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March 2021


Membership News


Call for Nominations: WDS Scientific Committee 2021–2024

The term of the current Scientific Committee (SC) will expire at the end of June 2021. The International Science Council (ISC) and WDS therefore calls on their respective memberships, as well as partners organizations concerned with scientific data stewardship, to nominate new members of the Scientific Committee. Nominations of early career and female scientists or experts are strongly encouraged.

The WDS-SC is the governing body of WDS. It is composed of internationally recognized and leading researchers and experts in all aspects of scientific data. SC members are appointed in their personal capacity normally for a three-year term that is renewable once, with attention to geographical, disciplinary, and gender balance. In addition, at least four members are drawn from representatives of WDS Member Organizations. The bios of current SC members are available online.

More information regarding the role and responsibilities of Scientific Committee members can be found here. Please see here for a document outlining the expected workload commitments.

If you would like to nominate an expert for the WDS-SC, please complete this Nomination Form to be sent to the WDS International Programme Office by email ( no later than Wednesday, 5 May 2021.

Oak Ridge Institute Selected To Host WDS-IPO

The International Science Council and WDS are extremely pleased to announce that the Oak Ridge Institute at the University of Tennessee (ORI at UT) has been chosen as the new host of the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO), and a Memorandum of Understanding has now been signed between ISC and ORI at UT to host the WDS-IPO for an initial five-year period from 1 April 2021.

WDS received a number of excellent Expressions of Interest to host the WDS-IPO, all of which were highly competitive. However, the bid from ORI at UT was ultimately identified as the strongest by the ISC Governing Board in close consultation with the WDS Scientific Committee . With the arrangements now finalized, the World Data System looks forward to working with ORI at UT and its partners—including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of State.

Call for Sessions for SciDataCon 2021

SciDataCon 2021 is co-convened by the ISC’s World Data System and Committee on Data (CODATA), and is an integral part of International Data Week (IDW) 2021 (8–11 November 2021; Seoul). The Call for Session Proposals for SciDataCon 2021 will close at *23:59 UTC on 30 April 2021.

The overarching theme of IDW 2021 and SciDataCon is 'Data to Improve our World', with the following high-level subthemes:

  • Data to Improve our World: The role of data to address global challenges
  • The State of Open Science Globally
  • Research Transparency, Accountability, and Reproducibility
  • Data, Research and Industry: The Interface between Data-intensive Research and Innovation
  • Science and Society: Engagement and participation
  • Empowering and Enabling Society: Data Science and Stewardship Education and Data Literacy
Session proposals addressing the above themes are particularly welcome, and also in scope are proposals addressing: Data and Research; Data Science and Data Analysis; Data Stewardship; Policy and Practice of Data in Research; Data and Education; Data, Society, Ethics, and Politics; and Open Data, Innovation, Industry and Development. Simple presentation of research results is not in scope, the primary focus should always be on the data issues in different fields of research.

Sessions will be 90 minutes in duration, and may include presentations of original research, of interesting data practices, or a mix of the two. Sessions may be structured around conventional presentations and discussion, or they may take more interactive formats, including panels and interactive workshops. Presenters may be invited or submissions requested. All session proposals will be peer-reviewed. More information on proposing a session may be found here:

* Note: The deadline of the Call for Sessions for SciDataCon 2021 was extended to 30 April 2021 after the Newsletter was issued. The date has been updated on this archived copy of the Newsletter to reflect the extension, and therefore differs from the deadline stated in the actual Newsletter.

Key Dates

15 December 2020: Release call for sessions
30 April 2021: Deadline for session proposals
01 May 2021: Release call for presentations
30 June 2021: Deadline for presentations
31 July 2021: Publish programme

Second Latin America and Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop

The Second Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Scientific Data Management Workshop took place on Wednesday, 10 and Wednesday, 24 February 2021. Convened by WDS—in collaboration with the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the São Paulo Research Foundation, and the Research Data Alliance (RDA)—the Workshop consisted of two virtual sessions of talks and interactive panel discussions:

  • Session 1, 12:00–14:00 UTC on Wednesday, 10 February 2021: Research Data Management – Introducing RDA and WDS; and Scientific Data Management in Health and the Environment
  • Session 2, 12:00–15:00 UTC on Wednesday, 24 February 2021: Certification of Scientific Data Repositories (The Why, the How, the When)

  • Recordings of the Second LAC Workshop are available here .

Videos of Short Presentations

The WDS YouTube Channel is hosting a set of short presentations with examples of work on the management of scientific research data. This work was to be presented live at the original Second LAC Workshop in April 2020. Videos are publically available, and are to be kept online for wide dissemination and as a permanent resource/collection.

WDS Blog Posts

We are pleased to present the latest posts in the WDS Blog series from Karen Payne, Associate Director of the WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO); and Lianchong Zhang, current WDS-ECR Network Representative on the WDS Scientific Committee.

Karen Payne Benchmarking the Global Open Research Commons

A Blog post by Karen Payne (WDS-ITO Associate Director)
In Trustworthy Data Repositories (TDRs) are a key pillar within the Global Open Research Commons (GORC), utilized by researchers as they address societal grand challenges such as climate change, pandemics, and poverty. The realized vision of the GORC will provide frictionless access to all research resources, including data, publications, software, and compute resources; plus the metadata, vocabulary, and identification services that enable their discovery and use by humans and machines. Part of the mission of the WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) is to ensure that WDS Members are well represented in the coordination bodies, infrastructures, and functional pipelines that connect TDRs, analytics, and computing resources, globally. As part of this work, the WDS-ITO has taken a leadership role within the Research Data Alliance ’s (RDA’s) GORC Interest Group (IG), and the GORC Working Group (WG) on International Benchmarking. (READ MORE)

Canada’s Path to a Global Open Research Commons

A Blog post by Karen Payne (WDS-ITO Associate Director)
I would like to bring your attention the following white paper that was recently published by David Castle (WDS-SC member), Mark Leggott (Executive Director, Research Data Canada), and I. This paper is one of a set collected by Canada's New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) as part of their needs assessment and strategic planning activities. (READ MORE)

Executive Summary of Report on Earth Observation Data Resources of China (2019)

A Blog post by Lianchong Zhang (WDS-ECR Network Representative on the WDS Scientific Committee)
Earth Observations (EOs) are fundamental data resources that have many important applications. The National Earth Observation Data Center (NODA) and the ChinaGEOSS Data Sharing Network have jointly released a biennial Report on Earth Observation Data Resources of China (2019), using survey data up to the beginning of 2019, to comprehensively grasp the dynamic status of China’s EO data resources and promote their application both within China and globally. (READ MORE)

WDS Member Activities

Need Soil Data?

The remit of ISRIC – World Soil Information (WDS Regular Member) is to provide a focus for soil-related collections and information services. Our holdings include soil specimens, country documentation, as well as a range of geo-referenced databases. They can be used to underpin a wide range of studies of environmental, societal, and economic sustainability. Please visit here for more information.

2021 PARIS21 Annual Meetings – Data as a Public Good: Building Resilience for a Post-pandemic World

The WDS Community is invited by the International Science Council to attend the 2021 PARIS21 Annual Meetings – Data as a Public Good: Building Resilience for a Post-pandemic World on 29 March–1 April.

Data-driven decision-making and digital governance have taken on renewed importance amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, yet many countries struggle to fill data gaps. Approaching data as a public good, organized around principles of inclusive data governance can help to build national data ecosystems that are more resilient in the face of crises. To this end, three foundational pillars—improved legal frameworks, systemic training programmes, and participatory approaches to data—can help to strengthen ownership of domestically produced data, strengthen capacity, and forge trust.

The 2021 PARIS21 Annual Meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss paths towards data as a public good. This year, the virtual meetings will offer an unprecedented four days of sessions, forums, fireside chats, and expert panels at both the global and regional level.

Please visit the 2021 PARIS21 Annual Meetings website for more details.

2nd NASA-Eddy Cross Disciplinary Symposium – Data Science, Earth and Space Sciences

ISC invites the WDS Community to join the 2nd Eddy Cross Disciplinary Symposium – Data Science, Earth and Space Sciences , which will be held virtually on 7–10 June 2021.

In coordination with the NASA 'Living With a Star' Program, the 2nd Eddy Cross Disciplinary Symposium will bring together diverse groups from the Data Science, and the Earth and Space Sciences.

Scientific Program

The 2nd Eddy Cross Disciplinary Symposium will host both the Scientific Program and Poster Session on the aMuse!iPosterSessions web-based platform. Each day will consist of:

  • Scientific talks from 8:30–11:30 Mountain Time
  • Afternoon sessions from 13:00–15:00 Mountain Time
The afternoon sessions will include a poster session on 7 June, and parallel breakout sessions on June 8–10.

Please visit the Symposium website for more details.

ISC Podcast: Nature ‘Working Scientist’ Series

ISC is supporting a mini-series of the Nature ‘Working Scientist’ podcast, dedicated to diversity in science—why it matters, and how to improve it. Featuring voices from the ISC community, the podcasts explore how organizations such as ISC can be better allies for better science.

Science Diversified

Why is diversity—of voices, ideas and people—so important for science? How can diverse perspectives be integrated to strengthen research, and what practical steps are required to promote inclusion of less well-represented or marginalized groups in science workplaces?

This series highlights all aspects of diversity in science—asking why diversity matters; why diversity makes for better science; how to integrate diverse voices and different perspectives in research; and how to promote inclusion of less well-represented or marginalized groups in science settings, including women, people of colour, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and people who take a non-traditional route into science.

Future Events

Fifth Polar to Global Online and Data Sharing Workshop/Hackathon
8 April 2021; Online
The fifth in the bi-monthly series of online workshops convened by the Arctic Data Committee, the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management, the Southern Ocean Observing System, the Arctic Observing Summit Working Group 4, the Global Cryosphere Watch, and WDS behalf of the polar data community. The Workshop/Hackthons revolve around three Working Groups on Federated Search, Vocabularies and Semantics, and Policy. WDS is contributing to all three Working Groups through its International Programme and Technology Offices.

Past Events & Outcomes

Fourth Polar to Global Online and Data Sharing Workshop/Hackathon
21 January 2021; Online
See Future Events. The outcomes of the Fourth Workshop/Hackathon may be found here.

Second Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop
10 & 24 February 2021; Online
See above.

Third Webinars: Introducing International Data Week 2021
16 February & 4 March 2021; Online
WDS, CODATA, RDA, and the hosting organizations presented two 45-minute webinars (accounting for different time zones) introducing IDW 2021: the hosts, themes, and programme components, as well as key information on the calls for sessions and papers. Watch the recording of the first webinar and/or check the presentation deck to learn more about IDW 2021.