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June 2020


Membership News


Call for EoIs to Host WDS-IPO: New Deadline of 31 July!

Owing to the continued disruptions in many countries from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been agreed with ISC to set a new deadline of Friday, 31 July 2020 for Expressions of Interest (EoI). Please note that this will be the final deadline for submissions.

The current hosting agreement between ISC and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) ends on 31 March 2021 and, in light of this, ISC and the WDS Science Committee (WDS-SC) invite Expressions of Interest from interested parties to host the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) by Friday, 31 July 2020.

Creative suggestions are welcomed, including partial or shared hosting, or other innovative solutions. More information can be found in the Hosting Call.

EoI should be completed using this online form or by sending the form in the Call (pages 5–7) to, in either case no later than 31 July 2020. Please note that it is not expected for potential hosts to have precise details in place by this deadline; rather, they should state their interest and what they may be able to offer. Further negotiations will then take place between ISC and selected bidding organizations, in consultation with the WDS-SC, to finalize the hosting arrangements.

Do not hesitate to contact the WDS-IPO ( if you have any questions or if require clarifications. Please also disseminate this Call to other interested parties, as appropriate. See here for more information.

WDS Endorses TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories

WDS has endorsed 'The TRUST Principles for Digital Repositories', following their publication in Nature Research’s Scientific Data on 14 May 2020 (Vol. 7, Article 144, These principles offer guidance for maintaining the trustworthiness of digital repositories; especially, those responsible for the stewardship of research data.

The concept of the TRUST Principles was initially developed by members of the Board of the CoreTrustSeal certification. A first draft of a white paper outlining the Principles was then introduced, to increase authorship across diverse disciplines and gain broad community feedback and consesus, via the RDA/WDS Certification of Digital Repositories Interest Group at the Research Data Alliance's (RDA's; WDS Associate Member) 13th Plenary Meeting in April 2019. From these early discussions, the issues were collaboratively explored, and the white paper futher refined, leading to the publishing of the comment paper on the TRUST Principles in Scientific Data.

In addition to WDS, 21 organizations committed to the stewardship of digital resources have already endorsed the TRUST Principles, including those listed below. Other organizations, and particularly those within the WDS community, are also encouraged to endorse the TRUST Principle via enquiries[at]rd-alliance[dot]org

See more details here.

Springboard Blog Post on TRUST Principles

We would also like to point you to the following blog post in which Varsha Khodiyar (Data Curation Manager, Research Data and New Product Development) describes why Springer Nature has endorsed the TRUST Principles and their importance to data management within the research community.

COVID-19: The Duty to Document Does Not Cease in a Crisis, It Becomes More Essential

WDS has joined a number of organizations in signing a statement developed by the International Council on Archives and the International Conference of Information Commissioners.

The statement is built on three principles:

  1. Decisions must be documented.
  2. Records and data should be secured and preserved in all sectors.
  3. The security, preservation, and access to digital content should be facilitated during the shutdown.

The signatories hope the archives, records, data, and allied communities will support the statement and join us in underscoring the importance of the duty to document, now and for the future.

UNESCO Global Consultations on Open Science

UNESCO has launched a Global Consultation on Open Science with a view to developing a standard-setting instrument in the form of a Recommendation, to be adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2021. WDS has been invited to contribute to this process, and to provide both inputs as an organization, and from the WDS community of experts worldwide.

To build a global consensus on Open Science, the development of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science relies on an inclusive, transparent, and consultative process involving all countries and all stakeholders. The Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and point to concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data with proposals for action to bring citizens closer to science, and commitments for a better distribution and production of science in the world.

UNESCO will hold a series of online and face-to-face consultations to support an open debate on Open Science awareness, understanding and policy development to feed into the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. In this context, a series of regional and thematic consultations are being organized.

For more information, contact at openscience[at]unesco[dot]org, or see the UNESCO website.

Claudia Medeiros Replaces Alfredo Tolmasquim as WDS-SC Member

Alfredo Tolmasquim, Claudia Medeiros The ISC Committee for Science Planning has invited Claudia Medeiros (bio) to serve on the WDS-SC from 1 April 2020. Please join us in welcoming Claudia to WDS!

Claudia replaces Alfredo Tolmasquim—who has stepped down owing to his increased work commitments—in representing the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region within the WDS-SC.

We would like to thank Alfredo for his contribution to WDS since joining the Scientific Committee in 2016. We are very grateful for his help in strengthening WDS connections in the LAC region through his organization of the first WDS LAC Workshop in 2018, and the (postponed) second Workshop in São Paulo. We wish his continued success in the future!

A full list of Committee members, along with their bios, can be found on the Scientific Committee page.

WDS Blog Posts

The following WDS Blog posts are from Juanle Wang, who joined the WDS-SC in February 2019 and Karen Payne, WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) Associate Director.

Juanle Wang Knowledge Service for Disaster Risk Reduction: A Practice Using Big Data Technology

A Blog post by Juanle Wang (2019 WDS Scientific Committee Member)
Under the dual influences of global climate change and human activities, the frequency and the intensity of natural disasters have been growing in recent years, and resulting in increasingly serious disaster losses. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is thus a common and urgent global challenge. Driven by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) DRR mission, the DRR Knowledge Service (DRRKS) System was founded under the UNESCO International Knowledge Centre for Engineering Sciences and Technology. (READ MORE)

Karen Payne WDS International Technology Office Signs MoU with Canada's New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization

A Blog post by Karen Payne (WDS-ITO Associate Director)
You spoke. We listened.
The WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) was created to support Member Organizations of WDS as they develop their data repositories in the areas of data and metadata management, infrastructure, and interoperability. In order to respond most effectively to Member needs, last year the WDS-ITO, with the support of the WDS International Program Office, conducted a survey to evaluate your areas of interest and determine what types of projects you would like WDS to support. Our key finding was a list of potential WDS-ITO projects, ranked according to interest. You can read the report of the survey here. We discovered that the top two areas of interest were adding: 1) semantic markup to metadata and 2) harvestable metadata services. In response, the WDS-ITO has secured funds from Canada’s national New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) to hire two fulltime staff members to work on these projects. The funding provides dedicated resources to develop collaborative partnerships among the WDS-ITO, its members, and relevant international and Canadian interest groups to increase availability and interoperability of metadata assets globally. (READ MORE) [See also NDRIO Provides Funding to WDS-ITO].

WDS Member Activities

SCOSTEP logo SCOSTEP-PRESTO Online Seminar Series

In response to the current difficulties of hosting meetings in person, the Scientific Committee on Solar–Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP; WDS Partner Member) is hosting a series of online seminars to deliver information on the latest scientific topics and/or instructive review presentations on solar-terrestrial physics related to its Predictability of the Solar–Terrestrial Coupling (PRESTO) programme.
For more information on this seminar series, please see the SCOSTEP-PRESTO webpage.

CDL logo California Digital Library to Host Earth Sciences Preprint Service

The California Digital Library (CDL; WDS Regular Member) has forged a partnership with the Advisory Council of the EarthArXiv preprint service for earth sciences, and will support EarthArXiv’s mission, future growth, and long-term sustainability. Core to this partnership will be the transition of EarthArXiv’s preprints server—including public display and submission management—from the Center for Open Science to the eScholarship Publishing program at the CDL.
Read the full announcement here.

GBIF logo Twenty Years of GBIF: Independent Review Charts Successes and Challenges

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF; WDS Regular Member) Governing Board commissioned the ISC's Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA; WDS Associate Member) to carry out an independent review, 20 years after a working group of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recommended the creation of a global biodiversity information facility in 1999. The resulting report published by CODATA, 'Twenty-Year Review of GBIF', follows a year of research, including interviews with more than 100 experts worldwide from various parts of the GBIF network and wider biodiversity information community.
The Review comprises an Executive Summary and the detailed Full Report.

ISRIC logo ISRIC: Release of New SoilGrids 250m Product

ISRIC – World Soil Information (WDS Regular Member) has been finalizing a new set of soil property maps for the world (SoilGrids250m), incorporating comments from many experts and organizations since the sneak preview on World Soil Day 2019. Numerous improvements were implemented since publication of the '2017 version', making this a completely new product. The GIS layers can be accessed using various services. A new webtool with visualization, querying, and download facilities for enhanced user experience has been released.
For more information on the new SoilGrids250m, please see ISRIC’s website.

SEDAC logo NASA SEDAC Develop Global COVID-19 Viewer

The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member) has developed a new mapping tool, the SEDAC Global COVID-19 Viewer: Population Estimates by Age Group and Sex. The Viewer shows the density of population in relation to reported coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases at country and sub-national levels, and lets users obtain estimates of the number of people by age and sex in an area of interest, including areas not currently reporting large numbers of cases. It has the unique capability of letting users retrieve age and sex structure data for any area, including across country boundaries or within countries.
Access the SEDAC Global COVID-19 Viewer.

New Member of WDS

Since the last Newsletter (March 2020), the WDS-SC has accredited one Regular Member:

SCHOLIX Recommendation Released


We are pleased to announce that the joint WDS–RDA Scholarly Link Exchange (SCHOLIX) Working Group has released the following Recommendation:

Webinar – Accounting for Everyone: Using Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development

ISC invites the WDS Community to join a webinar Accounting for Everyone: Using Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development, which will take place on 24 June 2020 at 09:30 EDT/15:30 CET/19:00 IST.

In this exclusive webinar, ISC joins the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics and a panel of experts in a technical discussion on the use gridded population data in a variety of applications, including infectious disease and disaster response; survey planning; sea-level rise; water availability; and more.

The webinar will also review several of the nuances of the various datasets presented in TReNDS’ newly released report, Leaving No One Off The Map: A Guide For Gridded Population Data For Sustainable Development. It features the work of the NASA SEDAC (WDS Regular Member), and that Alex de Sherbinin (WDS-SC Chair) has personally been involved in.

See here for more information on the underlying initiative, and here for more information on the webinar.

Launch of Global COVID-19 Index

There are so many strategies from so many nations to look to when developing a nation’s recovery plan from the COVID-19 pandemic. The question is how effective are these measures, and will they necessarily work in your context?

We would like to bring you attention to the Global COVID-19 Index (GCI) launched on 4 June 2020, which is being championed by the ISC Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. In the spirit of Open Science, PEMANDU Associates, in collaboration with Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Academy of Sciences Malaysia have developed the GCI—the world’s first comprehensive, holistic index on COVID-19 pandemic, providing up-to-date rankings of 184 countries’ effectiveness in coping with the outbreak. Anchored on verified data on a given nation’s severity and recovery index, the GCI will serve as a singular platform to catalyze informed decision making in the fight against COVID-19.

Webinar – The Role of Science and Science Funders in the Time of the COVID-19 Crisis

ISC invites the WDS Community to join a webinar on the role of science and science funders in the time of the COVID-19 crisis, which will take place on 26 June 2020 at 14:00–15:30 CET.

Science has been propelled to the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and will have a critical role in informing global recovery strategies to the “new normal” in a post-COVID-19 world. New research calls and programmes targeting COVID-19 research have been launched by national research councils, academies, scientific unions, development aid agencies and private foundations around the world. The swift and unprecedented mobilization of research and funding is inspiring. To help stimulate and maximize the impact of this type of action, the ISC will organize a webinar for national research funding agencies, development aid agencies, private foundations, and the international scientific community.

The webinar will provide a dialogue space for:

  • Identifying critical COVID-19-related knowledge gaps and fostering potential collaboration and synergies.
  • Understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on science funders.
  • Discussing potential longer-term implications of the pandemic for global science systems.
  • Exploring ways of enabling science to respond more effectively to future similar threats.

Please visit here for more information.

Future Events

Polar to Global Online and Data Sharing Workshop/Hackathon
30 June 2020; Online
During the Third Polar Data Forum (PDF III), members of the Polar Data Community gathered to share information and knowledge and to make practical progress towards greater data sharing and interoperability. Following on from PDF III, an online workshop to further enhance polar data sharing and interoperability will be held on 30 June from 14:00–17:00 UTC. This will be the first of a planned bi-monthly series of online workshops convened by the Arctic Data Committee, the Standing Committee on Arctic Data Management, the Southern Ocean Observing System, the Arctic Observing Summit Working Group 4, the Global Cryosphere Watch, and WDS on behalf of the polar data community.

JpGU–AGU Joint Meeting 2020
12–16 July 2020; Online
The Japan Geoscience Union (JpGU) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) will host a joint meeting to highlight the 30th anniversary of JpGU and follow on from AGU's centennial celebration. This event will be held online due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. Rorie Edmunds, WDS Acting Executive Director, will attend and will present on WDS and the CoreTrustSeal in the session 'Open Science in Progress: Data Sharing, e-Infrastructure, and Transparency in International Contexts'.

ISGC 2020 (+ Co-located RDM Training Workshop)
>23–28 August 2020; Taipei
The International Symposium on Grids and Clouds (ISGC) 2020 will be held at Academia Sinica under the theme of 'Challenges in High Performance Data Analytics: Combining Approaches in HPC, HTC, Big Data and AI'. WDS will jointly host the co-located workshop 'Research Data Management Training Workshop' on 23 August 2020 with CODATA, the Digital Curation Centre, and Academia Sinica.

International Symposium: Global Collaboration on Data Beyond Disciplines (+ WDS-IPO 10th Anniversary)
23–25 September 2020; Online
This online symposium will commemorate the WDS-IPO's 10th Anniversary. Its goal is to build consensus on various aspects of RDM by all stakeholders in alignment with Open Research policies and initiatives. It will explore new paths for activities significant in promoting interdisciplinary and collaborative research and data reuse under different scientific disciplines based on evidence and feedback from data communities. Several sessions will be led by WDS, including a WDS (Member's) Forum, a joint session with ORCID (WDS Partner Member), and a forum for Early Career Researchers and Scientists (ECRs) in the Asia–Oceania region held by the WDS-ECR Network.

Past Events & Outcomes

European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2020: Sharing Geoscience Online
4–8 May 2020; Online
EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online brought part of the activities of the annual EGU General Assembly online. Laia Comas Bru and Marcus Schmidt presented the following abstract about their participation in the WDS–EGU Training Workshop held in November 2019 in Paris: EGU2020-7115: Data Management for Early Career Scientists – How to Tame the Elephant. Alice Frémand, Co-chair of the WDS-ECR Network, was a co-convener of the short course SC2.2: Handling your data efficiently from planning to reuse – tips and tools to save time and nerves.

GEO Virtual Symposium 2020
15–19 June 2020; Online
The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) held interactive webinars and virtual discussions in the GEO Virtual Symposium 2020. At this first year of the 2020–2022 GEO Work Programme, the Symposium focussed on strengthening the capability of GEO Work Programme activities to implement their plans effectively. WDS is a Participating Organization of GEO, and was represented at the Virtual Symposium by Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director).