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2020 Members' Forum

The 2020 WDS Members' Forum took place online at 12:00–15:00 UTC on Wednesday, 23 September as part of the WDS-supported International Data Science Symposium 'Global Collaboration on Data Beyond Disciplines'.
We are pleased to announce that videos of the Forum and WDS Member lightning talks have now been added to the WDS YouTube channel.

The World Data System of the International Science Council held an interim, online version of its WDS Members’ Forum as part of the WDS-supported international symposium ‘Global Collaboration on Data Beyond Disciplines’ (23–25 September 2020). An official face-to-face meeting will be co-located with International Data Week 2021 (8–11 November 2021; Seoul, South Korea).

The virtual event was open to both WDS Members and general participants having an interest in the endeavours of WDS, with Representatives of WDS Member Organizations expected to participate since the Forum incorporates the biennial WDS business meeting. In this regard, the Forum attracted around 240 registrants, including almost 100 WDS Member Representatives, and received a maximum online audience of 107 people (although more joined for certain items in the programme).

The Forum Agenda with links to relevant documents, as well as a list of Forum participants, can be found below (note: documents are in PDF format, unless otherwise stated).

Meeting Agenda

Scientific Session – Member Lightning Talks

This session primarily focussed on hearing from WDS Members who were requested in advance to pre-recorded lightning talks of up to a maximum of three minutes in length covering some/all of the following topics:

  • Their organization’s vision or main priorities for the next five years.
  • The opportunities and challenges in realizing the vision or priorities.
  • Aspects of their work that are causing major problems.
  • How WDS can assist in realizing the goals or dealing with the issues.

The lightning talks were then organized according to three themes (see below), and presenters selected to have short panel discussions to address the major issues coming out of their talks. Participants attending the Forum were asked to at least a minimum of five of the pre-recorded talks prior to attending the Forum.

The session ended by splitting the participants into three breakout rooms to further discuss the themes and also explore how WDS can best support its membership.

12:00–12:05 Welcome & Introduction [Presentation] A. de Sherbinin & R. Edmunds
12:05–12:20 Panel Discussion 1: FAIR Data and

– World Data Service for Paleoclimatology
– PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Moderator: M. Nyssen

N. Thieberger
W. Gross
M. Diepenbroek
12:20–12:45 Panel Discussion 2: Automation, Scalability, and Cloud Use
– NASA ESDIS Project
– DKRZ - WDC Climate
– Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
– Ukrainian Geospatial Data Center
Moderator: A. Garba

J. Behnke

M. Stockhause
J. Carter
A. Shelestov
12:45–13:05 Panel Discussion 3: Sustainability: Making the case for domain repositories through value of information, operational use, & web services
– WDC - Ionosphere and Space Weather
– Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office
– National Center for Atmospheric Research
– WDC - Sunspot Index and Long-term Solar Observations
Moderator: R. Chen

M. Ishii

A. Shepherd

D. Schuster

F. Clette
13:05–13:25 Breakout Discussions
Participants were split into three groups to discuss topics, including how the World Data System can help its membership in realizing their objectives.
Moderators: K. Payne,
D. Castle, I. Popescu
Chat Monitors: R. Edmunds,
T. Iyemori, A. de Sherbinin
13:25–13:30 Wrap-up of Scientific Session A. de Sherbinin

Plenary Session – Community Consultation

Four topics were discussed with the community in this session. WDS presented its activities related to technology and the new Data Together initiative. It also proposed a new mentoring programme for Candidate Member repositories. Finally, time was allocated to a discussion of the growing role in the global data ecosystem of generalist repositories.

13:50–13:55 Welcome & Introduction             A. de Sherbinin                       
13:55–14:10 ITO Activities [Presentation]
K. Payne
Moderator: J. Wang
14:10–14:25 Data Together: WDS & Member Involvement [Presentation]
I. Dillo

Moderator: I. Gärtner-Roer
14:25–14:40 Candidate Membership & Mentoring [Presentation]
W. Hugo

Moderator: D. Castle
14:40–14:55 Domain vs Generalist Repositories [Presentation]
A. de Sherbinin

Moderator: A. de Sherbinin
14:55–15:00 Wrap-up of Plenary Session A. de Sherbinin


WDS-SC members

  • See here for a full list of SC Members.

IPO Staff

  • See here for a full list of IPO Staff.

ITO Staff

  • See here for a full list of ITO Staff.

WDS Member Representatives

  • See here for a list of Representatives of WDS Member and Applicant Organizations who registered and were in attendance at the 2020 Members' Forum. For more information on each WDS Member, please visit their Profile through the respective Member category webpages given here.


  • See here for a list of guests who registered and were in attendance at the Members' Forum.