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New Release of Fluctuations of Glaciers Database

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, Zurich (WDS Regular Member) has recently completed a new release of its Fluctuations of Glaciers database.

The current version comprises reported observations on glacier changes up until the observation period 2011–2012 including:
 – 5,300 glaciological balances from 413 glaciers
 – 920 geodetic balances from 446 glaciers
 – 44,000 front variations from 2,340 glaciers
 – 420 special event reports from 295 glaciers

For a detailed overview and quick data access, please use the WGMS MetaData Browser.

NIH Issues Finalized Policy on Genomic Data Sharing

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted the final version of its Genomic Data Sharing (GDS) Policy in the United States Federal Register on 26 August 2014. Promoting data sharing to accelerate translation of data into knowledge, products, and procedures to improve health whilst protecting research participant privacy, the policy will apply to all NIH-funded, large-scale human and non-human projects that generate genomic data, starting with funding applications submitted for a 25 January 2015 receipt date.

A key tenet of the GDS policy is the expectation that researchers obtain the informed consent of study participants for the potential future use of their de-identified data for research and for broad sharing. Any institution submitting data must certify that they were collected in a legal and ethically appropriate manner and that personal identifiers have been removed. Moreover, investigators and their institutions must provide basic plans for following the policy as part of funding proposals and applications.

To find out more about the GDS policy and its other aspects, please see the following NIH press release:

The Business Case for Open Data

We hope that readers of the WDS Blog may be interested in the recent report 'Open for Business', which provides a business case for Open Data and was commissioned by the Omidyar Network for the G20. Martin Tisné, Omidyar Network’s director, policy (UK)  makes the economic case for open data in the following article in Government Transparency (18 June 2014):

John Orcutt Named Editor of New Open Access Journal: Earth and Space Science

John Orcutt is a Professor of Geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and is very interested in the issue of data publishing, having written a number of articles about this subject.

The American Geophysical Union have announced that Prof Orcutt will be the inaugural editor of its newest open access, peer-reviewed journal, Earth and Space Science. The journal will begin accepting papers in late summer 2014, and the first articles will be available in the autumn.

For more information on this appointment, please see the following link: