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March 2020


Membership News


SAVE THE DATE: IDW 2021, 8–11 November 2021; Seoul, South Korea

The International Science Council’s (ISC's) Committee on Data (CODATA) and World Data System (WDS), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) are delighted to announce that the 2021 edition of International Data Week (IDW 2021) will be held on 8–11 November 2021 in Seoul, South Korea.

IDW 2021 will be hosted by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), committed by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Seoul Metropolitan Government, National Library of Korea, and National Assembly Library, with the support of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU).

This landmark event will bring together data scientists, researchers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and data stewards from disciplines across the globe to explore how best to exploit the data revolution to improve science and society through data-driven discovery and innovation. IDW 2021 combines the 18th RDA Plenary Meeting, the biannual meeting of this international member organization working to develop and support global infrastructure facilitating data sharing and reuse, and SciDataCon 2021, the scientific conference addressing the frontiers of data in research organized by CODATA and WDS. Two editions of IDW have taken place to date:

1. IDW 2016, 11–17 September 2016, Denver, Colorado, USA; attended by 840 data professionals and researchers from all disciplines and from across the globe.

2. IDW 2018, 5–8 November 2018, Gaborone, Botswana; attended by more than 850 international data professionals and researchers.

Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions

WDS together with CODATA, GO FAIR, and RDA—the four major international data organizations—are pleased to outline their joint commitment to work together to optimize the global research data ecosystem and to identify the opportunities and needs that will trigger federated infrastructures to service the new reality of data-driven science.

A first concrete example of this is the following 'Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a major test for our science system and for our research and data infrastructures. These infrastructures, such as open science clouds and data commons, must serve the needs of science, policy, and humanity not only in ‘normal times’, but also in times of crisis by providing controlled access to quality data in real time and at scale for a range of scientific- and policy-related responses.

The Data Together organizations are jointly working on the following activities and invite all to contribute:

Read the full statement on Data Together COVID-19 Appeal and Actions.

Call for Expressions of Interest to Host the WDS International Programme Office

The WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) was created in March 2011. Since then, it has been hosted by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Tokyo, Japan under two 5-year Letters of Cooperation between ISC and NICT. The current agreement 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-IPO by 31 May 2020 (extended from 10 May).

Expressions of Interest 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 May 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.

Three New Members Appointed to WDS-SC

David Castle, Aminata Garba, Juanle Wang We are pleased to announce that David Castle, Aminata Garba, and Juanle Wang have been invited by the ISC Committee for Science Planning to serve on the WDS-SC for an initial term ending on 30 June 2021.

David, Aminata, and Juanle, replace Arona Deidhiou and David 'Paddy' Patterson who both were unable to continue on the WDS-SC due to health reasons, as well as Sandy Harrison, who recently stepped down as SC Chair (see below). We hope the WDS community will join us in giving David, Aminata, and Juanle a warm welcome to the World Data System! Their bios can be found here (Dr Castle), here (Dr Garba), and here (Prof Wang).

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

Sandy Harrison Steps Down from WDS-SC

Sandy Harrison

Sandy Harrison announced in November 2019 that owing to increased responsibility within projects she is involved, she was no longer able to serve as Chair of the WDS-SC 2018–2021. With the appointment of three new SC members (see above), Sandy has now stepped down from WDS-SC completely.

Sandy was a part of the WDS-SC 2012–2015, joining WDS from May 2014, and was Chair of the WDS-SC 2015–2018. The Scientific Committee, WDS-IPO, and WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO), would like to thank Sandy for her dedication to WDS over the past six years. Sandy has contributed greatly towards the continued success of WDS, and we know her future endeavours will benefit hugely from her leadership.

Alex de Sherbinin who became interim Chair of WDS-SC in Sandy's stead has now been appointed full Chair until 30 June 2021. Elaine Faustman replaces Alex as a Vice Chair of the WDS-SC.

WDS Blog Post

The following Blog post is from Agneta Ghose, who attended the WDS–ECR Data Curation and Management Workshop held in November 2019.

Agneta Ghose WDS–ECR Data Curation and Management Workshop

A Blog post by Agneta Ghose (2019 WDS–ECR Training Workshop Participant)
If ‘Data is the new gold’ then it certainly must be managed. Science has always valued data. Scientific data are not only an output of research but also an input to new hypotheses, enabling scientific insights and driving innovation. Therefore, accountability, transparency, and verifiability of science make data preservation and sharing part of scientific integrity.
The World Data System (WDS) recently organized a training workshop for early career researchers (ECRs) on data curation and management. The workshop was held at the Institute de Physique du Globe, Paris on 6–8 November 2019. The objective of this workshop was to familiarize ECRs with the methods and jargon used in research data management in addition to introducing future challenges and technological solutions to data management. In this blog, I would like to share the key messages from the informative presentations at this workshop. (READ MORE)

WDS Member Activities

CCDC Logo CCDC Announces 2020.0 CSD Release

The Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC; WDS Regular Member), world leading providers of structural chemistry data for material and life sciences, has announced the 2020.0 CSD Release, offering improved visualisation and extraction of data driven insights from now over one million structures in the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). After celebrating the addition of the millionth structure to the CSD in June 2019—a huge milestone for structural chemistry—this release continues the strong growth towards the next million. The 2020.0 CSD Release contains 1,034,174 entries and 1,016,168 unique structures; an increase of more than 60,000 entries to the CSD compared to the 2019.0 CSD Release. Click here to read the original press release.

STM logo STM Launches ‘STM 2020 Research Data Year’

To accelerate the implementation of research data solutions, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM; WDS Associate Member) has launched the ‘STM 2020 Research Data Year’—a dedicated action plan to increase the number of journals with data policies, expand the number of journals depositing data links and grow the volume of citations to datasets. In any field of study, the sharing of data is one of the most fundamental aspects of maintaining the integrity of research. The availability of research data plays a vital role in ensuring reproducibility and the ongoing development of Open Science. Acknowledging this, funders are increasingly developing data sharing policies for research funded by them. Click here to read the original press release.

OpenAIRE Logo Springer Nature and OpenAIRE in Deal to Advance Open Science + Report on Recommendations for Services in a FAIR Data Ecosystem

Springer Nature will provide OpenAIRE (WDS Partner Member) access to its full-text articles and chapters, regardless of their open access status and access rights, and starting immediately. This will enable OpenAIRE to extract links from articles, research data, and other scholarly outputs using text and data mining algorithms. Such links between research objects can then be used by both Springer Nature and OpenAIRE to provide searches and statistics through their respective portals and will be made freely available via,, OpenAIRE Explore and Scholexplorer (the result of work carried out by the WDS/RDA WG on Scholarly Link Exchange). Click here to read the original press release.

In 2019, OpenAIRE—in collaboration with FAIRsFAIR, RDA's European node, EOSC-hub, and FREYA—ran three workshops around services to support Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data. The workshops were designed to explore, discuss, and propose recommendations on how existing data infrastructures can evolve and collaborate to provide services that support the implementation of FAIR Data Principles; in particular, in the context of building the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). For more details on the workshops and on the resulting report, please click here.

SEDAC logo NASA SEDAC Dataset Used in Coronavirus Mapping & Release of PEST-CHEMGRIDS

NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member) Gridded Population of the World data, via the Population Estimation Service, was used in this map feature on the spread of the coronavirus: Maps Show Where Coronavirus Started and Why Officials are So Worried. The Global Pesticide Grids (PEST-CHEMGRIDS) dataset is now available. Developed to assess human and ecosystem exposure to potential and recognized toxic chemicals, PEST-CHEMGRIDS includes comprehensive data on the 20 most-used pesticide active ingredients, on six dominant crops and four aggregated crop classes, at 5 arc-minute resolution (about 10 km at the equator), estimated for 2015 and projected to 2020 and 2025. The dataset is described in detail in a recent open-access paper by Maggi et al. in 'Scientific Data'.

OCN Logo Data Steward at Ocean Networks Canada

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC; WDS Regular Member) is hiring for a two-year position as a Data Steward at the University of Victoria, starting on 20 April 2020. This position is primarily responsible for acquiring, verifying, and maintaining metadata and data for ONC. Properly curated data is critical for scientific and non-scientific users to understand, interpret, and analyze information collected via the instruments with the ONC-operated network. Secondary duties of the Data Steward include field and at-sea support during infrastructure maintenance operations, which occur multiple times a year for up to four weeks' duration, as well as day and multiday trips. The deadline for applications will close on 5 April 2020.

esip Job Opportunity: ESIP Executive Director

Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP; WDS Partner Member) is looking for its next Executive Director. As announced in the FY19 Annual Report and at the 2020 Winter Meeting, Erin Robinson will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of her second term in October 2020 after 10 years as ESIP staff and over 15 years as part of the ESIP community. The ESIP Board has retained Higher Talent Executive Search to support the search process. Further details on the position and instructions for applying can be found on the Higher Talent website. Interested candidates should direct enquiries to

ICSTI Logo ICSTI Annual Event 2020

The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI; WDS Associate Member) is pleased to confirm that its Annual Event 2020 is scheduled to be held on 21–22 August at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road in Dublin, Ireland. This event is adjacent to IFLA WLIC 2020.
  • 21 August – Morning and Afternoon: ITOC and TACC workshops for which themes and speakers are being currently determined
  • 22 August – Morning: General Assembly session devoted to ICSTI business

International FAIR Convergence Symposium & CODATA General Assembly

CODATA and GO FAIR will convene the International FAIR Convergence Symposium on 22–23 October 2020 in Paris, France, followed by the CODATA General Assembly on 24 October 2020.

The International FAIR Convergence Symposium will provide a forum for advancing international and cross-domain convergence around FAIR. The event will bring together a global data community with an interest in combining data across domains for a host of research issues including major global challenges, such as those relating to the Sustainable Development Goals. Outcomes will directly link to the CODATA Decadal Programme and to the developments of GO FAIR community towards the Internet of FAIR data and services.

Future Events

Second Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop
14–15 April 2020; São Paulo, Brazil
POSTPONED until further notice due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. More information here.

The Second Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop 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 RDA. 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.

22nd Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee
16–17 April 2020; São Paulo, Brazil
CANCELLED due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. The WDS-SC will instead hold several extended teleconferences to discuss the main priorities for the WDS over the next six months.

EGU General Assembly 2020
3–8 May 2020; Vienna, Austria
CANCELLED, and replaced with EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online on 3–8 May. More information here.

JpGU–AGU Joint Meeting 2020
24–28 May 2020; Chiba, Japan
This event will be held online due to the Novel Coronavirus situation.

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. 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'.

Past Events & Outcomes

GEO Data & Knowledge Week 2020
17–22 February 2020; Beijing, China
POSTPONED until further notice due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. More information here.

Enabling FAIR Data/CDF Repository Webinar – Parts 1 & 2
25 & 27 February 2020; Virtual
The Council of Data Facilities (CDF) hosted a set of webinars to review and discuss several repository-specific concerns. Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director) co-presented on 'The CoreTrustSeal Earth Space and Environmental Science Cohort'. Recordings are available on the CDF webpage.

International Symposium on Grids & Clouds 2020
08–13 March 2020; Taipei, Taiwan
POSTPONED until further notice due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. More information here.

Data Sharing and Credit – PARSEC Workshop
16 March 2020; Melbourne, Australia
This event was co-located with the RDA 15th Plenary Meeting (see below). It was changed to a virtual meeting and was attended remotely by Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director).

Certifying Trusted Repositories: Sharing with and Learning from RDA - Australia’s Approach to the Challenge
17 March 2020; Melbourne, Australia
Organized by ARDC, and the Australian Trusted Data Repository Community, this event was due to be co-located with the RDA 15th Plenary Meeting (see below), but was changed to a virtual meeting. WDS Acting Executive Director, Rorie Edmunds, joined this event and spoke about CoreTrustSeal certification.

RDA's 15th Plenary Meeting – Data for Real-World Impact
18–20 March 2020; Melbourne, Australia
CANCELLED, and replaced with a Virtual Plenary 15 (VP15) on 18 March–10 April 2020. VP15 will offer remote access to many of the sessions that were planned for P15. See more information here.

ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting
22–26 March 2020; Philadelphia, USA
CANCELLED due to the Novel Coronavirus situation. More information here.