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December 2017


Membership News


IDW 2018 [Change of Dates] + Call for Session Proposals for SciDataCon 2018

The second edition of International Data Week (IDW 2018) will now be held on 5–8 November 2018 in Gaborone, Botswana. This decision to change the dates has been taken in order to avoid clashes with the UN World Data Forum (22–24 October) and the Plenary Meeting of the Group on Earth Observations (31 Oct–1 Nov). IDW 2018 will be hosted by the Botswana Open Science and Open Data Forum, and co-organized by the ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS), the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (ICSU-CODATA) and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). IDW 2018 will integrate the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting and SciDataCon 2018 such that it is a rich week of science and data, with each day featuring an inspiring and engaging range of keynote speakers, plenary panels and discussions, presentation of high-quality research, and practical working sessions to stimulate international collaboration.

Session proposals are now invited for SciDataCon 2018: The Digital Frontiers of Global Science via:
The deadline for proposals is midnight UTC on 2 February 2018, and will require an account on the SciDataCon website. [Note: This process is separate to registering for the Conference, which will be available in due course through the IDW website].

Information on proposing a session—including the Conference Themes and Session Types, session and proposal formats, and the timescale—can be found on the SciDataCon 2018 website.

Coordination and Support of International Research Data Networks: Final Report Published

The Global Science Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD-GSF) and ICSU-WDS partnered on a project to inform policies to promote open data for science focussed on internationally coordinated data networks. The overall aim of this project was to identify principles and policy actions that can enable the establishment and maintenance of effective international data networks that are necessary to support a global open science enterprise. The final report of the Expert Group was published on 8 December and is available via the OECD Library:
Another project commissioned by OECD-GSF, in partnership with ICSU-CODATA, on business models for sustainable data repositories builds on the work of the WDS–RDA Working Group on Cost Recovery for Data Centres, and is the subject of a separate dedicated policy report also published on 8 December 2017:

WDS Latin America & Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop

This Workshop convened by ICSU-WDS—hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Tomorrow—aims to discuss scientific data management best practices developed by research institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. It will map initiatives that are either underway or in the process of being developed, their strengths and limitations, and new opportunities for collaboration. In addition, future trends and perspectives for scientific data systems, as well as criteria and standards for certification of data repositories, will be discussed. The list of key topics can be found here.
We invite all specialists and scientists currently involved in data management initiatives for scientific and technological research in the Latin America and the Caribbean region to present their experiences at the Workshop. Those interested in participating should register by completing this online form then submit an abstract and a short bio via another form no later than 26 January 2018.
For more information, please see the Workshop website or email the International Organizing Committee.

European Expert Group Advises in Favour of RDA/WDS-developed ICT Specifications

The European Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP), an expert advisory group on ICT standardization has positively assessed the compliance of several WDS/RDA technical specifications based on a set of requirements such as relevance, neutrality and stability, quality, and availability, and has recommended that these would be officially acknowledged as ICT Technical Specifications and listed for referencing in public procurement. The technical specifications involved are:
  • TS7 RDA CoreTrustSeal Data Repository Requirements (Developed by WDS and DSA)
  • TS8 RDA/WDS Workflows for Research Data Publishing Model.
The next step will be the publication in the EU Official Journal after the European Commission's decision. Other recommendations stemming out of WDS work within RDA are also being considered and the MSP decisions will be announced in due time.

Linhuan Wu Wins 2017 WDS Data Stewardship Award

Congratulations to Dr Linhuan Wu, who has been chosen by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) as the 2017 winner of the WDS Data Stewardship Award. Dr Wu will be presented with the 2017 Award and a prize at International Data Week 2018 (see above). On being informed of her win, Dr Wu said, 'I fully understand that the WDS Data Stewardship Award has an excellent reputation and always has high selection criteria, and so it is my great honour to receive the Award for 2017. Thank you to the WDS-SC and also to Dr Juncai Ma for his nomination.'

Dr Wu is a principal data scientist working at the WFCC World Data Centre for Microorganisms (WDS Regular Member), and is team leader of the Global Catalogue of Microorganisms. Among her achievements, Dr Wu has designed and established an international data standard system for microbial resources information management and data sharing that is currently being developed to become the first ISO standard project in the field of microbial resources.

WDS Training Resources Guide Published

We are pleased to inform you of the launch of the WDS Training Resources Guide, a dynamic list of training resources offered by WDS Members and beyond that are acknowledge to be useful in the mobilization of capacity in the area of data stewardship. In particular, an indication is given as to which of the Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements a training resource may be relevant to. Although this guide is not considered to be complete, and both the list of resources and the interface to present them will be enhanced over time, we hope that it will prove to be valuable to the WDS community.

More Monthly Blog Posts by WDS-SC

After the popularity and success of the inaugural series of entries by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) on the WDS Blog, we are very pleased to announce the start of a second round of monthly WDS-SC posts. These posts will span the year leading up to International Data Week 2018 (see above), and as ever, will cover topics that the WDS-SC are currently involved in and are expected to be of interest to the WDS community. The first three posts in the new WDS-SC series are introduced below: we hope you enjoy them!

From People to Pixels: Integrating Data Across the NASA DAACs

A Blog post by Lindsey M. Harriman (SGT, Inc. Contractor to USGS EROS Center/LP DAAC) and Alex de Sherbinin (WDS-SC)
Socioeconomic and Earth Sciences researchers in search of pertinent data can now reap the benefits of a recent collaboration between two Regular Members of the ICSU World Data System.
Today, our planet supports about 7.6 billion people, with a projected increase to nearly 10 billion by 2050, and more than 11 billion by 2100. These 7.6 billion people are using land and water resources to meet their basic needs. As the population increases, their use of, and their impact on, Earth’s resources is going to change. Researchers who study the dynamics between such human–land interactions and their changes over time will look at a range of variables, such as surface temperature, vegetation health, forest cover extent, and change in land cover and habitat, as well as impacts of natural disasters, and climate trends and extremes. (READ MORE)

Wim HugoThoughts on Future Trust

A Blog post by Wim Hugo (WDS-SC Vice-chair)
The ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) and the Data Seal of Approval have recently collaborated on the alignment of their respective sets of criteria for certification as a Trusted Digital Repository, and is in process of establishing a joint certification authority—the CoreTrustSeal—to manage the certification process associated with it. This activity contributes to a significant future focus on the trust that can be placed in elements of a distributed global research infrastructure, and the increased automation of its verification. However, it is the tip of the iceberg. (READ MORE)

Ingrid DilloThe What, Why, and How of Data Management Planning

A Blog post by Ingrid Dillo (WDS-SC Vice-chair)
Whether your research is performed in a lab, in the field, or at the office, and with a large or small team, it inevitably involves research information, or data. These data are valuable, and deserve to be properly managed. Over the last few years, the notion that good data management is an important part of scientific practice has increasingly found widespread acceptance.
Data management planning is the structured way of thinking about the research data you are going to collect. What type of research data will the research project produce? What format will you use? How will you store them and how can they be accessed? By thinking about these questions at an early stage and documenting your answers you will avert future problems as a researcher. (READ MORE)

ICSU and ISSC Members Vote to Create New Merged Organization: The 'International Science Council'

World’s leading bodies of Social and Natural Sciences agree to merge in 2018, becoming the International Science Council to serve as the global voice for science.

At a historic joint meeting in Taipei, members of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) voted overwhelmingly to merge into a new, single global entity that unites the scientific community under the vision 'to advance all sciences as a global public good' and that provides a strong foundation for advancing science across the disciplinary spectrum and in all parts of the world.

The full statement from ICSU and ISSC can be found here.

17th Meeting of the WDS-SC

The 17th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) took place on 30 September–01 October 2017 at the Heian Hotel in Kyoto, Japan. In addition to a number of reports on WDS endeavours—including the WDS Asia–Oceania Conference 2017 (see below)—a large part of the meeting was dedicated to two key topics:
  1. The development of a new Implementation Plan for the period 2018–2019 to accompany the updated WDS Strategic Plan 2018–2022. Several brainstorming and presentation sessions looked at deliverables that will go towards the realization of the Strategic Targets. The Strategic and Implementation Plans will now be finalized ready for publication at the start of 2018.
  2. The future direction of WDS strategy in relation to the (now confirmed [see above]) merger between ICSU and the ISSC, and the reaffirmation of WDS’ position in the data landscape, current and prospective in light of the merger.
A summary report of the Meeting is in preparation and will be placed on the Meeting Reports page on the WDS website when completed.

WDS Asia–Oceania Conference 2017 Takes Place in Kyoto, Japan

Group Photo WDS Asia-Oceania Conference 2017
The WDS Asia–Oceania Conference 2017 was successfully held on 27–29 September at Kyoto University. The Conference brought together over 100 data practitioners, data repository managers, and researchers predominantly based in Asia–Oceania to reinforce the data stewardship community in the region and to establish a collaborative system for accessing and disseminating research data. The main outcome was a decision to establish a regional network that will support existing international research priorities such as those set by ICSU through its programmes: Future Earth, Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, and Urban Health and Wellbeing. It was also announced that a follow-up Conference will be held in 2019, in Beijing, China.

WDS Member Activities

NASA & SEDAC LogosNew SEDAC Dataset

A new dataset has been released by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member). India Annual Winter Cropped Area, 2001–2016 consists of annual winter cropped areas for most of India (excluding the northeastern states) from 2000–2001 to 2015–2016. The data can be used in land-cover and land-use change studies, agricultural applications, and to assist with policy-making in regards to sustainable agricultural intensification.

CODATA LogoCall for Proposals: Göttingen–CODATA Symposium on RDM in Research Institutions

Abstracts are invited for the Göttingen–CODATA Research Data Management (RDM) Symposium 2018 on ‘The critical role of university RDM infrastructure in transforming data to knowledge’. The symposium is a collaboration between the University of Göttingen and CODATA, and will take place on 18–20 March 2018 in Göttingen, Germany as a precursor event to the 11th Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance.
The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday, 22 December and should be made here:
(Prospective participants without an account on the CODATA Conference Platform will first need to sign up.)

WGMS LogoGlobal Glacier Change Bulletin No. 2 (2014–2015)

The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS; WDS Regular Member) has announced the publication of the second issue of the Global Glacier Change Bulletin series. The full report can be downloaded in PDF-format from the WGMS website:
Online access to the corresponding glacier change data is provided through the Fluctuations of Glaciers BrowserWGMS Glacier App, and download of the entire Fluctuations of Glaciers database.
In connection with the release of the second Bulletin, Mauri Pelto (Director of the North Cascades Glacier Climate Project) has written a blog post on the general findings coming from the contained data in AGU Blogosphere.

New Member of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in July, the WDS-SC has accredited one Regular Member:

CoreTrustSeal Certification Officially Launched

AGU 2017 LogoICSU-WDS and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) have officially announced the launch of a new certification organization: CoreTrustSeal. The core-level data repository certification offered by the CoreTrustSeal replaces the DSA certification and the WDS certification of Regular Members, and and is open to all interested data repositories.

Governed by a Standards and Certification Board, the CoreTrustSeal is a community-based, nonprofit organization promoting sustainable and trustworthy data infrastructures. It is committed to supplying a professional service, and in this regard is developing a sustainable business model by introducing a modest fee to cover administrative costs as of January 2018. Please note that in order to make a smooth transition to a new CoreTrustSeal online certification tool, the DSA and WDS certifications are frozen for new applicants during November and December 2017. From January 2018 onwards, repositories will be able to apply for certification via the CoreTrustSeal website.

Future Events

WDS Latin America and Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop
17–18 April 2018; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
See article above for details.

3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop
20–23 March 2018; Frascati, Italy
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) will hold its 3rd Data Providers workshop on 20–23 March 2018 at the European Space Agency in Frascati, Italy. Data providers and users contributing to, or benefiting from, Earth observations are invited to attend the Workshop, which will enable those present to share knowledge and best practices in the management and use of Earth observation data, while working together to enhance the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). In particular, it will feature three days of dynamic sessions, along with one day-and-a-half hackathon, aimed at connecting data providers and users as part of the GEOSS Platform community.

RDA Eleventh Plenary Meeting
21–23 March 2018; Berlin, Germany
The 11th RDA Plenary Meeting will take place from the 21st to the 23rd March 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Under the theme "From Data to Knowledge", the Plenary meeting welcomes the participation of all data scientists, experts and practitioners engaged in the advancement of data-driven science and economy. The Research Data Alliance and the 2.5-day Plenary meeting provide the ideal, neutral and trustworthy forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a global data ecosystem of best practices, standards and interoperable data infrastructures fostering cross-disciplinary knowledge and innovation.

Past Events & Outcomes

International Workshop on Sharing, Citation and Publication of Scientific Data across Disciplines
04–07 December 2017; Tachikawa, Japan
This Workshop focussed on recent topics of interest that are attributed to play a crucial role in accelerating Open Science and Open Data. ICSU-WDS was represented at the Workshop by Takashi Watanabe (Senior Advisor) and Rorie Edmunds (Programme Officer) of the WDS-IPO, who respectively gave presentations outlining the current status of the former WDC in Japan, and the building of trust through certification and the new CoreTrustSeal certification standard. Dr Edmunds also acted as an adviser in a domestic pre-meeting in which Japanese data initiatives discussed their ability to certify under the CoreTrustSeal.
Enabling FAIR Data Stakeholder Meeting
15–18 November 2017; Washington, DC, USA
WDS was invited to participate as one of the stakeholders in this meeting organized by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). This initiative builds on the work of the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences ( and others. It brought together domain repositories, publishers, researchers, and allied stakeholders to further develop common standards and workflows for submission of data, connect repositories and publishers, develop and implement tools needed for search and discovery, and enhance quality peer review. 

Belmont Forum Plenary meeting
07–11 November 2017; São Paulo, Brazil
Belmont Forum members, partners, and guests from around the world gathered in São Paulo, Brazil for a week of meetings hosted by FAPESP. On the first day the Belmont Forum held an Americas Regional Info Day in which  funding and coordination organizations and lead experts from the region can connect with the Belmont Forum. On 8–9 November participants attended the Plenary meeting to discuss joint funding. Outcomes of the Plenary included the launch of a CRA focused on Science-Driven e-Infrastructure Innovation for the Enhancement of Transnational and Interdisciplinary Data Use and the endorsement of Data Skills Training Curricula developed by the Belmont Forum e-Infrastructure and Data Management project co-led by the ICSU World Data System.
Workshop On 'Exchanging Information About Data–Literature Links' – An Adopters' Meeting of the RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange WG
05 October 2017; Pisa, Italy
The RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange Working Group (WG) aims to enable a comprehensive global view of the links between scholarly literature and data. The main result of the WG is the Scholix initiative, which is building an open information ecosystem to understand systematically what data underpins literature and what literature references data. This hands-on, solution-based workshop brought together a set of early adopters to validate access services against the needs of the consumer applications, and thus give feedback on barriers to integration such that they are identified and addressed directly.
iPRES 2017
25–29 September 2017; Kyoto, Japan
iPRES is a major international conference series on the preservation and long-term management of digital materials, embracing a variety of topics and perspectives: from strategy to implementation, and from international and regional initiatives to small organizations. The 14th incarnation of the iPRES conference was attended by Ingrid Dillo (WDS-SC Vice-chair), who gave the opening keynote address.
RDA 10th Plenary Meeting
18–21 September 2017; Montréal, Canada
The RDA 10th Plenary Meeting had the theme 'Better Data, Better Decisions'. The joint RDA/WDS Publishing Data and Certification Interest Groups, and the WDS/RDA Assessment of Data Fitness for Use and RDA/WDS Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) WGs all held breakout sessions at the Plenary.
10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference
21–25 August 2017; Interlaken, Switzerland
The 10th International Carbon Dioxide Conference provided participants with an integrated, interdisciplinary view of the global carbon cycle and its perturbation by humans. The Conference was attended by the SC Chair, Sandy Harrison, who presented a poster on the ICSU World Data System.