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December 2015

International Data Week 2016 & Call for Sessions for SciDataCon 2016

The ICSU World Data System, ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), and Research Data Alliance (RDA) are delighted to announce that the joint 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 scientists, researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and data stewards through three complementary events:

1. SciDataCon 2016 – Advancing the Frontiers of Data Science and Data Stewardship
The first Call for Sessions for SciDataCon 2016 is now open (deadline: midnight UTC, 14 February 2016). This scientific research conference convened by CODATA and WDS will advance the frontiers of data in research and will feature scientific papers from a wide range of perspectives. The scope is explicitly broad and inclusive, addressing all aspects of the role of data in research. Note: The Conference will be preceded by a one-day WDS Members' Forum on 11 September 2016, to which WDS Member Representatives are expected to participate.

2. International Data Forum
This event will be the centrepiece of IDW 2016, bringing together international researchers, industrialists, policy makers, and educators to discuss the major opportunities and challenges of the Data Revolution, from Big Data to Open Data.

3. 8th RDA Plenary Meeting
The 8th RDA Plenary Meeting offers attendees a unique opportunity to network and collaborate with colleagues in various disciplines, and make concrete progress in technical and social areas on topics related to research data sharing and exchange.

Download the IDW 2016 Press Release

WDS Adopts New Data Sharing Principles

As the leading international, multidisciplinary organization in the provision of trusted data services, ICSU-WDS has adopted a new set of Data Sharing Principles to advance its goals and embody the spirit of ‘open science'. These Principles are in line with the data policies of national and international initiatives, and express the core ethical commitments operationalized in the WDS Certification with which the organizational policies of WDS Members are expected to be aligned. The Principles were developed by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) in full consultation with WDS Members. Member Organizations are thanked for their overwhelming support, as well as for their valuable contributions, which were incorporated into the final version.

The Principles can be downloaded as a PDF file, and can also be found on ZENODO (10.5281/zenodo.34354) as part of the WDS Community Collection.

Yaxing Wei Wins 2015 WDS Data Stewardship Award

We would like to congratulate Dr Yaxing Wei, who was selected by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) from a strong list of candidates as the winner of the WDS Data Stewardship Award for 2015. Dr Wei will be presented with the 2015 Award and a prize at SciDataCon 2016.

Dr Wei is a geospatial information scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center (ORNL DAAC; WDS Regular Member). The information and endorsements supplied by ORNL DAAC highlighted to the WDS-SC that he is a indeed worthy recipient of the Award, which highlights exceptional contributions to the improvement of scientific data stewardship by early career researchers through their engagement with the community, academic achievements, and innovations.

You can read Dr Wei's bio here.

Register Now for WDS Webinar #8

OpenStreetMap LogoIn the eighth of the WDS Webinar series, Mikel Maron and Paola Kim-Blanco will present on the specific and necessary steps undertaken to ensure the quality and accuracy of crowd-sourced contributions to OpenStreetMap. This Webinar will take place on 10 February 2016 at 13:00 UTC, and more information and FREE registration can be found here.

On 5 November 2015, Professor Emile Okal gave WDS Webinar #7, Historical Seismograms: Preserving an Endangered Species, in which he presented a review of the nature of datasets in seismological archives, and the algorithms allowing their use. The recording and presented slides from Webinar #7 are located here.

WDS Member Activities

CODATA–RDA School of Research Data Science: Applications Now Open

Applications are open until 18 April 2016 for a School of Research Data Science that is being co-organized by the CODATA and RDA (both WDS Associate Members). This short course on data science skills essential for 21st century research will be held on 1–12 August 2016 at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.

For information and to apply, please click here.

WDC – RSER Transfers Data Holdings to WDC – Meterology, Obninsk

The All-Russia Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information – World Data Centre (RIHMI-WDC) has closed down 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 have now become part of the collection of WDC – Meteorology, Obninsk (WDS Regular Member).

One of the tenets of the ICSU World Data System, is that WDS Members should find a mechanism to transfer their data activities if they can no longer continue their commitment to long-term data stewardship. Therefore, it is excellent from a WDS-perspective that WDC – RSER's data have been moved to another host and will continue to be openly accessible. The WDS-SC believes that this is a good lesson for others and hopes that all scientific data services—both WDS Members and beyond—will look to do likewise if faced with a similar situation in the future.

New Member of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in October, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
One Regular Member:

Science International Launches Campaign for 'Open Data in a Big Data World'

Four of the major international science organizations—ICSU, ISSC, IAP, and TWAS*—have come together to develop and support an Accord on 'Open Data in a Big Data World'. CODATA and WDS played a role in the creation of the Accord, which includes a set of guiding principles on open access to Big Data that necessarily protects the scientific process and ensures that developing countries can participate more fully in the global research enterprise. Over the next 12 months, the campaign will look to collect endorsements for the Accord from other science, education, and policy bodies, with final results anticipated in third quarter 2016.

An overview of the key issues in Open Data in a Big Data World can be accessed here, while a press release from Science International on the Accord can be found here.

* International Council for Science, International Social Science Council, InterAcademy Partnership, and The World Academy of Sciences.

Call for Abstracts: EGU 2016

The 2016 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU 2016) will be held on 17–22 April in Vienna, Austria. The Earth & Space Science Informatics (ESSI) Programme Group is of specific interest and relevance to ICSU-WDS. In particular, we would like to encourage the WDS community to contribute abstracts to the following two sessions (deadline for submissions: 13 Jan 2016 at 13:00 CET).

More generally, sessions of the ESSI Programme Group can be located by selecting ESSI from the conference programme page.

Monthly Blog Posts by WDS-SC

Ingrid DilloWe are pleased to announce the first in a monthly series of Blog Posts by the WDS-SC. Over the coming year leading up to SciDataCon 2016, each member of the Scientific Committee will introduce themselves by writing a short entry in the WDS Blog on a topic they are currently involved with.

The inaugural Blog Post is from Ingrid Dillo (WDS-SC Vice-chair), who introduces the new, open-access Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences launched by DANS (WDS Regular Member) and Brill in the Netherlands:

WDS Members' Biennial Reports 2013–2014

The biennial Activity Reports of WDS Regular and Network Members for 2013–2014 have now been added to the WDS website. In addition to promoting Members’ accomplishments and key future goals to the community, the Biennial Reports act as supporting documents when Members are periodically reviewed (approximately every 3–5 years). In that regard, the Reports have been reviewed by the WDS-SC over the course of 2015.

Future Events

RDA 7th Plenary Meeting

1–3 March 2016; Tokyo, Japan
The RDA 7th Plenary Meeting will be hosted and co-organised by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) under the theme 'Making data sharing work in the era of Open Science'. As an organization of volunteers and self-formed collaboration, RDA is committed to promoting 'openness' and delivering tangible outputs that improve data sharing across disciplines, technologies, and countries. The Plenary will be built around sessions from RDA Working and Interest Group meetings, including the RDA–WDS Data Publishing and Certification groups. The Meeting will be preceded on 29 February by an open symposium on 'Data-driven Science – The Trigger of Scientific development' organized by JST.

Past Events

Polar Data Forum II

26–29 October 2015; University of Waterloo, Waterloo
In total, 110 people from 18 countries participated in the Second International Polar Data Forum, with dozens of additional data managers, researchers, and students attending the Data Management Workshop, social events each evening, and side meetings on topics such as creating an Arctic Digital Elevation Model and user requirements for the next generation of polar observing satellites. Polar Data Forum II had the theme International Collaboration for Advancing Polar Data Access and Preservation and refined the themes and priorities of the first Forum, accelerating progress by establishing clear actions to address target issues, including: meeting the needs of society and science through promotion of open data and effective data stewardship, establishing sharing and interoperability of data at a variety of levels, developing trusted data management systems, and ensuring long-term data preservation.

GEO XII Plenary & Mexico City Ministerial Summit

9–13 November 2015; Hilton Mexico City Reforma and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico City
The WDS Executive Director represented ICSU-WDS at the Twelfth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO XII). As a Participating Organization of GEO, WDS gave a declaration to the Plenary of its wish to continue contributing to GEO activities such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) Data Management Principles Implementation Guidelines, to which WDS submitted content and led on some of the sections. ICSU-WDS also offered its certification framework as a method for realizing the Guidelines. One of the main outcomes of the Plenary from a WDS perspective was that Arona Diedhiou of the WDS-SC was appointed to the GEO Programme Board that guides the future developments of GEO under the supervision of its Executive Committee.

FE Data and Observations Task Force Meetings

10 November 2015; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico City
18 November 2015; Science Council of Japan, Tokyo

ICSU-WDS organized two meetings with the nascent Future Earth (FE) Data and Information and Observations Task Force: one in Mexico, taking advantage of the GEO Plenary; and one in Tokyo, back-to-back with FE Science and FE Engagement Committee meetings. At the second meeting, the FE Science Committee officially recognized the Task Force within the FE structure, and the two co-chairs—Dr Eduardo Brondizio (FE Science Committee) and Mr Mario Hernandez (FE Engagement Committee)—were formally appointed.