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December 2012

Outcomes of 7th Meeting of ICSU-WDS Scientific Committee

WDS-SC, IPO and ICSU President
The ICSU-WDS Scientific Committee (SC) held their 7th biannual meeting on 1–2 November in Taipei. This initial meeting of the second WDS-SC was tasked with developing the framework that will position ICSU-WDS as the premium global multidisciplinary network for quality-assessed scientific data and enable WDS to significantly contribute to projects such as Future Earth, ICSU’s flagship programme.

Although a full Summary Report of the 7th WDS-SC Meeting can be accessed here, the following priority areas were recognized by the SC as imperative to WDS accomplishing its goals.
Community building: WDS will encourage Regular Members in similar fields to collaborate and create networks. In particular, WDS will be an international coordination forum for data centres and services to document common practices and standards. To increase disciplinary and global coverage, WDS will moreover concentrate on recruiting Network Members and use its comprehensive accreditation procedure to align WDS and partner networks.
Establishing relevant tools: WDS will exclusively provide three essential leading-edge services.
  1. A community-based Data Publication and Curation Service. Adoption of data publication and citation frameworks will be promoted for WDS Members. This will require collaboration with organizations such as ICSTI and DataCite.
  2. WDS Open Metadata Catalogue. WDS Members’ published metadata will be aggregated and their datasets made discoverable and accessible.
  3. A searchable WDS Scalable Knowledge Network. An enriched data and information catalogue for use by scientific projects, funders, and other stakeholders that will be the primary source of information on global capability with respect to scientific data centres and service providers.

Strengthening links with partners: ICSU-CODATA—the sister organization of WDS—has a long history of hosting international conferences that are strongly attended by core data scientists. With overlapping audiences, WDS and CODATA will thus hold a single co-located conference from 2014 to reinforce their ties and create the world’s principal data science event. Furthermore, WDS will work with other organizations sharing a similar ethos (e.g., the Research Data Alliance) to ensure that a common unified message on data stewardship is disseminated and put into practise

WDS recognized as Participating Organization in GEO

GEO-IX Plenary

ICSU-WDS is now officially recognized as a 'Participating Organization' in GEO. WDS will contribute its Members’ key multidisciplinary quality-assessed scientific datasets to the GEOSS Data-CORE. WDS is also supporting a community-based framework for long-term preservation and publication of scientific data that it hopes will be utilized in the context of GEOSS.

WDS at 23rd CODATA International Conference

WDS Members Forum at the CODATA 23rd Conference
The WDS-SC and International Programme Office (IPO) would like to thank everybody, both Members and those with an interest in WDS, for joining the two WDS business meetings and three WDS co-organized data publication/citation sessions at the recent 23rd CODATA International Conference in Taipei. Your inputs meant that these meetings were all extremely productive. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the speakers and poster presenters at the very well-attended WDS Members’ Forum.

Additionally, our appreciation goes out to the CODATA organizing committee and Academia Sinica for hosting this auspicious event. We are already looking forward to the WDS-CODATA co-located Conference in 2014 (see above).

Dr. Claudia Emerson appointed WDS-SC member

The milieu on which ICSU-WDS was forged has meant that WDS Members have largely been from the natural sciences. However, with big data becoming of increasing importance in both the life and the social and behavioural sciences, and in response to ICSU's research priorities, the WDS-SC has set a directive of active recruitment from these fields. Moreover, whilst appointing the new WDS-SC earlier this year, the ICSU Executive Board—in an unprecedented step—also decided that a thirteenth seat on the SC would be established specifically for an individual with a background in one of those fields.

After being approached at the CODATA 2012 Conference by Bernard Minster (Chair of the WDS-SC) and Mustapha Mokrane (Executive Director of the WDS-IPO), Dr. Claudia Emerson Ph.D. was nominated to fill this 13th position, and was subsequently appointed by the ICSU Executive Board. Dr. Emerson specializes in ethics and policy of research involving human subjects and is a Senior Scientist with the ESC Program for Global Health and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University, Canada. She has published on such topics as access to health data, privacy, biobanks, and research governance.

The WDS-SC and WDS-IPO would like to welcome Claudia to WDS, we look forward to working with her.

Proceedings of First WDS Conference now available

The WDS-IPO is pleased to announce that the proceedings from the First ICSU-WDS Conference are now available for download in PDF format. This highly successful conference with the topic of 'Global Data for Global Science' was held on 3–6 September 2011 in Kyoto, Japan. On behalf of WDS, the IPO would like to express our gratitude to Prof. Takashi Watanabe for all of his hard work and relentless dedication in bringing these proceedings to fruition.

New Members

Since the last newsletter in October, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
Three Regular Members: In addition, One Associate Member was co-opted:

Future Events

8th International Digital Curation Conference
14–16 January 2013, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Michael Diepenbroek (WDS-SC Vice-chair) will present on 17 January 2013 at the post-conference workshop Data publishing, peer review and repository accreditation: everyone a winner? This workshop will highlight the challenges and opportunities data publishing raises for the various stakeholders in data management and curation. Full details of this workshop can be found here.

22nd Session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XXII)
11–15 March 2013, Ensenada, Mexico
This Session will address the continuing and important activities of IODE in specialized training. Additionally, sessional working groups will meet to deal with several strategic items including the adoption and implementation of an IODE quality management framework and quality management system. See the IODE-XII webpage for more information.

8th Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the World Data System
17–19 April 2013, Paris, France

Past Events

45th Annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting
3–7 December 2012, San Francisco, USA
A WDS poster was presented at the AGU Fall meeting as part of the Envisioning Improvements for Earth Science Data Access III Posters sessionFull details about the conference can be found here.

Future Earth - GEC Community Workshop
28–29 November 2012, Paris, France
WDS and CODATA co-organized a data management breakout session during this workshop on ICSU's Future Earth programme. The goal of this session was to discuss the data management arrangements proposed in the draft institutional and research framework of Future Earth and to provide feedback to its Transition Team. The report from the breakout session is available here.

Ninth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-IX)
22–23 November 2012, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
The efforts of ICSU-WDS in promoting access to quality-assessed scientific data were presented by WDS-IPO Executive Director, Mustapha Mokrane, to the Data Sharing Working Group during a side meeting at GEO-IX. The Inter-university Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork, an academic network involving several Japan-based WDS Members, was introduced as an exemplar of good practice in international data sharing.