The ICSU World Data System (WDS) and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) Board are pleased to announce the availability of the first version of their unified Core Trustworthy Data Repository Requirements . The unified catalogue of requirements was developed through a DSA–WDS partnership Working Group within the Research Data Alliance (RDA). The group built on inherent complementarity between ...
The World Data System (WDS) Annual Report prepared by the International Programme Office and covering fiscal year 2015 (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016) is available for download (PDF) in both high- and low-resolution for print out or online viewing, respectively.
The 15th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) took place on 16 –17 September 2016 at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado. Co-located with International Data Week 2016 , the WDS-SC took time during the Meeting to reflect back on SciDataCon 2016 and the 2016 WDS Members' Forum directly after the conclusion of these successful events. The majority of the Meeting ...
WorldWideScience Alliance: An International Partnership to Improve Access to Scientific and Technical Information and Research Data
A Blog post by Lorrie Apple Johnson (WorldWideScience Alliance Operating Agent)
The WorldWideScience Alliance is a strategic partnership between national and international libraries and data and information centres from around the world. The ICSU World Data System and the WorldWideScience Alliance share reciprocal Associate Memberships, and both organizations are committed to eliminating barriers associated with finding and sharing scientific and technical information, including scientific research data. The Alliance provides the governance structure for the global science gateway, WorldWideScience.org (WWS.org), which facilitates federated searching across over 100 scientific and technical databases from more than 70 countries. The WDS Data Portal is among the data collections searched by WWS.org, along with 14 other resources focussed on data, and the Alliance is actively seeking new data resources and partners.
The federated search technology employed by WWS.org offers users a number of distinct advantages, including the ability to perform a real-time, simultaneous search of multiple databases, some of which may not be indexed by typical search engines. Users receive a consolidated, relevance-ranked results list incorporating information in textual, multimedia, and scientific data formats. Multilingual translations capabilities are automatically performed in ten languages, which makes scholarly material, including scientific data, more accessible to a worldwide audience.
The ability to search data collections within WWS.org also addresses many of the challenges associated with discoverability of research data. For example, unless a user is familiar with a particular data centre, or knows that a specific dataset exists, it can be difficult to identify and locate scientific data; especially those outside of the researcher’s own discipline or speciality. WWS.org enables users to receive data results in a separate results tab, and upon selecting a specific result, users will be directed to the landing page at the originating source, which in turn makes the data accessible for viewing or downloading. The inclusion of data collections in WWS.org, particularly as part of the broader public access movement among government research funders in many countries, further expands access to Research and Development results during the full research lifecycle, and ultimately contributes to increased scientific collaboration and progress.
The WorldWideScience Alliance is eager to include new resources in WWS.org, and feedback is always welcome.
For more information about WWS.org and the Alliance, please visit http://worldwidescience.org/.
2016 SciDataCon-China: The Third China Scientific Data Conference
A Blog post by Guoqing Li (WDS Scientific Committee member)
On 25–26 August of 2016—two weeks before SciDataCon 2016 took place in Denver, USA—the Third China Scientific Data Conference was held in Shanghai, China. As can be understood from its abbreviation of SciDataCon-China, this Chinese-speaking conference is the national-level platform for communication about scientific data; just as SciDataCon, hosted by ICSU’s World Data System (ICSU-WDS) and Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), is at the international level.
2016 SciDataCon-China was co-hosted by Fudan University, which houses the first Data Science Laboratory to be set up in China. Greater than 380 experts, scholars, and students from universities, institutes, companies, and governmental agencies gathered in the Zhangjiang Campus of Fudan University to attend in excess of 20 breakout sessions over the two days. Although the number of participants was slightly fewer than the 400 who attended the Second SciDataCon-China in 2015, oral reports significantly increased to more than 160 from around 100 last time, making it the leading scientific data conference in China.
Different from the Information Sciences approach, SciDataCon-China has kept a domain-oriented emphasis as a primary principle from its beginnings. Breakout sessions mostly served the multidisciplinary community, covering such diverse fields as Materials Science, Astronomy, Space Science, Geography, Ecology, Earth Observation Science, Marine Science, Smart Cities, Precision Medicine, and Agriculture, as well as the management, analysis, and visualization of scientific Big Data.
SciDataCon-China is not only a communication platform for domain scientists and information scientists, but also a dialogue platform for scientific communities and decision-makers. Consecutive sessions on data policy, funding policy, and large-grant programme management were jointly held by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. An important conclusion of the conference was that the opening and sharing of scientific data should be supported mainly through national finances; in particular, because scientific data can help to accelerate the construction of national innovation capacity.
A session by WDS-China has been a regular and popular feature of each SciDataCon-China since its conception. On this occasion, greater than 40 experts from 7 Chinese WDS Members were at the WDS-China session alongside numerous attendees from local data centres. Discussions and reports focussed on the topics of the maintenance and future development of Chinese WDS Member Organizations, the sustainability of national scientific data centres, creating a uniform metadata service within WDS-China, the long-term preservation of published data, and so on.
Under the oversight of the WDS Scientific Committee, and supported by the WDS International Programme Office, WDS-China and WDS-Japan are now working together to realize the inaugural WDS Asia-Pacific Symposium: a regional communication platform for scientific data. Thus, there will be a seamless transition of WDS communications from the national, through the regional, to the international level.
SciDataCon-China is an annual event organized by the China National Committee of CODATA in cooperation with the WDS-China Coordinating Office and other partners. The First conference was held in January 2014 in Beijing, and the Second in August 2015 in Lanzhou. The next SciDataCon-China will take place during August 2017 in Kunming; co-hosted by the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
A New Challenge: Building Multidisciplinary Distributed Research Data Infrastructures – EPOS - European Plate Observing System
A Blog post by Aude Chambodut (WDS Scientific Committee member)
Researchers who specialize in a particular Earth Science discipline (seismology, geomagnetism, gravimetry, geochemistry, geology, etc.) cannot fully describe the history and crustal structure of a region of the globe using ONLY their specific research field. They often need to consult a large number of references and databases from other research domains. Interdisciplinary studies are still hampered by the necessity for researchers to document themselves effectively with many ‘external/foreign’ contributions, and to have colleagues in these fields who are willing to collaborate.
Of course, many efforts have been made to group datasets, mainly by discipline, and make them available to the greatest number in a trusted database. However, interdisciplinary approaches still remain a matter of exception. Good ideas are sometimes dismissed simply because of life: difficulty in easily finding a reliable data source understandable to a non-specialist, trouble in speaking the same language as the scientific colleague of the other discipline, lack of time,…
The greatest advances in Earth sciences were made using transdisciplinary collaborations. We say often that ‘the data noise of one proves to be useful information to another’ and vice versa. This is true even within the same discipline; indeed in geomagnetism: for one magnetic field measurement, the inner part interests the main-field modeller, while its ‘noise’ contains the ionospheric field studied by an ionospheric physicist.
Over the last decades, considerable advances in information technology have made an integrated approach possible, easing access to the tremendous amount of data and products available across the Earth Sciences and related fields. Large multidisciplinary projects are initiated to facilitate integrated use of data, data products, and tools from distributed research infrastructures for Solid-Earth science in Europe.
In this matter, EPOS—the European Plate Observing System1—is currently one of the most exciting under-development, long-term integration project in Europe. EPOS strategy is not to erase all that was previously done, but to integrate existing national or transnational structures (e.g., seismic and magnetic permanent monitoring networks, and analytical laboratories) and to develop a new interoperabillity layer that will be seen as a common interface.
Long-standing existing structures (National, European, or International services and data centres), together with newly developed databases (for less centralized/organized disciplines), will be virtually gathered into a central hub of which the key functions will be: an Application Programming Interface, a metadata catalogue, a system manager, and services that will enable data discovery, interactions with users, as well as access, download and integrate data2.
Data will be made available from the Solid-Earth Science disciplines that each community deals with, such as seismology, geomagnetism, geodesy, volcanology, geology and surface dynamics, analytical and experimental laboratory research, rock physics and petrology, and satellite information. Available data will be quality controlled according to the appropriate standards as defined by each of the disciplinary data providers.
For pre-existing entities, their visibility will be enhanced. For new structures, their creation will help the community to consolidate scattered data that are hidden and distribute them in a uniform database. For researchers in the Solid-Earth Sciences, EPOS will facilitate innovative cross-disciplinary approaches for a better understanding of the physical processes and the driving forces involved (a seismologist will get access to trusted magnetic anomaly maps; a gravimetrician will be able to use reliable strain rate maps from the Global Navigation Satellite System community to compare with their own results). From a societal point of view, EPOS will enable scientists to better inform governments and society on natural hazards, such as earthquakes, volcanic events, tsunamis, and major land movements.
EPOS is in its implementation phase. By 2018, EPOS is expected to be a legal entity: the EPOS ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium).
Peter Doorn (DANS Director) and Ingrid Dillo (DANS Deputy Director and WDS-SC Vice-chair) of Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS; WDS Regular Member) will give a webinar in December on core certification and the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) Guiding Principles. This webinar is predominantly targeted at data experts and data repository managers worldwide, and ...
ISRIC - WDC Soils ( WDS Regular Member ) has recently announced the details of its Spring School 2017 , which will take place on 15–19 May 2017 at Wageningen Campus . The School will consist of two 5-day training courses running in parallel— Hands-on Global Soil Information Facilities and World Soils and their Assessment —and will introduce topics such as soils of the world, soil databases, ...
Pedometrics is a branch of soil science dedicated to the application of mathematical and statistical methods for the study of the distribution and genesis of soils. The first Pedometrics conference was organized in 1992, in Wageningen, Netherlands. To mark the conference's 25th anniversary, ISRIC - WDC Soils ( WDS Regular Member ) have announced that they and their partners will bring the ...
The All-Russia Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information – World Data Centre (RIHMI-WDC) has announced to the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) that it has discontinued the existence of WDC – Rockets, Satellites and Earth Rotation (WDC – RSER) since the topics are no longer its priorities. However, the WDS-SC is extremely pleased to learn that the data holdings of WDC – RSER will ...
Zgurovsky et al. in Cybernetics and Systems Analysis (Volume 46, Issue 2). Abstract: Creating the World Data Center for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development (WDC-Ukraine), its certification and integration into the World Data System are described. The main principles of the WDC and its research priorities are considered. Main projects carried out by the WDC are reviewed. One of them is ...
Takashi Watanabe and Rorie Edmunds in VarSITI Newsletter, Volume 3. The International Council for Science (ICSU) has a long history of collaborating internationally on the archiving and provision of scientific data. The World Data Centres (WDCs) and the Federation of Geophysical and Astrophysical Data Services were established by ICSU during the International Geophysical Year (IGY). Building ...
The unified catalogue of requirements was developed through a DSA–WDS partnership Working Group within the Research Data Alliance (RDA). The group built on inherent complementarity between the criteria previously established by the two organizations to harmonize unified and universal requirements reflecting the core characteristics of trustworthy data repositories. After an extensive period ...
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the International Council for Science World Data System (ICSU-WDS) announce a new global framework for linking publications and datasets. The Scholix framework — Scholarly Link Exchange —represents a set of aspirational principles and practical guidelines to support a global information ecosystem around links between scholarly literature and research ...
On 11–17 September 2016, data professionals and researchers from all disciplines and from across the globe will convene in Denver, Colorado for International Data Week (IDW). The theme of this landmark event is ‘From Big Data to Open Data: Mobilizing the Data Revolution’. As such, International Data Week will bring together data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policy ...