Personal tools


Knowledge Network Working Group

  • Co-chairs: Michael Diepenbroek (Germany; PANGAEA), Kim Finney (Australia; AADC), Wim Hugo (South Africa; SAEON)
  • Case Statement: Original, Updated

The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) identified at its 7th Meeting (1–2 November 2012; Taipei), the need to update the concept of the WDS Data Portal and to build an online open WDS Metadata Catalogue that can be used to discover and access the quality-assessed scientific data and information holdings of WDS Regular and Network Members. The Metadata Catalogue would also provide a unique and aggregated metadata entry point for interested initiatives such as the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

The WDS-SC also identified the need to test the feasibility of developing a scalable and agile WDS Knowledge Network, which draws information from the WDS Metadata Catalogue, but which is heavily supplemented with additional data and information from a variety of other sources. By richly cataloguing information about accredited data centres/service providers (and other known data providing entities), ICSU-WDS can become the lead source of information on global capability with respect to scientific data centre/service providers. Information about these entities would be openly discoverable electronically by presenting both human and machine interfaces into the Knowledge Network. This Knowledge Network would, by default, differentiate providers on the basis of their accreditation (i.e., accreditation provided by ICSU-WDS and any other accreditation schemes that currently exist or emerge to cover specific domains/networks). Such a Knowledge Network would provide a powerful tool for research projects and science funders to map the multidisciplinary data and information supplier landscape, and in so doing help to identify, for example, datasets or existing gaps in information provision, or partners who are available for collaborations. Further, the existence of this Knowledge Network would help reduce global duplication of data management and data sharing efforts, and hence result in improved cost-effectiveness of science funding programmes.

At its 9th Meeting, the WDS-SC split the Metadata Catalogue and Knowledge Network Working Groups, but then resolved to re-merge the Working Groups at its 11th Meeting (06–07 November 2014; New Delhi). The Charter was updated, and the WG membership renewed, to accommodate the latter decision. Moreover, the vision for ICSU-WDS to contribute to Global Research Data Infrastructure was set out in a separate implementation plan and specification document, with the updated Working Group Charter designed to provide an oversight mechanism for the implementation task.


This Working Group activity and its continued operation was reviewed by the WDS-SC on 30 September 2017 at its 17th Meeting. A decision was taken by the WDS-SC to

  1. Close the Working Group and create a separate home for the Knowledge Network endeavour on the WDS website.
  2. Merge the conceptual parts of the Working Group with the Research Data Alliance Data Description Registry Interoperability Working Group.
  3. Continue to work with OpenAIRE (WDS Partner Member) to develop a metadata aggregator. Once this is available, an implementation of the Knowledge Network will be established as a Scholix node.