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April 2013

WDS to co-host International Polar Data Forum

International Polar Data Forum
An International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems' will take place at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, Japan on 15–16 October 2013.

To manage the considerable data legacy of the International Polar Year (IPY), National Antarctic Data Centres under the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) initiated several dedicated data-services. To construct an effective framework for long-term stewardship, data must be made available promptly, and adequate technologies should be employed (e.g., a repository service, such as the Polar Information Commons (PIC)). In addition to activities conducted within the communities of SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), stronger links must be established in the post-IPY era with other cross-cutting scientific data-management bodies such as ICSU-WDS. To this end, SCAR’s Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SCADM), the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC), and IASC are planning a Joint International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems'.

The Forum will address effective polar data management  at the international level, including submission, stewardship, and long-term preservation of metadata and data, as well as sharing of data to facilitate new interdisciplinary science. To ensure the IPY data legacy, presentations on the successes and challenges encountered during IPY will highlight not only the best practices but also the shortcomings. This event is open to all scientific disciplines, and interdisciplinary data management topics are especially encouraged. A significant outcome of the Forum will be the development of a new strategy and structure for the Arctic Data Network under the auspices of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks process, IASC, and the Arctic Council. Discussions involving the different communities will provide a strong foundation to forge interdisciplinary connections and explore new horizons for polar data management. In particular, an updated plan for polar data archives, including the PIC cloud system, will be discussed.

For more information about the Polar Data Forum (including abstract submission), please visit the website:

ICSU-WDS establishes two Working Groups

At its 7th Meeting (held 1–2 November 2012, in Taipei), the WDS-SC took the historic decision to realize two leading-edge ICSU-WDS services considered to add value to the wider scientific community: After polling WDS Members thoughts on these services—and asking for volunteers in their accomplishment—we are pleased to announce that two WDS Working Groups (WDS-WGs) charged with the task of delivering these services have been established. The initial charters and memberships of the WDS-WGs are available through the above links.

RDA/WDS Interest Groups initiated

Credit: RDA

ICSU-WDS had a good presence at the recent First Plenary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) in Gothenburg, Sweden (18–20 March 2013); with Françoise Genova and Wim Hugo of the WDS-SC, and the Executive Director of the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO), Mustapha Mokrane in attendance. Reinforcing the common links between ICSU-WDS and RDA, this launch event resulted in the initiation of two RDA/WDS Interest Groups: one on 'Publishing Data'—building on the existing framework of the newly established WDS Data Publication WG, and another on 'Data Repository Auditing and Certification'—in light of the experience gained by ICSU-WDS in this area. An exchange of ideas also took place between the WDS Knowledge Network WG and the proposed 'Contextual Metadata' RDA working group, including a possible cross-membership between these two groups.

IODE adopts WDS-aligned QMF to accredit its NODCs

IODE logoIn March 2013, the IPO Executive Director and Programme Officer attended the 22nd Session of the International Oceanographic Data Exchange (IODE-XXII) in Ensenada, Mexico. Following close collaboration between the Membership and Accreditation Subcommittee of the WDS-SC and the IODE Project Office, it was formally agreed at this Session that IODE will adopt a Quality Management Framework aligned with the catalogue of criteria for WDS certification for its National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs). IODE has thus taken responsibility over the certification of its NODCs.

ICSU-WDS becomes Associate Member of WorldWideScience Alliance

We are pleased to announce the reciprocal exchanging of Associate memberships between the ICSU World Data System and the WorldWideScience Alliance, the governance structure of We look forward to this mutually beneficial collaboration, which will serve as a forum for the two organizations to share ideas and work towards common goals.

New ICSU-WDS Members

The first quarter of 2013 has been busy for ICSU-WDS in terms of new Members. Between January and March, the WDS-SC accredited 10 (ten) new Regular and Network Members and co-opted 4 (four) new Partner and Associate Members. Whilst we would like to welcome all of these new Members to WDS, we are particularly pleased to accept our first Regular Member from Africa: DataFirst is hosted by the University of Cape Town and promotes the long-term preservation and reuse of data from African socioeconomic surveys.

Specifically, since the last newsletter in December, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
Three Network Members:
and Seven Regular Members: In addition, One Partner Member: and Three Associate Members were co-opted: