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WDS Signs Enabling FAIR Data Commitment Statement

The 18-month Enabling FAIR Data Project reached a significant milestone in November 2018 with the announcement of a Commitment Statement reflecting distinct stakeholder perspectives and roles, and defining the goals for the many communities that collectively support open and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data.

As a stakeholder of the project, the World Data System was one of the first signatories of the Commitment Statement on behalf of its community. We are also delighted to declare that the promises made by WDS to support and promulgate the principles within the Statement throughout the WDS membership are almost wholly satisfied owing to the status of WDS Regular Members as certified, Trustworthy Data Repositories

More about the Project can be found below, as well as in this Science Editor journal article that focusses on the tools and resources that will be helpful to authors, as well as this EOS article that looks as the community behind the Enabling FAIR Data Project.

Individuals and organizations within the WDS community are invited to consider a commitment to open and FAIR data by becoming a signatory.

Enabling FAIR Data Project


Open, accessible, and high-quality data and related data products and software are critical to the integrity of published research. Unfortunately, not all key data are saved, and even when they are, their curation is uneven and discovery is difficult. Thus, it can be difficult for other researchers to understand and use datasets.

To address this critical need, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation awarded a grant to a coalition of groups representing the international Earth and space science community, convened by the American Geophysical Union, to develop standards that connect researchers, publishers, and data repositories in the Earth and Space Sciences to enable FAIR data on a large scale. This will accelerate scientific discovery and enhance the integrity, transparency, and reproducibility of these data. The resulting set of best practices include: metadata and identifier standards; data services; common taxonomies; landing pages at repositories to expose the metadata and standard repository information; standard data citation; and standard integration into editorial peer review workflows.

The effort builds on the work to ensure that well-documented data, preserved in a repository with community agreed-upon metadata, and supporting persistent identifiers become part of the expected research products submitted in support of each publication. A key goal is to make a process that is efficient and standard for researchers, and thus supports their work from grant application through to publishing.


  • Establish common standards for journals, repositories, and researchers—implemented in publication submission systems and further upstream of the research lifecycle.
  • Direct data supporting a publication, if not previously, to an appropriate repository (with preference to domain repositories) for curation and preservation.
  • Require community-agreed upon essential and optimal (preferred) metadata.
  • Collaborate with and endorse repositories internationally who meet data documentation and preservation standards and who are part of a community of data preservation providers.
  • Implement the recommendations and guidelines developed by the community initially by a set of key journals and key repositories.