on my experiences as a researcher of Solar–Terrestrial Physics and as Director of the World Data Centre for Geomagnetism, Kyoto (WDS Regular Member), I believe that we have one more important task for promoting science: collecting and serving useful data from the 'dark long tail' of datasets.
There are a huge number of datasets—mainly obtained on a research project basis—that are not registered to active data centres, and hence are 'dark' to many of us. These datasets are typically built by small research groups for a limited period, and data quality checks are often not sufficient. Although their quality may not be good and they exist only for a limited period, such data are very important and useful if the location of observation site is highly unique, or if other observations are not available.
We know of many such 'dark long tail' datasets, and some have been sent to our data centre, but even if we find them and can ingest them, we often have difficulty to keep (or to confirm) their quality. Nevertheless, my personal opinion is that these data should also be served by WDS Members, even if they conflict with the membership requirements of WDS.
One way to compromise for the data quality and service of data from the 'dark long tail' is to register metadata that describe the observations in as much detail as possible. An example of this in practice is IUGONET (Interuniversity Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork), which has a common database of metadata and forms a virtual data centre of distributed databases at several institutions. This data system includes databases from the 'dark long tail', as well as large well-known databases.
The WDS-SC and WDS Member Organizations must therefore take action (and advocate) to ensure such 'dark' datasets are registered in appropriate data centres or systems with adequate metadata to make them useful. Otherwise, I have a concern that they may just be kept by each institutional repository in a way that cannot be exploited or could even be lost forever.
To improve the situation domestically, we held two workshops at Kyoto University last autumn that explored possibilities for collaboration among Japanese university libraries, informatics experts, and research scientists. University libraries in Japan are not very positive in general about functioning as repositories for scientific data. In contrast, some researchers are actively trying to develop the related technology or systems for that to happen. Moreover, a Japanese endeavour to register datasets and attach Digital Object Identifiers started last year. My hope is that these activities grow and form a stream of open data from the 'dark long tail'.
New Position Open at RDA/US
The Research Data Alliance/United States (RDA/US) team focusses on development and impact for all US-based members of RDA, as well as looking ahead to develop a sustainable model for the RDA/US organization that can support the broader goals of RDA, both within the US and internationally.
To help achieve these goals, RDA/US is now recruiting a Director of Community Development to work closely with the broader RDA/US community to coordinate, expand, and develop funds for new and existing community efforts, and to provide support and services. The Community Development Director will also be part of the RDA Secretariat.
More details on the position, including how to apply, can be found by downloading this PDF: Director of RDA/US Community Development