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April 2015

WDS Session & Side-event at Our Common Future under Climate Change

UNESCO Headquarters (Credit: Jacqueline Poggi)UNESCO HQ, Paris (Credit: Jacqueline Poggi)

The ICSU World Data System will convene a parallel session entitled Quality and Availability of Data for Global Sustainability on 07 July at the Our Common Future under Climate Change Conference (See Future Events for more details). The session aims to showcase the rich datasets used by the global Future Earth community and how specific activities tackle the challenges of data management, of data gaps and bias assessment, and of data sharing and integration to advance inference for sustainability science.

WDS is also planning to hold a side-event on Monday, 06 July at UNESCO (TBC) highlighting Trusted Data Services Supporting Climate Change Research; in particular, the contributions of WDS Member Organizations to open data sharing, data quality, and data preservation in support of climate change research. The discussions will inform a subsequent side-event organized by ICSU that will ultimately help develop a statement on key messages for the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) later in 2015.

Importance of Science and Scientific Data' Recognized at UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

ICSU President Gordon McBean announces the voluntary commitment of the Science and Technology community to DRRPhoto: ICSU President Gordon McBean announces the voluntary commitment of the Science and Technology community to DRR

Science, and the data that underpin it, feature prominently in the new 2015–2030 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR). This document was under negotiation at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (14–18 March; Sendai, Japan), and WDS was part of an ICSU delegation organizing the Science and Technology Major Group charged with actively endorsing that the references to science and scientific data remained in the Post-2015 Framework.

In the Group’s working session on ‘Applying Science and Technology to DRR’, which drew more than 350 attendants,Gordon McBean (ICSU President) announced the voluntary commitment of the scientific community to DRR and resilience building alongside the UNISDR Science and Technical Advisory Group. Moreover, the Group's official statement delivered by David Johnston (Chair of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk programme), acknowledged the strong call in the Framework for science and the availability of scientific data to support the understanding of disaster risk and to promote risk-informed decisions and risk-sensitive planning from local to global levels.

WDS to Co-host SCOSTEP–WDS VarSITI Workshop and Polar Data Forum II

The WDS Scientific Committee and International Programme Office are very pleased to announce that the ICSU World Data System will co-host two events in 2015: a SCOSTEP–WDS VarSITI Workshop and the Second International Polar Data Forum (details below). We would like to encourage the WDS community to participate in these meetings, which we believe will be highly successful and productive.

Abstract submission, registration, and hotel reservation are now all open for the SCOSTEP–WDS Workshop, and will be available on the Polar Data Forum II website soon. If you would like more information on either event, please contact the Scientific Organizing Committees via the addresses given below.

SCOSTEP–WDS Workshop on ‘Global Data Activities for the Study of Solar–Terrestrial Variability’

When: 28–30 September 2015
Where: National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Tokyo, Japan
Contact: contact-scostep-wds[at]

Polar Data Forum II 'International Collaboration for Advancing Polar Data Access and Preservation'

When: 27–29 October 2015
Where: University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Contact: ccin[at]

The Scientific Committee on Solar–Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) is an Interdisciplinary Body of ICSU promoting a series of international research programmes on solar–terrestrial connections. SCOSTEP's current Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact (VarSITI) programme will strive for international collaboration in data analysis, modelling, and theory to understand how the solar variability affects the Earth’s environment in a vast range of time scale, from seconds to billions of years.

Twelfth Meeting of the WDS-SC
(+ Report from Eleventh Meeting)

12th Meeting of the WDS-SC at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) convened for its first face-to-face Meeting of 2015 on 07–08 March at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. During the Meeting, the WDS-SC continued to revise the WDS Data Policy to account for the conditions that can be placed on data due to, for example, issues of protecting people or species. Moreover, the SC examined its connection with WDS Network Members, as well as exploring the potential of setting up a WDS Working Group to develop a conceptual framework for indicator-based decision making, in particular in the context of urban sustainability.

A Report summarizing the outcomes of the 11th biannual WDS-SC Meeting (06–07 November 2014; New Delhi, India) is now available for download (PDF). A similar Summary Report of the 12th Meeting is under preparation and will be placed on the Meeting Reports page of the WDS website when completed.

WDS Member Activities

WGMS logoWGMS Publish Latest Glacier Mass Budget Results

The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS; WDS Regular Member) have published the latest glacier mass budget results on its website. These results were compiled from the 2014 call-for-data, which covered the observation period of the hydrological year 2012/13. In addition, WGMS has introduced near-time reporting from its 'reference' glaciers (those having more than 30 years of continued observations) to provide a preliminary estimate for the glacier budgets for 2014.

ICPSR LogoICPSR Summer Programme: Curating & Managing Research Data for Reuse
The Summer Programme of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR; WDS Regular Member) is offering a five-day workshop on Curating and Managing Research Data for Reuse, 27–31 July 2015. This workshop is for individuals interested or actively engaged in the curation and management of research data for sharing and reuse, particularly data librarians, data archivists, and data producers and stewards with responsibilities for data management.

Enrolment is limited to 25 participants, and more information and registration is available through the ICPSR Summer Program website.

CODATA, RDA, & WDS Announce Partnership to Increase Benefit of Research Data for Society

CODATA, RDA, & WDS Press ReleaseThe Research Data Alliance (RDA) and ICSU's Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) and World Data System (WDS) have announced the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) outlining their collaboration.

These three organizations have different but complementary foci and strengths, and whilst they already benefit from extensive collaboration, the MoUs will clarify their respective strengths and enable the new Partnership to accomplish more; to advance data practices and science faster and further.

Read the full Press Release here.

New Members of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in December, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
Two Regular Members:

Register Now for WDS Webinar #5
(+ Recording & Slides from Webinar #4)

Dr John HellyDr John Helly (Director, Laboratory for Earth and Environmental Science at San Diego Supercomputer Center) will present the fifth talk in WDS' Webinar series at 06:00 UTC on 10 June 2015. Entitled BIGDATA, littledata and EvErYtHiNg in Between, John's presentation will explore the requirements on scientific data management not only from research methods but also those evolving from scholarly data publication. The technologies employed to satisfy these requirements and improve scientific progress through data-sharing and re-use have implications for any reasoned implementation of a scientific data management strategy. REGISTER HERE to participate(only 100 seats available!)

On 22 April 2015, Dr Lesley Wyborn presented WDS Webinar #4: Combining High Performance Computing with High Performance Data to enable Data Intensive Science; highlighting the experiences and lessons learned at the National Computational Infrastructure of the Australian National University to manage and make major research data collections discoverable and interoperable. A recording of the Webinar and the slides presented are available via the WDS Webinars page.

Future Events

Our Common Future Under Climate Change
07–10 July 2015; UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
This major international, scientific conference is organized by a partnership of French and international institutions (including ICSU and Future Earth) and is expected to bring together over 1,000 scientists and other stakeholders. It will take place ahead of the UNFCCC 21st Conference of the Parties and will discuss IPCC findings and new research since the publication of AR5, with a strong focus on solutions. It will also consider climate adaptation and mitigation in the broader context of global environmental change.

WDS will convene a parallel session at the Conference on Tuesday, 07 July and is planning to hold a side-event on Monday, 6 July.

Past Events

RDA Fifth Plenary Meeting
09–11 March 2015, San Diego, USA
RDA celebrated its third year as an international organization at its Fifth Plenary by highlighting the accomplishments of its membership. Under the theme, 'Adopt-a-Deliverable', the Plenary's focus was on outputs from the initial set of RDA Working Groups, and on ensuring lasting impact in the research data sharing community through adoption by other organizations. The programme also contained breakout sessions by the joint RDA–WDS Interest Groups and Working Groups on Publishing Data and Certification.

23rd Session of the IOC Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE-XXIII)
16–20 March 2015, Bruges, Belgium
The 23rd Session of the IOC's Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE; WDS Network Member) was attended by Mustapha Mokrane (WDS Executive Director), who used the occasion to strengthen ties between ICSU-WDS and the Steering Group of IODE's Quality Management Framework (QMF). IODE welcomed only only a proposal from WDS to share expertise in reviewing and accrediting National Oceanographic Data Centres, but also having a WDS representative on the QMF Steering Group. IODE will also look to play an active role in the SciDataCon 2016 Conference.