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November 2013

Save the Date: SciDataCon 2014 and WDS Members' Forum

We are excited to be able to announce more details regarding the joint Conference between the World Data System (WDS) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)—sister organizations under the authority of the International Council for Science (ICSU). This new biennial Conference series has been namedSciDataCon.

With the aim of becoming the world's principal scientific research data event,SciDataCon will provide a unique platform for bringing together a diverse multidisciplinary audience, including international experts and practitioners in data management and technologies, researchers from the Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, research funders, and policy makers.

The inaugural Conference, SciDataCon 2014, will be held on 2–5 November 2014 at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Convention Centre in New Delhi, India; hosted by the Indian National Science Academy. It will have the general theme of Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability; with an eye towards the Future Earth research programme, which will be launched by ICSU and its partners in 2014, as well as augmenting the message of like-minded global data initiatives that promote data sharing and interoperability.

The Conference will be preceded by a one-day WDS Members' Forum in the same venue on 1 or 2 November [TBC], to which WDS Members representatives are expected to participate.

WDS Co-hosts International Polar Data Forum

International Polar Data Forum
Around 100 people gathered at the National Museum of Nature and Science (NMNS) in Tokyo, Japan on 15–16 October 2013 to participate in the WDS co-hosted International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems'. During this stimulating two-day event attendees enjoyed nearly 50 oral and poster presentations, in addition to several lively panel discussions, on a variety of multidisciplinary topics surrounding data management from the perspective of both polar communities.

In spite of the second day having to be condensed due to the typhoon hitting Tokyo on the morning of the 16th, the Forum was considered to be highly successful in its aims of not only bringing together Arctic and Antarctic researchers under a collaborative umbrella but also addressing the data legacy of the International Polar Year 2007–2008. To ensure that the lessons learnt from this Forum are not lost and the momentum generated continues, the Scientific Organizing Committee is currently preparing a Communique (with the help of the participants) for wide dissemination. Upon completion, we will make this document available on the WDS website and link to it in the next WDS Newsletter. 

The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) would like to express its appreciation to all of the Forum organizers and, in particular, to the sponsoring organizations—the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), and NMNS—for their unstinting generosity.

A Different Kind of Ecosystem

We would like to introduce you to the following article written by WDS-SC member Wim Hugo for the October edition of the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) newsletter. In this piece Wim—as Chief Data and Information Officer—outlines SAEON's 'data manifesto', emphasizing the ethos on which this is founded and the efforts of ICSU-WDS in the field of global scientific data management.

9th Meeting of ICSU-WDS Scientific Committee held in Tokyo

9th WDS-SC Meeting, Tokyo
The WDS-SC convened for its 9th biannual Meeting on 17–18 October at the NICT Kōjimachi Office in Tokyo, Japan. The Meeting predominantly centred on the formulation of the ICSU-WDS Strategic Plan for the period 2014–2018, alongside the generation of an Implementation Plan for achieving the proposed strategic targets that will be reviewed annually.

The Draft Strategic Plan and a report summarizing the outcomes of the Meeting will follow once these have been finalized, and will be placed on the WDS website (in addition to being highlighted in the next WDS Newsletter).

ICSU World Data System Annual Report 2012–13

ICSU-WDS Annual Report 2012-13

The WDS Annual Report prepared by the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) and covering fiscal year 2012 (1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013) is available for download (PDF).

WDS Member Activities

The IRIS REED Project

IRIS LogoThe Regional Exchange of Earthquake Data (REED) Project within the Data Services of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS; WDS Regular Member) assists seismic networks wishing to share data with IRIS by providing solutions to the technical difficulties involved in that process.
We would like to draw your attention to the following article on the REED Project from IRIS' autumn newsletter since the program has really helped a number of organizations share their data; and this is something to be learned from, and perhaps emulated. A small amount of data can go a long way!

IODE ODP Partnership Centre

The International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE; WDS Network Member) held an official ceremony (press release (PDF)) on 10 September 2013 to launch the Partnership Centre for its Ocean Data Portal (ODP). Hosted by the Research Institute of Hydrometeorological Information – World Data Centre (RIHMI–WDC), the ODP aims at providing seamless access to collections and inventories of marine data from the National Oceanographic Data Centres of the IODE network. In attendance at the ceremony were two members of WDS Scientific Committee: Vasily Kopylov (Director of RIHMI–WDC) and Ariel Troisi (in his role as Co-chair of IODE).ODP Inauguration

Dr. Evgeny Kharin (6 Feb 1933 – 11 Sep 2013)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Evgeny Kharin on 11 September 2013. Dr. Kharin was the Director of the World Data Centre for Solar–Terrestrial Physics in Moscow for 30 years, and oversaw the Centre's affiliation as a Regular Member of the new ICSU World Data System in 2012. Our sincere condolences go out to Dr. Kharin's family and to all those close to him. A short biography outlining Dr. Kharin's achievements can be downloaded here (PDF).

New ICSU-WDS Members

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

Past Events

RDA Second Plenary Meeting
16–18 September 2013, Washington DC, USA
Around half of the Research Data Alliance's (RDA's) 800 members attended its Second biannual Plenary at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. Attended by Bernard Minster (Chair of the WDS-SC), Michael Diepenbroek (Vice-chair of WDS-SC; Co-chair of RDA/WDS Interest Group on Certification of Digital Repositories), and by Mustapha Mokrane (WDS-IPO Executive Director), there was significant WDS presence at the event, not least at the breakout sessions for the two RDA–WDS Interest Groups. Although RDA is still defining its governance model, and has yet to formalize its relationship with affiliate organizations, the environment it has created is already encouraging useful interactions between organizations and individuals of a similar mindset; bringing them together towards a shared vision and distribution of the workload.

2013 Data Seal of Approval Conference/Biennial ICPSR Meeting
8–11 October 2013, Ann Arbor, USA
Mustapha Mokrane gave a presentation on ICSU-WDS at the current collaboration with the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) at its Second International Conference, which was organized in cooperation with the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR; WDS Regular Member). Mustapha also attended ICPSR's 2013 Biennial Meeting held on the days immediately following the one-day DSA Conference. 

World Social Science Forum (WSSF) 2013
13–15 October 2013, Montréal, Canada
Claudia Emerson of the WDS-SC attended the International Social Science Council's triennial WSSF: 'Social Transformations and the Digital Age' to participate in an ICSU-WDS and CODATA co-organized panel session 'Data Management Challenges For Social And Natural Sciences'. This session looked to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between data communities such that optimal scientific solutions can be provided via engagement with global-scale research projects.

eResearch Australasia Conference 2013
20–25 October 2013, Brisbane, Australia
In line with the conference themes, Mustapha Mokrane (WDS-IPO Executive Director) was invited to give a keynote on data management and sharing in the global research environment. WDS-SC member Jane Hunter joined Mustapha Mokrane for a panel discussion on international data initiatives at the eResearch Conference, which focussed on information-centric research capabilities and how information and communication technologies help researchers to manage, process, and share data.