WDS Members consist of organizations that have a role in collecting, analyzing, compiling, distributing, archiving, and networking data supporting the scientific community. ICSU-WDS is multidisciplinary in nature and is not discipline restricted.
As stated in Article IIV of the WDS Constitution, the ‘WDS Scientific Committee may establish committees, working groups or task groups as needed to accomplish WDS goals and objectives’. WDS-WGs may be established to define, coordinate, and facilitate the implementation of projects or activities addressing the goals and objectives of ICSU-WDS.
The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) mandated that the ICSU World Data System would provide a 'community building' function to WDS Members and beyond. Surveying the opinions of WDS Member Representatives, it was found that not only were they in favour of this strategy, but they also suggested ICSU-WDS should facilitate Members to naturally form networks by offering a platform for workshops on data topics of wider interest. With a preference given for a virtual presence at these workshops, the WDS-SC elected to introduce a series of WDS Webinars in which Members are encouraged to host short talks on themes of their choosing such that synergies can be found amongst both themselves and the broader data community.
Each biennial SciDataCon Conference will be preceded by a WDS Members' Forum. These one-day business meetings are open to anyone with an interest in ICSU-WDS. Prospective WDS Members are particularly welcomed to join the Fora, where they will have the opportunity to engage with the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC), as well as Representatives of many WDS Regular and Network Members who will give presentations updating their organizations' activities over the previous two years. In this regard, the Forum will consist of two parts: 1. A Scientific Session, which will be an opportunity for both the WDS-SC to report to Members on the status of WDS-related activities, and WDS Regular and Network Members to give oral and poster presentations updating their organizations' activities over the previous two years. 2. A Plenary Session, which will provide a formal mechanism for membership consultation, and where membership issues can be discussed.
The World Data System (WDS) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)—sister interdisciplinary bodies under the umbrella of the International Council for Science (ICSU)—actively promote effective data policies and good data management practices in the research community, to produce better science, and thus to ultimately benefit society. As a major contribution to this effort, the two organizations announced in autumn 2013 that they would be co-sponsoring and co-organizing a new, high-profile international biennial conference series, SciDataCon. With the aim of becoming the world's principal scientific research data event, SciDataCon builds on WDS’ and CODATA’s individual conferences by provide a unique platform for bringing together a diverse multidisciplinary audience that is far greater than the simple combination of two communities, and that includes international experts and practitioners in data management and technologies, researchers from the Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, research funders, and policy makers.
The WDS Data Stewardship Award highlights exceptional contributions to the improvement of scientific data stewardship by early career researchers through their (1) engagement with the community, (2) academic achievements, and (3) innovations.