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September 2019


Membership News


Call for Applications to Host IDW 2021 or 2023

International Data Week (IDW) is organized by the Committee on Data (CODATA) and the World Data System (WDS) of the International Science Council (ISC), and the Research Data Alliance (RDA). It brings 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 combines the RDA Plenary Meeting and SciDataCon.

The founding organizations wish for IDW to become a biennial meeting place for the global data community. We are therefore inviting proposals to host the third and fourth editions of this exciting event in September/October/November 2021 and 2023 respectively. Applications should be sent by email to all of the IDW founding organization representatives no later than 30 September 2019 in electronic format based on the details and template available in the IDW Guidelines document.

We envision IDW 2021 and 2023 as four-day events that integrate the activities of a SciDataCon international conference and an RDA Plenary Meeting. Each IDW is expected to include both research sessions and focussed working meetings, as well as broad plenary sessions of general interest.

Reports on SciDataCon 2018—part of International Data Week (IDW) 2018—held on 5–8 November and the first WDS International Data Repositories Day held on 9 November, both in Gaborone, Botswana can be found here:

Call for Abstracts Extended to 6 September for Third International Polar Data Forum

The deadline for Abstract Submissions has been extended and Registration is still open for the WDS co-convened Third International Polar Data Forum (PDF III), which will be hosted by the Finnish Meteorological Institute at their Dynamicum campus on 18–22 November 2019 in Helsinki, Finland.

The Forum will be kicked off with a two-day conference-style meeting in support of information exchange and that will examine the borders among funding, policy needs, and data-related activities. The event will have eight sessions spanning two days. The remainder of the week will follow a 'hackathon' approach. 

Abstract Submission

The new deadline for Abstract Submissions is 6 September 2019 with notification of abstract acceptance by 16 September 2019.


Registration for PDF III is open until 18 October 2019. 

For more information, please see the PDF III website.

Changes to the Members of the WDS-SC

It is with great regret that we announce the resignation of Arona Diedhiou and David J. Patterson (Paddy) from the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) owing to health reasons. Their leaving is a big loss to WDS, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their wonderful contributions to WDS and to wish them the best for the future.

Both Arona and Paddy were key members of the WDS-SC 2018–2021, which was appointed by the (then) ICSU Executive Board for a three-year period commencing on 1 July 2018. The Executive Board also approved a new 1-year 'rolling' seat for a representative of the WDS Early Career Researcher and Scientist Network (WDS-ECR Network). From July 2019, this seat is taken by Sabrina Delgado Arias. Sabrina replaces Alice Frémand, who as can be seen from her below Blog post, did an amazing job over the past year!

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

20th Meeting of the WDS-SC

The 20th Meeting of the WDS-SC took place on 9–10 May 2019 in Beijing, China. We sincerely thank the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for hosting this meeting.

A major highlight of the 20th Meeting was the welcoming of a delegation from the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) and its Committee on Engineering for Innovative Technologies (CEIT) for a highly valuable discussion on how WFEO(-CEIT) and WDS can best collaborate in the future.
Beyond this, the 20th Meeting Agenda was a combination of report backs and strategic planning, with a particular focus on how WDS might maximize its participation in the projects listed in the International Science Council's (ISC's) Draft Science Action Plan.

The 21st Meeting of the WDS-SC will be held in November 2019 in Paris, France.

Introducing the WDS International Technology Office

Following an international competitive call, the WDS-SC last year selected a Canadian consortium formed by three WDS Regular Members—Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) at the University of Victoria, the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre of the National Research Council in Victoria, and the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue at the University of Waterloo—to host the first WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO). The WDS-ITO is physically located at ONC, and to mark the creation of the new WDS Office, a workshop was held at the University of Victoria to engage Canadian and international partners on the WDS-ITO vision and work programme.

The WDS-ITO is led by Dr Karen Payne, who was officially appointed as Associate Director in November 2018. Karen's first role as ITO Director was to represent WDS at IDW 2018 and Data Repositories Day, where she met the majority of the WDS community in attendance and discussed with them their technology needs and their expectations of the WDS-ITO. We hope that you will join us in welcoming Karen to the World Data System.

Monthly Blog Posts by WDS-SC

We are very pleased to announce a third round of monthly WDS-SC posts on the WDS Blog. The first five posts of the new WDS-SC series are introduced below.

Toshihiko IyemoriA Survey of Research Datasets in a University

A Blog post by Toshihiko Iyemori (WDS Scientific Committee Member)
Universities are inherently multidisciplinary and often hold a wide variety of research datasets. This makes them an ideal place to develop and test systems to manage, host, and access multidisciplinary and heterogeneous research datasets. However, the existence of such datasets and how they are preserved is not always well known. (READ MORE)

Alice Fremand Enabling the Next Generation of Data Managers to be Part of the WDS Scientific Committee

A Blog post by Alice Frémand (WDS-ECR Network Representative)
As a Co-Chair of the WDS Early Career Researchers and Scientists (ECR) Network, I had the immense privilege of representing ECRs on the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC). In this WDS Blog post, I want to share my experiences and encourage all ECRs to join the WDS-ECR Network. (READ MORE)

Ingrid DilloFAIRifying Data Management: An example from the Humanities

A Blog post by Ingrid Dillo (WDS Scientific Committee Vice-chair)
In this WDS Blog post, I want to highlight a set of guidelines developed in a community that is not yet very well represented within the membership of the World Data System, but that is getting more and more involved. I am talking about the Humanities. Coming from the Humanities myself, and being active in a broader international data environment, I know from experience that the Humanities data community has a lot to offer other disciplines. Humanists often struggle with very fuzzy, multi-interpretable, scattered, and incomplete data, and so they need to be highly resourceful. For the Digital Humanities, therefore, international collaboration is a sine qua non. (READ MORE)

Isabelle Gärtner-Roer Influencers Needed!... The Next Generation of Data Curators

A Blog post by Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (WDS Scientific Committee Member) and Alice Frémand (WDS-ECR Network Representative)
Data drives so much of our professional life today. From the organization of business meetings (virtual or face-to-face) to the publication of our research results. Data may simplify or complicate our lives, but for sure it is ubiquitous, though often unseen and behind the scenes. (READ MORE)

David J. Patterson Postnatal Nurturing – Giving Data at Risk a Better Chance of a Long and Fruitful Life

A Blog post by David J. Patterson (WDS Scientific Committee Member)
Big data gurus and advocates for a cyberinfrastructure or big data science describe a data-centric future in which massive quantities of digital data will be available for reuse in research, artificial intelligence, making predictions, or engaging in data-driven discovery. In the world of biology, this translates into the expectation is that molecular sequence information will be available from the nucleotide repositories such as GenBank, or that any and all occurrence data can be found at GBIF. It is also presumed that the data will have been vetted and, in all aspects, are trustworthy. (READ MORE)

WDS Member Activities

Final Report Published on 'Search Relevance Recommendations for Earth Science Data'

The NASA Earth Science Data and Information System Project (NASA ESDIS; WDS Network Member) has announced that the NASA Earth Science Data System Working Group on Search Relevancy and User Characterization has recently published its final report (a Technical Note) on 'Search Relevance Recommendations for Earth Science Data'. The report underwent an extensive review process under the auspices of the NASA ESDIS Standards Office and can be found here: Search Relevance Recommendations for Earth Science.

 FAIRSFAIR FAIRsFAIR Workshop – Building the Data Landscape of the Future: FAIR Semantics and FAIR Repositories

This workshop is organized by the FAIRsFAIR work package 'FAIR Practices: Semantics, Interoperability, and Services' and will be held as a co-located event to the RDA plenary on 22 October 2019. Semantics experts, maintainers of semantic registries and data repositories, and representatives from infrastructures are cordially invited to brainstorm with us about how to remedy the shortcomings for FAIRness and interoperability of current semantic resources/artefacts and data repositories. The event is free of charge, but registration is needed.

 SEDAC Logo NASA SEDAC Now Accepting Submissions of Datasets Related to Human-environment Interactions

The NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC; WDS Regular Member), operated by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), has begun accepting submissions of scientific data related to human-environment interactions that are of high utility to the human dimensions research and applications communities. For more information on the data submission process, and to submit candidate datasets, please visit the following page: NASA SEDAC Data Submission.

 ICSTI Logo ICSTI’s 2019 Annual Conference and Workshop

International Council for Scientific and Technical Information's (ICSTI; WDS Associate Member) 2019 Annual Conference and Workshops will take place in China on 24–26 September. This year’s conference is titled ‘Open Science and Open Innovation' and Shanghai Library/Institute of Scientific & Technical Information of Shanghai is hosting the event. The Conference will include ITOC and TACC workshop sessions that will provide significant insights on the theme of ‘Open Science - Latest Developments and Initiatives’ and ‘Technology Enabled Innovation in Open Science’ respectively.

New Members of WDS

Since the last Newsletter (December 2017), the WDS-SC has accredited 11 Regular Members:
2 Partner Members:
and 2 Associate Members:

WDS Strategic Plan for 2019–2023 Published

The new WDS Strategic Plan for 2019–2023 is published. This document, produced in consultation with the ISC Governing Board and ISC Members, reduces the number of strategic targets from five previously, to the three seen by the WDS-SC as absolutely at the core of the WDS mission.

Operating in unison with the new five-year Strategic Plan is an Implementation Plan for 2019–2020. This evolving document lists explicitly the activities that WDS will achieve over the next two years towards realizing the strategic targets. It will be revised periodically by the WDS-SC and can be commented on by the WDS community.

Call for Applications: CODATA–RDA Research Data Science School

The CODATA–RDA Research Data Science School will take place on 2–13 December 2019 in Costa Rica. This school will provide early career researchers (at MSc-level to 3 years after their PhD) from the Latin American Region with the necessary set of foundational data science skills to enable them to analyse their data in an efficient and effective manner for the 21st century.
The material covered is fundamental to all areas of data science and hence open to researchers and professionals from all disciplines that deal with significant amounts of data. The goal is to provide a practical introduction to these topics with extensive labs and seminars.
To apply, please use the online application here (deadline: 1 October 2019).
Female students and scientists are encouraged to apply.

Future Events

International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) World Congress 2019
1–6 September 2019; Panama City, Panama
The 38th IAHR World Congress will bring together the key players in the sector from around the globe under the theme 'Water – Connecting the World'. Global interest in water has increased rapidly in recent years. Many water issues are high on the political agenda, whether it concerns the lack of access to safe water and sanitation or the increase in water‐related disasters due to floods and droughts. Ioana Popescu (WDS-SC) will present on WDS during her oral presentation.

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 is part of Institut de recherche pour le développement’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The target audience is scientific information managers, representatives from research institutions or organizations in charge of research policy, and researchers themselves wishing to share their data and publications. The conference will present national, regional, international or local incentive policies as well as feedback and practical cases to encourage or infuse new impetus for open science. It will focus on research issues in the French-speaking countries of the South. Alex de Sherbinin (Vice-chair of the WDS-SC) is representing WDS at the conference and is a member of its Scientific Organizing Committee. Alex will furthermore co-host a half-day workshop on Developing West African Research Data Repositories where he will speak about CoreTrustSeal certification and WDS membership.

21st Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee
4–5 November 2019; Paris, France
Co-located with the ECR Training Workshop (see below), the WDS-SC will convene in Paris for the second of its biannual meetings of 2019.

Early Career Researcher Training Workshop 2019
6–8 November 2019; Paris, France
The management and curation of research data is a very timely topic. All researchers rely on data they have themselves collected or that are the outputs of previous studies. Moreover, researchers are increasingly required to organize the long-term storage and access of the data used to obtain their results. As such, data training is highly relevant to budding scientists as they embark on their careers! Sponsored by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), WDS is hosting a Research Data Management (RDM) Training Workshop aimed at ECRs that will take place on 6–8 November 2019 at Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris. The application process is now closed and the WDS-SC is selecting those who will participate.

Third International Polar Data Forum
18–22 November 2019; Helsinki, Finland
See the news article above for information on PDFIII.

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, will return to San Francisco to mark the Centennial of AGU. WDS is co-convening the session (IN003: Advancing Capabilities to Enable Current and Future Use of Earth and Space Science Data), which focusses on the trustworthy capabilities and services worldwide that enable sharing and long-term use of open data in all scientific disciplines. The AGU 2019 Fall Meeting will be attended by Benoît Pirenne (WDS-SC ex officio) and Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director).

Selected Past Events & Outcomes

Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data management Workshop
17–18 April 2018; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The WDS co-convened Latin America and the Caribbean Scientific Data Management Workshop discussed scientific data management best practices developed by research institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Please see Alfredo Tolmasquim's WDS Blog post for a comprehensive report on the event.

WDS Asia–Oceania Conference 2019
7–8 May 2019; Beijing, China
Greater than 120 participants from some 14 different countries gathered at IGNSRR, CAS in Beijing, China for the WDS Asia–Oceania Conference 2019. The Conference had the principle objective of strengthening data-oriented collaborations in the Asia–Oceania region through the building of a network to share data policies, technologies, and practices, as well as the promotion of education and training in RDM. Conclusions from the conference can be found on the WDS website.

27th IUGG General Assembly
8–18 July 2019; Montreal, Canada
The 27th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG; WDS Partner Member) marked the 100th anniversary of IUGG. Aude Chambodut (WDS-SC) and Yasuhiro Murayama (WDS-SC ex officio) were co-conveners of the Symposium JA07 – Geoscience Data Licensing, Production, Publication, and Citation, in which Aude gave the talk 'World Data System: Enabling Trusted Scientific Data Services'.

Earth Science Information Partners Summer Meeting 2019
16–19 July 2019; Tacoma, WA, USA
This year's Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP; WDS Partner Member) Summer Meeting took place under the theme Data to Action: Increasing the Use and Value of Earth Science Data and Information. It was attended by Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director), who presented a poster on CoreTrustSeal certification and the activities of WDS.

International Cooperation in Earth and Space Sciences: Celebrating 100th Anniversary of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
29 July 2019; Paris, France
IUGG is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a series of scientific and public events around the world in 2018–2019. WDS was invited to attend the Centennial Celebration Day of IUGG at the UNESCO Headquarters. It was represented by Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director) who gratefully received a silver plaque from IUGG recognizing the long-term cooperation between the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics and the World Data System.

33rd General Assembly of the International Union Of Biological Sciences
30 July–2 August 2019; Oslo, Norway
The year 2019 marks the centenary of the International Union Of Biological Sciences (IUBS). A full afternoon of plenary sessions under the theme 'A Century of Unifying Biology' was held on 30 July, followed by reflections on the history of IUBS. On 31 July and 1 August, various IUBS activities were presented in parallel sessions. Rorie Edmunds (WDS Acting Executive Director) presented on WDS activities around the sharing of Open Data at the 'Big Data' session during the third day of the General Assembly.