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February 2014

New WDS Website Launched

We are very pleased to inform you of the launch of the new and improved World Data System website ( Although its functionality is still being upgraded daily, we hope that you will find the new website to be user friendly. We appreciate your patience whilst we 'iron out' the last few bugs, and welcome any feedback you might have on its general look and feel, or on more specific issues (please use or contact-us page).

The new website—which uses plone, an open source content management system—is the first stage towards the realization of a bespoke WDS integrated platform that will be rolled out in the coming months. In addition to the main website, it will also consist of two web-based tools: an Issue Tracker Tool to assist us in dealing with any problems WDS Members and website users might be experiencing, and a Membership Management Tool to facilitate existing and future WDS Members in their interactions with the International Programme Office, in particular with the certification procedure. Finally, security will be enhanced through the use of state-of-the-art software, secured connections (HTTPS) and an authentication system to access some of the platform's advanced features.

Watch this space for more details...

SciDataCon 2014: Conference website, Invitation for ISPC, and Session Topics Forum

The website is now available for SciDataCon 2014 ( As noted on the homepage, a call has been issued for applications for members of the International Scientific Programme Committee (ISPC), who will play a key role in structuring the content of ScIDataCon 2014. We would also like to encourage the wider WDS community to propose Conference session topics via the website Forum; the ISPC will then draft the Conference Programme according to the suggestions received. Thus, SciDataCon 2014 themes will be uniquely guided by its participants.

An official letter inviting candidates to apply for the ISPC (including more details on its role) can be downloaded here (PDF). The deadline for applications is 14 February 2014.
SciDataCon 2014: 'Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability' is the first in a new series of joint biennial Conferences between ICSU-WDS and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology, and will be held on 2–5 November 2014 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Convention Centre in New Delhi, India.

International Polar Data Forum Communiqué Released

We would like to announce the release of a Communiqué highlighting the recommendations and observations emanating from the recent International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems'. In this two-page document, Forum participants (comprising of data managers, scientists, and research coordinators) share their observations about the current state of polar data activities and their recommendations for enhancing and sustaining core data services into the future.

A copy of the Communiqué can be downloaded here (PDF).

Report from the 9th WDS Scientific Committee Meeting Now Available

A report summarizing the outcomes 9th biannual Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (17–18 October 2013; Tokyo, Japan) is now available for download (PDF).

Data Publishing Working Group submits RDA Case Statements

After a number of months of hard work, the four WDS Working Groups (WGs) beneath the WDS Data Publishing WG—Workflows, Bibliometrics, Cost Recovery for Data Centres, and Services—have submitted their Case Statements as part of a package for endorsement by the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Once approved, they will become WGs under the umbrella of the joint RDA–WDS Interest Group on Publishing Data.

The Case Statements are respectively available through each WDS-WG's webpage: They have also been placed on the RDA website for comment by the community before the RDA Council meets in early March. We look forward to being able to officially announce the commencement of the new RDA–WDS WGs after the conclusion of the Third RDA Plenary (see Future Events for more details).

WDS-SC Chair named AAAS Fellow

Jean-Bernard Minster—Chair of the WDS Scientific Committee—has been named a 2013 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the largest general science organization in the US. A Professor of Geophysics at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Jean-Bernard was recognized for not only his work in geophysics research but also 'community leadership and teaching the next generation of geophysicists'.

WDS-IPO Senior Advisor visits Malaysia

On 13–14 November 2013, Takashi Watanabe (WDS-IPO Senior Advisor) went to Malaysia in order to promote ICSU-WDS and learn about data institutions in this region. He visited ICSU's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and the Malaysian Centre for Geospatial Data Infrastructure.

Future Events

9th International Digital Curation Conference
24–27 February 2014, San Francisco, USA
The 9th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) will be held from Monday, 24 February to Thursday, 27 February 2014 at the Omni San Francisco Hotel (at Montgomery). Under the theme Commodity, catalyst or change-agent? Data-driven transformations in research, education, business & society, the conference will centre on how data-driven developments are changing the world around us and will explore the tools, data services, and skills essential for maximizing valuable data assets.
A full-day workshop on Monday, 24 February entitled Research Data Publication in Principle and Practice will included breakouts focussing on the four WDS Data Publishing Working Groups on Workflows, Bibliometrics, Cost Recovery for Data Centres, and Services.

RDA Third Plenary Meeting
26–28 March 2014, Dublin, Ireland
The Third Plenary of the Research Data Alliance has the title ‘The Data Sharing Community: Playing YOUR Part’. It is concerned with exploiting the potential of RDA’s work to date; addressing all parts of the data lifecycle. The programme contains a mixture of keynotes, panels, networking, Working and Interest Groups, as well as ‘Birds of a Feather’ sessions on a variety of topics from numerous domains. In particular, the joint RDA–WDS Interest Groups on Publish Data and Certification, as well as the Working Groups beneath their umbrellas, will hold breakout sessions during the Plenary.

10th Meeting of the World Data System Scientific Committee
31 March–2 April 2014, Paris, France
The WDS-SC will convene at the headquarters of the International Council for Science in Paris for the first of its biannual meetings of 2014.

Past Events

5th ICSU Regional Consultation in Asia & the Pacific
26–27 November 2014, Seoul, South-Korea
The primary purpose of this consultation was to provide ICSU members, the scientific community, and organizations in Asia and the Pacific the opportunity to participate in discussions on how Future Earth can be implemented in that region. The meeting was attended by Rorie Edmunds, WDS Programme Officer, who gave a presentation entitled 'Challenges facing Future Earth in the context of data management and dissemination'.

Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-X)
15–17 January 2014, Geneva, Switzerland
The 10th GEO Plenary was coupled with a Ministerial Summit. The main outcome of the meeting was the renewal of GEO’s mandate for a further 10 years. A new GEO Implementation Plan will be developed for the 2015–2025 period for approval at the next Plenary. As a GEO Participating Organization, WDS was represented by its Executive Director—Mustapha Mokrane—who gave a Statement on behalf of ICSU, WDS and CODATA.