Personal tools



July 2013

8th Meeting of ICSU-WDS Scientific Committee held in Paris

8th Meeting of WDS-SC

The WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) convened for its 8th biannual meeting on 17–19 April at the International Council for Science (ICSU) Secretariat in Paris, France. A report summarizing the outcomes of the Meeting can be accessed here.

The goals of the meeting concerned strengthening the ties between ICSU-WDS and its partners and addressing a number of membership issues. The main Action items resulting from the meeting were as follows: 

  • ICSU-WDS and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) will jointly host a biennial Conference series, named ‘SciDataCon’, from 2014. The first Conference—SciDataCon 2014—will be held in November 2014 in New Delhi, India; and its general theme will be connected to the ICSU-sponsored Future Earth project.
  • WDS Members will be encouraged to host Webinars on topics of their choosing in order to find synergies between themselves and the broader community. These WDS Webinars will be technically supported by the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO).
  • The existing prototype WDS Data Portal will be expanded by the Knowledge Network and open Metadata Catalogue Working Group to encompass all WDS Regular and Network Members.
  • ICSU-WDS will look to expand into the Health Sciences. Public health data will be focussed on initially by approaching ICSU's ‘Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment’ scientific programme.

On a related note, WDS Members' opinions were surveyed earlier this year on the Action Items from the 7th WDS-SC Meeting. Having reviewed the survey results during its latest meeting, the WDS-SC mandated that a précis of these results—both positive and negative—be made available on the WDS website, and can be found here.

International Polar Data Forum: Update

Online abstract submission and registration are now open for the new joint International Forum on 'Polar Data Activities in Global Data Systems' to be held on 15–16 October 2013 in Tokyo, Japan.

This Forum will cover all aspects of effective polar data management; in particular, it aims to ensure the data legacy of the International Polar Year 2007–2008. Presentations from any scientific discipline are welcomed and interdisciplinary data management topics are especially encouraged on the following sessional themes:

  • Data – Lessons learned from IPY: IPY Data Practises & Data legacy, Polar Information Commons
  • Best Practise – Data Administration: Metadata, Vocabularies, Ontologies, Data Management Planning, Data Policy, Repository Practises & Standards
  • Best Practise – Publication & Citation: Data Publication, Data Citation, Scientific Reward and Recognition Systems
  • Best Practise – Data Sharing & Observing Networks: Virtual Observatories, Information and Communications Technology Infrastructure Protocols and Architectures, Sustainability and Governance Models, Cloud Computing and Storage, Real-time data handling
  • Best Practise – Handling Dark and Big Data: Data Mining; Data Storage; High Performance & Cloud Computing
  • Data Centre/Service Provider Accreditation: Current Accreditation Schemes and their Benefits
  • Current Data Practises – SCAR, IASC, SAON, and SOOS: Positives and Negatives of Current Approaches
  • The Future of Scientific Polar Data Management: Any theme as long as the presentation is strategically forward looking

For more information on the Internal Forum (including abstract submission), please visit:

WGMS launch MetaData Browser

WGMS MetaData Browser (Credit: WGMS)

The World Glacier Monitor Service (WGMS; WDS Regular Member) have announced the launch of their new MetaData Browser#; a web interface developed in collaboration with ESRI Switzerland that enables browsing and searching of glacial observations examining changes in length, thickness, and mass. In addition, it provides direct access to minimal data records including observations, related survey and reference years, and source information as reported to WGMS. These data have been compiled through WGMS' network of scientific collaborators over many decades with the support of hundreds of observers around the globe.

# Requires a recent version of your chosen web browser and Adobe Flash Player.

New ICSU-WDS Members

Since the last newsletter in April, the WDS-SC has reviewed and accredited
Six Regular Members:

In addition, One Associate Member was co-opted:

Future Events

RDA Second Plenary Meeting
16–18 September 2013, Washington DC, USA
The Second biannual Plenary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) will take place at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. Primarily a business meeting, the Second Plenary will be an opportunity for RDA Interest and Working Groups to report on progress and conduct breakout sessions. In this regard, Mustapha Mokrane (WDS-IPO Executive Director) and Michael Diepenbroek (Vice-chair of WDS-SC; Co-chair of RDA/WDS Interest Group on Certification of Digital Repositories) will participate as ICSU-WDS representatives of the two recently initiated RDA–WDS Interest Groups.

2013 Data Seal of Approval Conference/Biennial ICPSR Meeting
8–11 October 2013, Ann Arbor, USA
Mustapha Mokrane has been invited to attend the Data Seal of Approval (DSA) Second International Conference. With ICSU-WDS and DSA working together through the RDA/WDS Interest Group on Certification of Digital Repositories, a pertinent topic within this conference is 'Comparison with the World Data System and other certification mechanisms'. The DSA Conference is organized in cooperation with ICPSR (recently certified as WDS Regular Member—see above) on the day before its 2013 Biennial Meeting. The thematic title given to the meeting is 'Beyond Access: Curating Data for Discovery, Re-Use, and Impact'. This meeting will consist of more than 15 workshops and sessions looking to broaden access to research data whilst curating those data to ensure they can be found and used effectively.

World Social Science Forum (WSSF) 2013
13–15 October 2013, Montréal, Canada
ICSU-WDS and CODATA are co-organizing a panel session at the International Social Science Council's triennial WSSF: 'Social Transformations and the Digital Age'. This conference is concerned with the positives and negatives of how digital technologies are being developed and used, how they are transforming different spheres of social life, and how they are transforming the social sciences. The WDS/CODATA session 'Data Management Challenges For Social And Natural Sciences' aims to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between data communities such that optimal scientific solutions can be provided via engagement with global-scale research projects.

eResearch Australasia Conference 2013
20–25 October 2013, Brisbane, Australia
WDS-SC members Kim Finney and Jane Hunter will join Mustapha Mokrane at this conference, in which delegates have the opportunity to discuss information-centric research capabilities, as well as how information and communication technologies help researchers to manage, process, and share data. More details on the eResearch Conference can be found here.

Past Events

Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU) Meeting
19–24 May 2013, Mihama, Japan
ICSU-WDS was promoted by both Mustapha Mokrane and Wim Hugo (WDS-SC) at the International Session, 'Global Data Sciences in the Big Data Era—Global Data Management and System', of the annual JpGU Meeting. The abstracts associated their invited talks can be found here and here, respectively. 

28–31 May 2013, Cologne, Germany
The WDS-IPO Executive director also attended this year's IASSIST Conference—'Data Innovation: Increasing Accessibility, Visibility and Sustainability'—which highlighted recent efforts to make data more openly accessible and understandable, in addition to fostering interdisciplinarity. An educational and eye-opening experience, the Conference emphasized that whilst data management in the Social and Natural Sciences uses the same language, it has evolved in two entirely parallel worlds.