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December 2014

WDS Stewardship Awards 2013 & 2014

Left: Robert Redmon being presented with his award by Bernard Minster (WDS-SC Chair). Right: Xiaogang Ma gives his presentation remotely.Left: Robert Redmon being presented with his award by Bernard Minster (WDS-SC Chair). Right: Xiaogang Ma gives his presentation remotely.

Dr Robert Redmon and Dr Xiaogang Ma were presented with the WDS Data Stewardship Awards for 2013 and 2014 at the SciDataCon 2014 Conference (see below). The WDS Data Stewardship Award highlights exceptional contributions to the improvement of scientific data stewardship by early career researchers through their engagement with the community, academic achievements, and innovations.

Dr Robert Redmon is an outstanding National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) early-career researcher who has demonstrated an amazing capacity for, and dedication to, scientific data stewardship. Within the National Geophysical Data Center’s World Data Service for Geophysics (WDS Regular Member), Dr Redmon is responsible for stewarding, and delivering to the international research community, the space environmental datasets obtained from NOAA’s Polar-orbiting and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite systems. By leveraging his background in computers, engineering, and science, as well as his clear understanding of customer needs, Dr Redmon has developed crucial capabilities to support the scientific community and to facilitate the transition of research to operations. Dr Redmon has continually demonstrated innovation in space weather applications. He was primarily responsible for the successful transition of the Ovation auroral model into NOAA National Weather Service operations.

Dr Xiaogang Ma is a geoinformatics and data science researcher. His PhD research ‘Ontology Spectrum for Geologic Data Interoperability’ at ITC, University of Twente was closely related to OneGeology, a global data exchange initiative. Recently, he has worked on provenance representation of data and provenance capture in scientific workflows. Dr Ma is a member of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (founder and first president of its student chapter at ITC in 2010, and councillor candidate in 2011), American Geophysical Union (organizer of everal data science sessions at its 2013 and 2014 fall meetings), Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (WDS Partner Member; active member of its Semantic Web and Data Stewardship clusters), and Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (core member of geoscience terminology working group). He was coordinator for the GeoData 2014 workshop and the 2014 Deep Carbon Observatory Data Science Day symposium, and organizer of a data provenance session for the Association of American Geographers 2014 Annual Meeting.

SciDataCon 2014: International Scientific Organizations Support Data Sharing for Sustainability

Jawaharlal Nehru University Convention Centre, New Delhi, venue of SciDataCon 2014SciDataCon 2014, the International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability, took place on 2–5 November in New Delhi, India. Organized by ICSU's World Data System (WDS) and Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), this conference was motivated by the conviction that the most significant research challenges cannot be properly addressed without paying attention to issues related to not only the equitable access of quality-assured and interoperable datasets, but also their long-term management and preservation. The meeting represented a milestone in the discussions about data management to address the issues of global change and global sustainability.

2014 WDS Members' Forum Held in New Delhi

Participants of the 2014 WDS Members' Forum
Over 70 people participated in ICSU-WDS' biennial business meeting, the WDS Members' Forum, held on Sunday, 2 November at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Convention Centre, New Delhi (the venue of SciDataCon 2014). The audience of this open event consisted of Representatives of many WDS Member Organizations, the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC), as well those with an interest in ICSU-WDS.

Topics in the Scientific and Plenary Sessions included the progress and next stages of the WDS Knowledge Network and Data Publication Working Groups, and the WDS Strategic and Implementation Plans. Moreover, Members supported a set of Bylaws for managing the daily affairs of ICSU-WDS, and agreed that all Regular and Network Members should produce a public report of their activities every two years.

The WDS-SC was especially impressed with the highly relevant and interesting oral and poster presentations given by the Representatives of WDS Regular and Network Members, and would like to express its gratitude to everyone who attended the Forum. In particular, we send our thanks to the local participants who joined us.

Eleventh WDS Scientific Committee Meeting

The WDS-SC at the Jaypee Vasant Hotel for its 11th MeetingThe WDS-SC convened for its 11th biannual Meeting on 06–07 November, at the Jaypee Vasant Hotel in New Delhi. With the Meeting following the close of SciDataCon 2014, the SC examined the outcomes of the Conference and the necessary steps for SciDataCon 2016, before then discussing these with the CODATA Executive Committee.

Other topics of focus in the meeting, included:

  • The current role of ICSU-WDS in Less Economically Developed Countries, and the means by which this might be strengthened in the future.
  • Revision of the WDS Data Policy in light of the recent open access statement endorsed by ICSU, and the increase in disciplinary coverage of WDS membership.
A summary report of this meeting will be made available in due course.

Call for Nominations for WDS Scientific Committee

The International Council for Science (ICSU) has released a call for nominations for the third Scientific Committee of the ICSU World Data System (the WDS-SC).

The WDS-SC is the governing body of ICSU-WDS. It is made up of leading scientists who are actively involved with data, and covers a broad range of disciplines and geographical areas. Furthermore, at least one-third of the Committee must be composed of Representatives of WDS Member Organizations, in accordance with the WDS Constitution.

Nominations must be sent to the WDS International Programme Office ( by 31 January 2015, and for more information on the role of the WDS-SC and the nomination process, please see this cover letter (PDF) and nomination form (DOCX).

WDS Member Activities

2015 International Data Rescue Award
IEDA Logo Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA; WDS Regular Member) and Elsevier (WDS Associate Member) have announced a call for submissions for Elsevier Logothe 2015 International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences. This Award was created to improve prospects for preservation of and access to research data, particularly dark data, and to share the varied ways that these data are being processed, stored, and used.

Members of the international geosciences and related communities are invited to submit written descriptions of projects that are based on, or substantially involve, the recovery and reuse of scientific data that were not initially accessible for research.

The deadline for entries is 31 January 2015. To find out more about the format, the judging criteria, and entry submission, please visit the relevant webpages or contact the organizers Dan Lovegrove (Elsevier) and Kerstin Lehnert (IEDA).

Datasets Sought for 'Foundations of Data Curation' Class in Spring Semester
Ruth Duerr (World Data Centre of Colorado University; WDS Regular Member) is seeking datasets that data curation students can work on for the one-semester 'Foundations of Data Curation course' taught at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

At the start of the course, students select a dataset and then continue working on it in phases: developing a data management plan for improving the dataset, and then implementing the plan given available time and resources. If a student substantially improves the metadata documentation or the state of the data, it is expected that the repository will consider using the results of their work. Thus, repositories can enhance data visibility and highlight their contribution to curation education and training.

If you have data that require attention, and are interested in having a data curation student work with your datasets, please contact Ruth Duerr or Karen Baker.

IPO Staff Visit Indian Institute of Geomagnetism

WDC-Geomagnetism, Mumbai (formerly Colaba Observatory)Takashi Watanabe (Senior Advisor) and Rorie Edmunds (Programme Officer) of the WDS-IPO visited the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism in Navi Mumbai, where they gave talks on the current status of ICSU-WDS. They also viewed its geomagnetism observatory in Jaipur and their historic former observatory in Colaba, which now houses the World Data Centre for Geomagnetism, Mumbai (WDS Regular Member).

We would like to express our gratitude to Professor Ramesh (IIG Director) and Doctor Veenadhari (WDC Manager) for organizing this trip and for their kind hospitality.

Selected Papers from International Polar Data Forum Published

A special issue of the CODATA Data Science Journal entitled Highlights of the 2013 International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems' was published on 30 October 2014 to coincide with the first anniversary of the WDS co-hosted International Polar Data Forum.

The issue contains selected papers from the Forum, and alongside the communiqué released directly after the meeting, reinforces the message that core data services for the polar region must be sustained and enhanced into the future.

A PDF containing all of the papers can be downloaded from the WDS website.

WDS Annual Report 2013–14

WDS Annual Report 2013-14The World Data System Annual Report prepared by the International Programme Office and covering fiscal year 2013 (1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014) is available for download (PDF).

WDS Co-convened Session on Data Publishing at EGU 2015

We would like to invite abstract submissions for the following session co-convened by the WDS Publishing Data Working Group at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015 (12–17 April 2015; Vienna, Austria):

The deadline for receipt of Abstracts is 07 January 2015 at 13:00 CET, and detailed information on submissions can be found here.

Future Events

12th Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee
06–08 March 2015, San Diego , USA
Co-located with the Fifth Plenary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA; see below), the WDS-SC will convene in San Diego for the first of its biannual meetings of 2015.

RDA Fifth Plenary Meeting
09–11 March 2015, San Diego, USA
Celebrating RDA's third year as an international organization, the Fifth RDA Plenary will highlight the accomplishments of its membership. With the theme, 'Adopt-a-Deliverable', focus will be on the 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 will contain 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 Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission's (IOC's) Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE; WDS Network Member) will be held in Bruges, Belgium on 16–20 March 2015. It will be preceded by a Celebration Session and Scientific Conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the opening of the IOC Project Office for IODE in Oostende, Belgium. This meeting will be attended by Mustapha Mokrane (WDS Executive Director).

Past Events

Eleventh Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-XI)
13–14 November 2014, Geneva, Switzerland
GEO-XI, took place on 13–14 November 2014 at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva. Two sessions of particular importance to ICSU-WDS dealt with the data-sharing and data management principles of GEO. The original GEO data-sharing principles were used to define the WDS Data Policy, and are currently being revised for its implementation plan for the period 2015–2025. ICSU-WDS has provided input to the process, and is also involved in the development of GEO’s new data management principles, since it is expected that ICSU-WDS will be play a central role in their realization.

2014 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting
15–19 December 2014, San Francisco, USA
The AGU Fall Meeting brought together nearly 24,000 attendees from the Earth and space sciences community for 1700 sessions discussing the latest research trends and challenges. The meeting was attended by Mustapha Mokrane, as well as Bernard Minster and Wim Hugo of the WDS-SC, and three WDS-related presentations were given: