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Call for Nominations: WDS Data Stewardship Award 2020

Call for Nominations: WDS Data Stewardship Award 2020

The Call for Nominations for the 2020 WDS Data Stewardship Award is now open until 30 October 2020. This  annual prize  celebrates the exceptional contributions of early career researchers (ECRs) to the improvement of scientific data stewardship through their (1) engagement with the community, (2) academic achievements, and (3) innovations.   WDS Data Stewardship Award 2020 ( Word  /  PDF ...

Recording and Slides Available: Webinar – Update on Specialists, Generalists, and Technical Repository Service Providers Position Paper

A recording and slides of the webinar: Update on Specialists, Generalists, and Technical Repository Service Providers Position Paper, which took place on 7 October, are available here . The webinar was hosted by the World Data System of the International Science Council on behalf of the RDA/WDS Certification IG and CoreTrustSeal , and was a follow up to the recent request for feedback ...

Webinar: Transformations within Reach

Webinar: Transformations within Reach

The  International Science Council , the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the Permanent Missions of Norway and South Africa to the United Nations cordially invite you to join an interactive discussion as part of the 75th United Nations General Assembly side events, Transformations within Reach. Register here The purpose of this event is to present ...

Launch of ISC Awards Programme & Call for Nominations

Launch of ISC Awards Programme & Call for Nominations

The President of the International Science Council (ISC), Professor Daya Reddy, has announced the launch of a new ISC Awards Programme . The Programme recognizes individuals, groups, and initiatives launched by the ISC and its members that serve to advance science as a global public good. Read the letter from Prof Daya Reddy on the launch of the ISC Awards Programme here (PDF) ...

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My Experiences Working at the WDS-ITO

Seiya TeradaBlog post by Seiya Terada (WDS-ITO Co-op Student)


I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work as a co-op student at the World Data System – International Technology Office (WDS-ITO). The skills I developed and the experience that I gained from this 8-month work term were not something that I could learn in school, only from being in a professional working environment.

During my co-op term, I had opportunities to work on many projects, including creating websites, visualizations, presentation material, and much more. Some projects were more challenging than others, but I had lots of fun learning as I worked on them. The first big project I worked on was making a WDS Member visualization with Adobe After Effects. The visualization shows a globe that spins a full 360-degrees while highlighting the location of each WDS Member. This was my first time using After Effects, let alone making an animation-type visualization, so I had a hard time at first. I learned the basics of After Effects using online resources, then I learned to use more advanced features like masking, which I applied to the animation. The biggest struggle in making the animation was keeping the file size small, since it is to be used on the WDS-ITO website. This meant keeping the animation to a bare minimum, so that the file doesn’t get bloated.

The project I am particularly proud of and had the most fun working on was the website I made for the Research Metadata Schemas Working Group (WG) of the Research Data Alliance. The website hosts visualizations that are based on data from a survey conducted by the WG. As a software engineer undergrad, I was excited that I had a chance to build a website from scratch using my coding skills. I had never used HTML to build a website until this project, I had not even taken any courses on it at university, and so everything was new to me. I therefore had to learn HTML syntax as well as coding practices by using online resources before I started working on the website. I realized that building a sleek website from scratch with my current knowledge would have taken forever, so I decided to use a website template I found online to fill in my knowledge gaps, and tweaked it to fit to what I needed. The skills and experiences I gained from these projects are something I will never forget moving forward with my career.

Overall, I had a lot of fun working as a co-op student and it was a good experience. Although some of the projects were challenging, I was able to learn a lot and developed skills that I did not have before. The work environment was relaxed and easy to work in. I was also able to make a lot of unforgettable memories along the way thanks to the people I worked with. This whole experience will definitely help me with my career moving forward.

New OECD Report: Building Digital Workforce Capacity and Skills for Data-intensive Science

Building digital workforce capacity and skills for data-intensive scienceWe would like to bring your attention to the following report published by OECD and that may be of interest to the WDS community:

OECD (2020), “Building digital workforce capacity and skills for data-intensive science”, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 90, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/e08aa3bb-en

This report was commissioned by the OECD Global Science Forum to identify: the skills needed for data-intensive science, the challenges for building sustainable capacity as these needs evolve, and the policy actions that can be taken by different actors to address these needs. The report includes policy recommendations for various actors and good practice examples to support these recommendations, and also notes the value of international cooperation in skills capacity efforts.

WDS International Technology Office Signs MoU with Canada's New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization

Karen.jpgBlog post by Karen Payne (WDS-ITO Associate Director)


You spoke. We listened. 

The WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) was created to support Member Organizations of WDS as they develop their data repositories in the areas of data and metadata management, infrastructure, and interoperability. In order to respond most effectively to Member needs, last year the WDS-ITO, with the support of the WDS International Program Office, conducted a survey to evaluate your areas of interest and determine what types of projects you would like WDS to support. Our key finding was a list of potential WDS-ITO projects, ranked according to interest. You can read the report of the survey here. We discovered that the top two areas of interest were adding: 1) semantic markup to metadata and 2) harvestable metadata services. In response, the WDS-ITO has secured funds from Canada’s national New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) to hire two fulltime staff members to work on these projects. The funding provides dedicated resources to develop collaborative partnerships among the WDS-ITO, its members, and relevant international and Canadian interest groups to increase availability and interoperability of metadata assets globally.

Over the next year, the WDS-ITO will be working with the Research Data Alliance Research Metadata Schemas Working Group (WG) to help provide repositories with guidance and tools to add Schema.org markup to metadata. As a first step, the WDS-ITO has prototyped an online visualization tool based on a survey of current practices in using schemas to describe research datasets. The tool shows how some communities have crosswalked common metadata terms to Schema.org properties, and can be useful to repositories that are interested in knowing how other repositories are utilizing Schema.org terms. It can also be used as consensus building for communities of practice that have not yet created a crosswalk between their metadata format of choice and Schema.org properties. We will continue to build on that tool, and provide other guidance to WDS Members to help make their metadata more ‘web friendly’ in the coming months.

Sankey DiagramFigure 1: A screenshot from the WDS-ITO prototype visualization tool showing crosswalks between Schema.org and common metadata standards.
Try it yourself at https://rd-alliance.github.io/Research-Metadata-Schemas-WG/

As part of our support for those groups interested in harvestable metadata, the WDS-ITO has created a WG of WDS Members who are interested in standing up harvestable metadata services. This WDS Harvestable Metadata Services (HMetS) WG is co-chaired by two members of the WDS Scientific Committee: Aude Chambodut, Director of the International Service of Geomagnetic Indices in Strasbourg (WDS Regular Member) and Juanle Wang, Director of the WDC for Renewable Resources and Environment in Beijing (WDS Regular Member). The HMetS WG is coordinated by Alicia Urquidi Diaz, the WDS-ITO’s first employee! To date, eight WDS Member Representatives have expressed interest in participating in the WG, and we welcome any other Members who would like to join.

This project is designed around three objectives:

  1. Documenting use cases, the current challenges faced by WDS Members who wish to create harvestable services. What is their current infrastructure?
  2. Helping develop implementation plans, written by Members to define a pathway to creating harvestable metadata services.
  3. A paper identifying lessons learned and guidance materials that can be used by the wider Research Data Management community

The HMetS WG will convene regular online meetings, and bring in presenters who can speak to some of the pathways and long-term benefits of creating harvestable metadata services.

Both of the above work packages will draw on the expertise of and synchronize with ongoing research data management activities in Canada, with the ultimate goal of opening up more metadata records to the international scientific community.

You can read the NDRIO funding announcement here in English and French.

Springboard Blog Post on the TRUST Principles

We would like to point you to the following article, published on 8 June 2020 on the Springboard blog of the Springer Nature Group, and which we believe is of direct interest to the WDS community:

• Future-proofing research data – it’s a question of TRUST

In this blog post, Varsha Khodiyar (Data Curation Manager, Research Data and New Product Development) describes why Springer Nature has endorsed the TRUST Principles and their importance to data management within the research community.

For more information on the TRUST Principles and how your organization can endorse them, please see our news article.

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