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April 2016

WDS Marks Fifth Anniversary of International Programme Office

A ceremony was held on 6 April to mark five years of successful collaboration between the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) in hosting and supporting the World Data System – International Programme Office (WDS-IPO), as well as to celebrate the new five-year hosting agreement signed last year by NICT and ICSU. The event featured a series of presentations and lectures looking at the past achievements and future developments of ICSU-WDS, and also the challenges and opportunities in the evolving international landscape of research data sharing and stewardship.

ICSU President Gordon McBean said via video message: 'Research is increasingly dependent on access to quality-assured data across multiple scientific domains; in particular, to tackle the pressing challenges of sustainability and the resilient management of our planet'. He continued: 'It is vital that the data underlying scientific research are properly preserved and openly shared to facilitate scrutiny and reuse'. Prof Kazuyuki Tatsumi, a member of the ICSU Executive Board, furthermore mentioned the recent Science International accord on Open Data in a Big Data World agreed by the ICSU and its international partners.

Slides of selected presentations and lectures, in addition to photographs of the event, are available in this news article on the WDS website.

Call for Papers for SciDataCon 2016 to Open!

After a delay in the review of sessions due to the large number of proposals received, we are happy to announce that the Call for Papers for SciDataCon 2016 will open on Monday 18 April. Please submit your abstract on the SciDataCon 2016 website. More information on the format of abstracts will be available when the submission is open. Note that the deadline for submitting abstracts will be 16 May with no extensions because of a tight schedule.

SciDataCon is a scientific research conference series convened biennially by the ICSU World Data System and ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA). The 2016 conference will take place on 11–13 September 2016 in Denver, Colorado and is entitled Advancing the Frontiers of Data Science and Data Stewardship. The scope of SciDataCon 2016 is explicitly broad and inclusive, addressing all aspects of the role of data in research, and will feature scientific papers from a wide range of perspectives.

WDS has Strong Presence at RDA 7th Plenary Meeting

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) held its 7th Plenary Meeting on 1–3 March 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. Located on the doorstep of the WDS-IPO, ICSU-WDS was strongly involved in activities at the Plenary, organizing and contributing to several key events, including:

WDS Data Stewardship Award: Call for Nominations

The Call for Nominations for the 2016 WDS Data Stewardship Award is now open. This annual prize is directed towards early career researchers, and the 2016 winner will be presented with their Award alongside the 2015 awardee, Dr Yaxing Wei (ORNL DAAC; WDS Regular Member), at SciDataCon 2016.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, 13 May 2016, and details of the Call, including the nomination form, can be found in this Word file. In particular, please note that the eligibility requirements for nominees have changed for the 2016 Award, but nominees from previous Calls satisfying the requirements may be nominated again.

WDS Scientific Committee Blog Entries

We would to draw your attention to the following two WDS Blog entries submitted by Alex de Sherbinin and Toshihiko Iyemori of the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC). We hope that you find them of interest.

Surveying User Satisfaction: The NASA DAAC Experience

A Blog post by Alex de Sherbinin (WDS-SC)
It is often said—disparagingly—that America’s culture is a consumer culture. Although it may be true that America’s consumerism is problematic, not least for the planet, the flip side is how consumer culture drives a service mentality in businesses and government. The old adage that “the customer is king” does motivate US government agencies and government-supported centers, including NASA’s Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), to innovate and improve services in response to user feedback and evolving user needs. (READ MORE)

How to Compromise Data Quality and Service of Data From the 'Dark Long Tail'

A Blog post by Toshihiko Iyemori (WDS-SC)
The WDS-SC requests WDS Members to maintain the quality of their data and services. Another important task for the WDS-SC is to recruit data centres from various disciplines, as many and wide as possible, to serve their data to promote science—in particular interdisciplinary science. However, based on my experiences as a researcher of Solar–Terrestrial Physics and as Director of the World Data Centre for Geomagnetism, Kyoto (WDS Regular Member), I believe that we have one more important task for promoting science: collecting and serving useful data from the 'dark long tail' of datasets. (READ MORE)

Isabelle Gärtner-Roer and Alfredo Tolmasquim Appointed onto WDS-SC

The WDS-SC and WDS-IPO would like to welcome Isabelle Gärtner-Roer and Alfredo Tolmasquim to ICSU-WDS, after both were invited by the ICSU Executive Board to serve on the WDS-SC for a period of three years. Isabelle replaces Rob Kitchin who resigned from the WDS-SC in autumn 2015, whilst Alfredo fills the vacant thirteenth seat made available by the Executive Board for a representative of the Latin America and Caribbean region to foster geographical balance.

WDS Member Activities

CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science

Applications are invited to participate in the International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science organized by CODATA on 4–17 July 2016 in Beijing, China (deadline: 18 April 2016). For further information on course content, how to apply, and eligibility requirements, please visit this website.

New Position Open at RDA/US

RDA/US is now recruiting a Director of Community Development to work closely with the broader community to coordinate, expand, and develop funds for new and existing efforts, and to provide support and services. The Community Development Director will also be part of the RDA Secretariat. More details on the position, including how to apply, can be found by downloading this PDF.

New Members of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in December, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
One Regular Member: In addition One Partner Member: was co-opted.

WGMS Glacier App – Worldwide Glacier Information System To Go!

A new smartphone application—the wgms Glacier App—from the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS; WDS Regular Member) shows how glaciers have evolved around the globe. It provides easy and public access to glacier observation data and photographs of more than 3700 glaciers. The App is based on a comprehensive research database and aims at bringing corresponding facts and figures to decision makers, to outdoor people, researchers, and anybody interested in the topic, in order to provide information and raise awareness of ongoing climatic changes.

For more information on the wgms Glacier App, please see this WDS Blog post by Nico Mölg (Glaciology and Geomorphodynamics Group, WGMS).

WDS-related Sessions at EGU 2016

ICSU-WDS will be represented at two sessions of the Earth & Space Science Informatics Programme Group at the 2016 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU 2016; 17–22 April in Vienna, Austria).

ESSI2.4: International cross-project collaboration and interoperability of data management systems
Mustapha Mokrane (WDS Executive Director) will give an oral presentation entitled WDS/DSA Certification – International collaboration for a trustworthy research data infrastructure (abstract).

ESSI2.6/GI1.6: 20 years of persistent identifiers - where do we go next?
Wim Hugo (SC Vice-chair) will present Implementing RDA Data Citation Recommendations: Case Study in South Africa (abstract) at this WDS co-organized session.

ICSU-WDS will also participate in the Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth & Space Sciences Meeting on Thursday, 21 April, which gives updates on recent and ongoing activities and an opportunity to discuss and develop further initiatives. Everyone—particularly journal editors—is welcome to join this open meeting.

Communiqué of the Second Polar Data Forum

The Second Polar Data Forum (27–29 October 2015; Waterloo, Canada) was co-organized by ICSU-WDS, and highlighted the significant progress in polar data management made since the first Forum (15–16 October 2013; Tokyo, Japan). The community identified key new themes and priorities, as well as a set of action-oriented recommendations and activities, and recorded these in a Communiqué available on the Polar Data Forum II website and for download here (PDF).

Future Events

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016

17–22 April 2016; Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria
See above.

2016 GEO Work Programme Symposium

2–4 May 2016; WMO Building, Geneva, Switzerland
This key event will discuss how the new Strategic Plan of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) should be implemented, and will enable its recently appointed Programme Board to have a complete overview of GEO activities and to interact with the GEO Community.

Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2016

22–26 May 2016; Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
This annual meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union brings together researchers across many different domains and from institutions worldwide for oral and poster presentations, and invited and specialist lectures in around 200 sessions.

Past Events

WDS Webinar #8

10 February 2016
The eighth WDS Webinar was presented by Mikel Maron and Paola Kim-Blanco, and focussed on the specific and necessary steps undertaken to ensure the quality and accuracy of crowd-sourced contributions to OpenStreetMap. A recording of Webinar #8 and the slides presented are available through its webpage.

14th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee

4–5 April 2016; NICT Kōjimachi Office, Tokyo, Japan
The WDS-SC convened in Tokyo for the first of its biannual meetings of 2016.