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December 2019


Membership News


Second Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop & Call for Abstracts

This Workshop is convened by the World Data System of the International Science Council (WDS), in collaboration with the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the São Paulo Research Foundation, and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). It builds on the success of the First Latin America and Caribbean Workshop in 2018 that explored the data landscape in the region to understand the opportunities and challenges, and discussed how data initiatives could be supported by WDS. The Second Workshop will continue discussions on data management best practices for data repositories and on new trends and perspectives for scientific data systems. However, there will also be a greater emphasis on analyzing and finding concrete solutions to the technical, political, and infrastructure issues identified during the First Workshop.

We invite all researchers and scientists currently involved in scientific data management initiatives in the Latin American and the Caribbean region to present their experiences, research, operations, and projects or programmes at the Workshop. Abstracts for short oral presentations must be in English and should not exceed 3000 characters. The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, 31 January. Registration will open in March 2020.

For more information on the Workshop and Call for Abstracts, please see the Workshop website.

Libby Liggins Wins 2019 WDS Data Stewardship Award

Congratulations to Dr Libby Liggins, who has been chosen by the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) as the 2019 winner of the WDS Data Stewardship Award. Dr Liggins will be presented with the 2019 Award and a prize at International Data Week 2021.

Libby Liggins is an evolutionary ecologist who primarily uses molecular genomic data to address fundamental questions in population ecology, biodiversity, and biogeography in marine systems. She is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Natural and Computational Sciences of Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, and a Research Associate of the Auckland Museum, Natural Sciences. She is a founder and a director of the Ira Moana – Genes of the Sea – Project in which there are 85 local and international researchers from 25 research institutions in four countries.

Call for Abstracts: WDS PICO Session at EGU 2020

EGU GA 2020 LogoEuropean Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2020 will be held on 3–5 May 2020 in Vienna, Austria. WDS is leading the PICO session Inspiring the Next Generation of Geoscience Data Stewards: Current Achievements of Future Leaders, and we would like to encourage Early Career Researchers and Scientists (ECRs) from all different disciplines in the Geosciences to submit an abstract by the deadline of Wednesday, 15 January 2020, 13:00 CET.

For more information, please see the EGU 2020 website.

WDS Holds ECR Training Workshop: Data Curation and Management: Current Achievements and Future Challenges

On 6–8 November 2019 at Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris, France, WDS held a Research Data Management (RDM) Training Workshop for 23 early career researchers and scientists (ECRs) from 14 different countries. This Workshop was possible thanks to sponsorship by EGU and hosting by DataTerra-Formater.

The purpose of the Workshop was for ECRs to gain practical skills in data curation and management. Training took the form of lectures and group discussions, plus working on individual problems. All participants were presented with a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.

From the initial feedback received at the Workshop, we strongly believe that it was highly successful. The ECRs in attendance found it not only was a good experience, but more importantly was relevant and meaning to their careers moving forward.

21st Meeting of the WDS-SC

The 21st Meeting of the WDS-SC took place on 4–5 November 2019 at the Secretariat of the International Science Council in Paris, France; immediately prior to the WDS–EGU ECR Workshop (see above).

The 21st Meeting began with update on the latest developments in ISC by Dr Heide Hackmann, ISC Chief Executive Officer. In particular, Dr Hackmann focussed on the recently released ISC Action Plan 2019–2021 and WDS' contribution towards the specific projects therein. The Meeting continued with an agenda consisting of strategic planning, report backs from WDS endeavours, practical issues, and future events, including WDS efforts in the area of training and maturity building. All these items had an emphasis on ensuring that WDS can maximize its impact in helping to realize the ISC Action Plan.

WDS-SC Blog Posts

In addition to the Blog post from 2019 WDS Data Stewardship Winner, Libby Liggins, we are delighted to continue the WDS Blog series by members of the WDS-SC by bringing you the following two posts from Ioana Popescu and Marc Nyssen.

Use of Data from Citizen Observatories to Complement GEOSS Repositories – Experiences from EU Funded Project

A Blog post by Ioana Popescu (WDS Scientific Committee Member)
Citizen science is getting more and more attention worldwide; in particular, there is a growing interest in involving citizens in data collection due to its capability to complement the acquisition of data classically accomplished through existing complex instrumentation networks. Scientists have experimented with multiple forms of citizen science projects, which have been successfully implemented in many fields. The value of using citizen contributions has been proven—or at least explored—in almost all scientific domains, and its potential is currently also being investigated in the processes of decision- and policy-making. (READ MORE)

Marc Nyssen Health Data Challenges Regarding ‘Scientific Medical Processing Challenges’

A Blog post by Marc Nyssen (WDS Scientific Committee Member)
International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) and also belonging to the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM)—the umbrella organization linking the engineers at IFMBE and the medical physics experts at the International Organization for Medical Physics—took the initiative to include competitions called ‘scientific challenges’ as a part of their conferences. The purpose of these challenges is to encourage young researchers to develop their skills by showing how they can extract information from biomedical datasets and report on their results. (READ MORE)

WDS Member Activities

ISRIC: Sneak Preview of New Edition of SoilGrids250m & Request for Feedback

ISRIC – World Soil Information (WDS Regular Member) has been updating its soil property maps for the world (SoilGrids250m). Numerous improvements were implemented since publication of the '2017 version', making this a completely new product. A sneak preview is available here; the full version with supporting web viewer will be released around March 2020. While ISRIC continues to address identified issues, you can help it qualitatively evaluate the general patterns of the different layers and improve SoilGrids by providing your expertise through this Google form. You may also help ISRIC by sharing soil profile data and soil expertise for your country.

SEDAC logo New Dataset Released by NASA SEDAC

Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member) has released 2015 Urban Extents from VIIRS and MODIS for the Continental U.S. Using Machine Learning Methods, a highly accurate urban settlement layer at a resolution of 500 m, using 2015 satellite data and machine learning methods.
The third iteration (v3) of SEDAC's Low Elevation Coastal Zones (LECZ) dataset currently under development contributes to a new report examining the increased threat to urban coastal areas from sea-level rise.
SEDAC Deputy Manager and Vice-chair of the WDS-SC, Alex de Sherbinin, is a contributing author to Chapter Two: High Mountain Areas in the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere.

Data Centre for Geography, Moscow to hold Workshop alongside GISCA 2020 & InterCarto. InterGIS 26

Data Centre for Geography, Moscow (WDS Regular Member) will hold a joint workshop with the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences  on 29 May 2020 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The workshop will take place in conjunction with the conference GIS in Central Asia (GISCA) 2020 and InterCarto. InterGIS 26.

Find more details on this event page.

SCOSTEP 15th Solar–Terrestrial Physics Symposium in 2022

The Scientific Committee on Solar–Terrestrial (SCOSTEP; WDS Partner Member) organizes the Solar–Terrestrial Physics (STP) symposium once every four years, and will hold its 15th Quadrennial Solar–Terrestrial Physics Symposium (STP-15) at Alibag, India on 21–25 February 2022.
STP-15 will aim to gather eminent scientists from solar, magnetospheric, ionospheric, and atmospheric physics communities to discuss and deliberate on the cutting-edge sciences pertaining to STP. STP-15 will address predictability as a focus area in each of the traditional topics deliberated upon during earlier STP meetings; namely, mass and radiation chains and intra-atmospheric coupling. Find more details here.

New Member of WDS

Since the last Newsletter (September 2019), the WDS-SC has accredited one Regular Member:

WDS Webinar #12: Recording and Slides Available 

Dawei LinThe popular WDS Webinar series recommenced on Monday, 07 October with Dawei Lin (Associate Director for Bioinformatics; Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation) from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases presenting An Introduction to the TRUST Principles – A use case of Trustworthy Data Repositories for Biomedical Sciences.

This Webinar introduced the recently proposed TRUST Principles (Transparency, Responsibility, User Community, Sustainability, and Technology) that define the criteria for a repository to be considered trustworthy. With the concepts of trustworthiness and its assessment for data repositories new to some Biomedical fields, the Webinar looked at the outcomes and lessons learned at a recent workshop on Trustworthy Data Repositories for Biomedical Sciences.

A recording of Webinar #12 and the slides presented can be found here.

Future Events

GEO Data & Knowledge Week 2020
17–22 February 2020; Beijing, China
Hosted by China Secretariat of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Data and Knowledge Week 2020 will focus on open data and ways to ensure that available Earth observation data and knowledge can support international policy frameworks including the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Climate Agreement. It will include a full programme of workshops, training sessions, GEO site tours, and more.
GEO Data and Knowledge Week 2020 will be attended by Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director).

International Symposium on Grids & Clouds 2020
08–13 March 2020; Taipei, Taiwan
The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (ISGC) 2020 will be held on 8–13 March 2020 at Academia Sinica in Taipei, under the theme Challenges in High Performance Data Analytics: Combining Approaches in HPC, HTC, Big Data and AI. The goal of ISGC 2020 is to create a face-to-face venue where individual communities and national representatives can present and share their contributions to the global puzzle and contribute thus to the solution of global challenges.
Rorie Edmunds will represent WDS at ISGC 2020. In particular, he is co-organizing an RDM Training Workshop on Sunday, 8 March.

RDA's 15th Plenary Meeting – Data for Real-World Impact
18–20 March 2020; Melbourne, Australia
The 15th Plenary Meeting of the Research Data Alliance (RDA; WDS Associate Member) will be held on 18–20 March 2020 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia. It is organized in conjunction with the annual Collaborative Conference on Computational and Data Intensive Science taking place in Melbourne on 16–18 March 2020, which aims to build a national community of practice of scientists, researchers, and computing, data and information management specialists.
The 15th Plenary Meeting will be attended by Ingrid Dillo (WDS-SC Vice-Chair), Rorie Edmunds, and Karen Payne (WDS-ITO Associate Director).

ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting
22–26 March 2020; Philadelphia, USA
The American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2020 National Meeting, with the theme Macromolecular Chemistry: The Second Century, will be held on 22–26 March 2020 in Philadelphia, USA.
Rorie Edmunds will give a presentation on WDS and the CoreTrustSeal at the meeting.

Past Events & Outcomes

RDA's 14th Plenary Meeting – Data Makes the Difference
23–25 October 2019; Helsinki, Finland
RDA's 14th Plenary Meeting brought together data experts worldwide and in all disciplines under the theme Data Makes the Difference to learn together and to advance the ability to use data in making a positive impact in tackle the complex challenges now facing the planet.
The RDA/WDS Certification of Digital Repositories Interest Group (IG) had a breakout session during the meeting in which the current status the TRUST principles White Paper, was presented and a community discussion was started around the certification of more generalist repositories that are presently of scope for CoreTrustSeal.
The IG was also invited to present and participate as a panel member in a joint meeting alongside the Connecting Data Policies, Standards & Databases Working Group and the Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation IG. The meeting was concerned with journal publisher data policies, and contrasted the ELIXIR community-based repository assessment, the CoreTrustSeal repository certification, and criteria for evaluating repositories within the FAIRSharing Registry.
The Plenary was attended by Ingrid Dillo, Rorie Edmunds, and Karen Payne.

Colloque Science Ouverte au Sud (Open Science in the South countries: Challenges and Prospects for a New Dynamic)
23–25 October 2019; Dakar, Senegal
This conference focussed on research issues in the French-speaking countries of the South, targeting scientific information managers, representatives from research institutions or organizations in charge of research policy, and researchers wishing to share their data and publications. It presented incentive policies from local to international, as well as practical cases to encourage or infuse new impetus for open science.
Alex de Sherbinin (WDS-SC Vice-chair) represented WDS. He was a member of the conference Scientific Organizing Committee, and co-hosted a half-day workshop on Developing West African Research Data Repositories, where he spoke about CoreTrustSeal certification and WDS membership.

Third International Polar Data Forum
18–22 November 2019; Helsinki, Finland
The WDS co-convened Third International Polar Data Forum (PDF III) was held on 18–22 November 2019, hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at their Dynamicum campus in Helsinki, Finland. The Forum consisted of a two-day conference-style meeting in support of information exchange, and then three days of 'hackathon' and workshop activities that built on the development work from other related meetings.
Rorie Edmunds represented WDS at PDF III, giving several oral presentations/reports updating the polar community on WDS endeavours, including the CoreTrustSeal and the creation of the International Technology Office, its work in the area of data policy, and the WDS Data Stewardship Award.

2019 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union
9–13 December 2019; San Francisco, USA
The 2019 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the largest international Earth and Space Science meeting in the world, returned to San Francisco to mark the Centennial of AGU. Rorie Edmunds co-convened and co-chaired the session IN003: Advancing Capabilities to Enable Current and Future Use of Earth and Space Science Data, which focussed on the trustworthy capabilities and services worldwide that enable sharing and long-term use of open data in all scientific disciplines. The session was popular, with sufficient abstracts received that the session was granted two oral slots and a poster slot (programmes here, here, and here). During the second oral slot, Rorie presented on the 'Outcomes of the 2019 Review of the CoreTrustSeal'. The three slots were well attended, with the orals attracting a peak of around 70 participants.
Rorie furthermore hosted a CoreTrustSeal ‘Question and Answer’ drop-in session for the cohort of Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences data repositories that resulted as an outcome of the AGU Enabling FAIR project.
In addition to Rorie, the AGU 2019 Fall Meeting was attended by WDS-SC ex officio members Benoît Pirenne and Yasuhiro Murayama.