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August 2014

WDS Strategic Plan 2014–2018 Published

WDS Strategic Plan 2014-2018We are pleased to announce publication of the WDS Strategic Plan 2014–2018. This document, produced in consultation with WDS Members, outlines five major targets seen by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) as being important for ICSU-WDS to achieve the objectives defined in its Constitution.

Operating in unison with the five-year Strategic Plan is a two-year Implementation Plan for the period 2014–2015, which lists explicit activities towards realizing the identified targets. Unlike the more static Strategic Plan, the Implementation Plan is an evolving document that will monitor progress of the proposed activities, and is thus an online resource that can be revised by the WDS-SC and commented on by the WDS community.

Big Data for International Scientific Programmes:
A Statement of Recommendations and Actions

Mark Stafford-Smith, Chair of Future Earth Science Committee
To further our close collaboration, ICSU-WDS co-sponsored the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) convened Workshop 'Big Data for International Scientific Programmes: Challenges and Opportunities'. Held on 8–9 June 2014 in Beijing, China, this Workshop aimed at shedding light on the potential role of 'Big Data' in international and interdisciplinary research activities, including for ICSU-sponsored programmes such as Future Earth and Integrated Research on Disaster Risk, as well as other international initiatives. As a first, practical step towards focussing attention on this, the Workshop participants and sponsoring organization agreed on a Statement of Recommendations and Actions that calls on CODATA to establish a Working Group to address the recognized Big Data issues for international research programmes, and WDS to solve associated data stewardship and curation matters.

Chinese WDS Members to Develop Common Clearing House

Mustapha Mokrane meets WDS China
Whilst in Beijing to attend the International Workshop on Big Data for International Scientific Programmes (see above), Mustapha Mokrane (WDS Executive Director) met with the Representatives of Chinese WDS Regular Members at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research; host of the World Data Centre for Renewable Resources and Environment.

The discussion focussed on building a strong contribution from WDS China towards the planned WDS Metadata Catalogue, and Chinese data centres will work in unison to agree on a standard protocol in order to provide a dynamically updated metadata service in English. Moreover, WDS China is leading a project to use brokering technology to consolidate the unique data holdings generated by Chinese research teams into a common clearing house as a single channel for ICSU-WDS to harvest its metadata.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Juanle Wang for his hospitality and for organizing this very useful meeting.

WDS Data Stewardship Award 2014

We are delighted to announce a call for nominations for the inaugural WDS Data Stewardship Award, which is directed towards early career researchers and will be presented at SciDataCon 2014. Nominations are invited from WDS Members, ICSU Members and Interdisciplinary Bodies. The deadline for nominations is 20 August 2014.

Details of this call, including the nomination form, can be found in the MS Word file available here.

WDS Member Activities

Data Publishing Webinar Co-organized by ICSU-WDS and STM
STM LogoOn 13 May 2014, the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) co-organized a Webinar with the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM; WDS Associate Member). This Webinar was arranged primarily for STM members and their colleagues, and consisted of a series of talks by Co-chairs of the Research Data Alliance – WDS Data Publishing Interest Group and the four WDS Data Publication Working Groups. Although targeted towards publishers and journal editors, audio of the Webinar was recorded and is available through the Webinars page of the WDS website. Furthermore, a similar Webinar will be organized in the near future targeting data repositories and services within the WDS community and beyond.

Vacancy: OBIS Data Manager
IODE LogoThe Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO–International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE; WDS Network Member) is looking for a data manager to support the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) Secretariat in Ostend, Belgium.

To apply please submit a full CV (using the UNESCO template), a motivation letter, and three contactable references to: Mr Ward Appeltans (, by 15 August 2014 (Midnight, Paris time). More details on this vacancy can be found here:
Call for Papers: GeoResJ Special Issue on 'Rescuing Legacy Data for Future Science'
IEDA LogoIntegrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA; WDS Regular Member) strongly supports data rescue efforts, and has announced a Call for Papers to promote relevant projects in this area in a planned special issue of the new, online, open access journal GeoResJ. Entitled 'Rescuing Legacy Data for Future Science', the special issue will showcase efforts from all areas of the Earth Sciences that advance preservation of and access to valuable research data. In particular, contributions are encouraged that describe data rescue missions, including the product of a rescue mission; the accessibility, usability, and sustainability of the rescued data; the information value of the dataset; and the workflow of the rescue process.

Please notify IEDA ( as soon as possible, if you are considering to submit a manuscript. The timeline for submission and publication is then:
  • Submission Deadline: October 1, 2014
  • Acceptance Deadline: December 1, 2014
  • Expected publication date: March 2015
Note: The article processing charge is waived for 2014 in GeoResJ.

New Members of ICSU-WDS

Since the last Newsletter in April, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
Two Regular Members: and One Network Member: In addition, One Associate Member was co-opted:

Sandra Harrison Appointed onto WDS-SC

Sandy HarrisonThe WDS-SC and WDS-IPO would like to welcome Sandra (Sandy) Harrison to ICSU-WDS. On 1 May 2014, Sandy was invited by the ICSU Executive Board to serve on the WDS-SC for a period of three years, following Kim Finney's retirement from the SC earlier this year. Sandy was a guest of the WDS-SC at its 10th Meeting in Paris in April 2014, and proved her credentials as an excellent addition to the Committee.

Prof Harrison's bio can be found on the WDS-SC page of the WDS website.

Reminder: SciDataCon 2014 Early Bird Registration

SciDataCon 2014 LogoEarly Bird registration is currently available for SciDataCon 2014 until 1 September 2014, and can be accessed through the online registration on the Conference website.

ICSU's Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) and World Data System (WDS) are collaborating to organize a joint conference, SciDataCon 2014 on 2–5 November 2014 in New Delhi, India. Highlighting the theme of 'Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability', this will be a major international conference addressing various issues relating to data and international research.

Future Events

DataCite 5th Annual Conference
25–26 August 2014, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France
DataCite's (WDS Partner Member) 5th Annual Conference will be organized by Inist-CNRS, its French representative. Titled, 'Giving value to data: advocacy, guidance, services'—taken from DataCite’s current Strategic Plan and expressing its general mission and domains of action—the meeting will provide an opportunity for presentations on recent developments, new services, and current projects in research data-related fields by members, partners, and supporters of DataCite, as well as by users of DataCite services. Moreover, it will celebrate the fact that 2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of the first Digital Object Identifier minted for research data.

The conference will be attended by both Mustapha Mokrane, who will present on 'Data Publishing within the ICSU World Data System', and Françoise Genova (WDS-SC), who will not only talk on the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre but will also give the final keynote 'Data Sharing and Interoperability'.

ICSU 31st General Assembly
28 August–04 September 2014, Auckland, New Zealand
National and Union Members, Scientific Associates, Interdisciplinary Bodies (including ICSU-WDS), Joint Initiatives and Policy Committees, as well as partner organizations of the International Council for Science (ICSU) will attend its 31st General Assembly; hosted by ICSU's National Scientific Member in New Zealand, the Royal Society of New Zealand (WDS Associate Member). The formal opening will take place on the evening of 31 August and the Assembly will conclude in the evening of 3 September. Associated meetings will be held prior to and immediately following the General Assembly.

The Chair of the Scientific Committee—Jean-Bernard Minster—will give a presentation to the Plenary on the morning of Wednesday, 3 September. Mustapha Mokrane will also be in attendance.

ICSTI 2014 Annual Conference
20–21 October 2014, Tokyo, Japan
Hosted by its Japanese member, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI; WDS Associate Member) will hold its 2014 Annual Conference at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo (following its members-only General Assembly on 18–19 October). Presentations given by experts from Japan and abroad under the theme 'Information and Infrastructure for Innovation – New Approaches for Knowledge Platforms' will provide an opportunity for lively exchanges of view among interested parties, including government bodies, research institutes, and business enterprises. The conference will comprise three sessions:
  • Session 1. Open Platform for Data Sharing: Information Framework, Big Data, Open Access and its Implications
  • Session 2. New STI related Technologies/Services: RDF, Ontology, LOD, e-Publishing – related tech/ser, Author Identification, DOI and Other Identification Technologies
  • Session 3. Analysis and Evaluation based on STI (for Innovation): ROI in R&D, Foresight, Evidence-based Policy (making), Human Resource Development.
Mustapha Mokrane will participate in the conference and will present 'ICSU World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science' in Session 1.

Past Events

European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2014
27 Apr–02 May 2014, Vienna, Austria
Wim Hugo (WDS-SC) represented ICSU-WDS at the 2014 EGU General Assembly, co-convening the session ESSI2.9: International cross-project collaboration and interoperability of data management systems targeted at geo- and computer and information scientists wanting to present their expertise and experiences in cross-project collaboration activities.

ESIP Summer Meeting
08–11 July 2014, Frisco, Colorado, USA
Attended in person by Mustapha Mokrane and remotely by Bernard Minster and Ruth Neilan (WDS-SC), ICSU-WDS held a Town Hall Meeting on 10 July 2014 at the Federation for Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) 2014 Summer Meeting. Building on the fact that a number of WDS Members are active participants in the ESIP Federation, the WDS session not only gave current and prospective WDS Members an opportunity to find out more about ICSU-WDS and its present/planned initiatives, but also enabled them to explore synergies and establish mutually beneficial collaborations.