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Challenges before ICSU Committee on Data for Science & Technology (CODATA) in strengthening the Knowledge Society. Krishan Lal President, CODATA & National Physical Laboratory New Delhi.

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Krishan Lal President, CODATA & National Physical Laboratory New Delhi

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Challenges before ICSU Committee on Data for Science & Technology (CODATA) in strengthening the Knowledge Society

Krishan Lal

President, CODATA


National Physical Laboratory

New Delhi

Brain-Storming Workshop on Mobilizing the Information and Knowledge Society: Crossed Perspectives, IBM Research Centre, New Delhi, 21 June 2010


  • CODATA- An Introduction

  • Role of CODATA in Diverse Fields of Science and Technology

    Task Groups and Other Activities

  • Activities of CODATA in Materials Science and Technology

CODATA, Committee on Data for Science and Technology : An Interdisciplinary Body of the International Council for Science [ICSU]

ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology – CODATA

General Information

  • An independent legal organization, which works in

  • close collaboration with ICSU and the ICSU family

  • Established in 1966 – Was born at Bombay (Mumbai) India

  • Moved to France 1975

  • First General Assembly was held in 1968

CODATA’s Mission

To strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use

ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology – CODATA

General Information

  • Headquarters at 5 rue AugusteVacquerie 5016 Paris, France; shifted from 51, Blvd de Montmorency, 75016 Paris;

  • Executive Director- Kathleen Cass

  • Web site:

  • Data Science Journal


  • ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology – CODATA

    General Information

    Present Executive Committee

    President: Prof. Krishan LAL (India) (2006-2010)Vice President: Prof. Steve ROSSOUW (S. Africa) (2006-2010)Vice President: Dr. Gordon H. WOOD (Canada) (2006-2010)Secretary General: Dr. Bob CHEN (USA) (2008-2012) Treasurer: Prof. Michel SABOURIN (2008-2012)

    Members (2008-2010):Dr. Marcelle GAUNE-ESCARD,France;Prof. Takashi Gojobori, Japan;Dr. Sara GRAVES, USA; Prof. GUO Huadong, China; Prof. Fedor KUZNETSOV, Russia; Prof. Ray NORRIS, IAU; Prof. Antoni NOWAKOWSKI, Poland; Prof. Mikhail ZGUROVSKY, Ukraine

    ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology – CODATA

    General Information

    CODATA is a non governmental organization

    25 Member Countries

    16 International Scientific Unions as Members

    4 Co-opted Scientific Organizations

    13 Supporting Organizations(Industry, Government and Academia)





    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Taipei

    Czech Republic






    * Associate Member









    South Africa





    Member Countries

    Scientific Unions

    • International Astronomical Union

    • International Union of Pure and AppliedChemistry

    • International Union of Pure and AppliedPhysics

    • International Union of Biological Sciences

    • International Geographical Union

    • International Union of Crystallography

    • International Union of Biochemistry and MolecularBiology

    • International Union of Geological Sciences

    • International Union of Psychological Science

    • International Union of Pure and AppliedBiophysics

    • International Union of Nutritional Sciences

    • International Union of Pharmacology

    • International Union of ImmunologicalSocieties

    • International Union of MicrobiologicalSocieties

    • International Union of SoilScientists

    • IUGG

    Co-opted Organizations

    • ICSU Panel on World Data Centers

    • Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Services

    • International Council for Scientific and Technical Information

    • World Federation for Culture Collections

    Supporting Organizations

    • Defense Technical Information

    • Springer-Verlag

    • All Russian Institute of Scientific and Technical Information

    • Chemical Abstracts Services

    • Fachinformationszentrum Chemie, Gmbh

    • Japan association for International Chemical Information

    • National Library of Medicine

    • Design Institute for Physical Property Data (DIPPR) American Institute for Chemical Engineers

    • Japan Society of Information and Knowledge

    • Protein Data Bank

    • Protein Information Resources

    • Russian Research Centre for Standardization, Information and Certification of Materials (VNITS SMV)

    • Stroyteks

    CODATA Achieves its Mission through:

    • Task Groups

    • National Member Activities

    • Participation in Important International Initiatives, e.g. WSIS

    • Organizes Biennial International Conferences

    • CODATA Electronic Data Science Journal

    • Publications

    • Workshops

    • Studies and Reports

    • Co-operation and Liaison with Other Scientific Organizations


    • A large number of Monographs and other documents have been published (Springer).

    • Currently the Data Science Journal is being published electronically, courtesy Japanese e-platform.

    Recognition of Outstanding Contributions

    • Outstanding contributions in data science are being recognized by the biennial CODATA Prize.

    • CODATA has introduced Young Scientists Award for Best Paper at its Intl. Conference; Special Sessions by young scientists; more to follow

    • Canadian CODATA National Committee has shown exemplary initiative to sponsor young researchers to CODATA International Conferences.

    Anthropometric Data and Engineering

    Biodiversity, Observation and Specimen Records

    Data Sources for Sustainable Development in SADC Countries

    e-Gy Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability

    Exchangeable Materials Data Representation to Support Scientific Research and Education

    Fundamental Constants

    Gas Hydrates

    Global Information Commons for Science Initiative-EU Activities

    Polar Year Data Policy and Management

    Preservation of and Access to S&T Data in Developing Countries

    CODATA Task Groups

    CODATA Task Groups

    Relevant to VAMAS

    • e-Gy Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability

    • Exchangeable Materials Data Representation to Support Scientific Research and Education

    • Fundamental Constants

    • Gas Hydrates

    • Preservation of and Access to S&T Data in Developing Countries

    CODATA Data Science Journal

    • A peer-reviewed electronic journal

    • Publishing papers on the management of data and databases in Science and Technology

    • The scope of the journal includes descriptions of data systems, their publication on the internet, applications and legal issues

    • All of the Sciences are covered, including the Physical Sciences, Engineering, the Geosciences and the Biosciences, along with Agriculture and the Medical Science.

    Biennal International Conferences

    • Recent Past

      • Berlin 2004

      • Beijing 2006 (Over 600 participants from 30 countries)

        Kiev 2008

    • Forthcoming Conference:Cape Town October 2010

    Collaboration with International Organizations: A Sample

    • International Council for Science (ICSU)


    • UNESCO

    • Org. of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD)

    • Global Biodiversity Information Framework (GBIF)

    • Global Earth Observation Systems of Systems (GEOSS)

    • International Association of Networking Publications (INASP)

    • International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)

    • Science Commons

    • EU bodies

    Preparatory Phase: Geneva, Dec 2003

    Final Phase:Tunis, November 2005

    WSIS – The First PhaseCulmination in Geneva

    • In December 2003, more than 172 countries participated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) at Geneva

    • In collaboration with ICSU and UNESCO, it held an International Workshop in UNESCO in March 2003 on “The Role of Science in the Information Society”

    • A nine point Agenda for Action came from this Workshop

    WSIS First Phase:

    Geneva, December 2003

    Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action

    Adopted by 175 countries

    Paragraph 7:

    “Science has a central role in the development of the Information Society.”

    Article 10 of the Agenda for Action:Emphasis on “Access to Information and Knowledge,” and

    Article 23 recognizes the important role of “e-Science.”

    Major CODATA activities between Geneva (2003) and Tunis (2005)

    • Special Session at 19th International Conference of CODATA, Nov 2004, Berlin

    • International Workshop on “Creating theInformation Commons for e-Science: Toward Institutional Policies and Guidelines for Action”Paris, 1-2 Sep 2005

    • Three Sessions at the World Summit on Information Society, Tunis, November 2005






    US National Academy of Sciences,

    TWAS, and

    in collaboration of the OECD

    A Significant Achievement

    Helped in firming up the new initiative on Global Information Commons for Science after discussions from legal, economic and other perspectives

    “Science helped to create the Information Society—it can now help extend that society to all.”

    Iwata, S., and R.S. Chen. 2005. Science and the Digital Divide (editorial). Science 310 (5747, 21 October): 405.

    CODATA and Task DA-06-01of GEOSS

    Lead Author:Paul F. Uhlir

    Core Authors:Robert Chen

    Charles BartonJoanne Irene Gabrynowicz Katleen Janssen

    A white paper on guidelines for data sharing for GEOSS

    Important Landmarks

    March 2006: Discussions with the International

    Council for Science, ICSU

    April 2006: Discussions commence with GEO

    Secretariat CODATA a Co-Lead on the Task

    October 2006: GEO/CODATA organize a meeting in

    Beijing around CODATA Conference

    (CODATA appointedlead on Task)

    June 2007:First draft of White Paper and



    September 2007: Presented to ADC meeting Washington

    October 2007:Update of White Paper based on comments

    November 2007: Presented to GEO Plenary and Ministerial, Cape Town

    May 2008:Update of White Paper based on comments

    Dividing the document into two components

    White Paper

    Implementation Guidelines

    Final Steps

    2008:BucharestPlenary (in place of Beijing)

    2009: Presentation to GEO Plenary in Washington

    2010:Ministériel Meeting

    COMMUNIA The European Thematic Network on the Public Domain in the Digital Age

    • European point of reference for both theoretical and practical analysis as well as strategic policy discussion of existing andemerging issues related to the public domain in the digital environment - as well as related topics including, but not limited, alternative forms of licensing for creative material; open access to scientific publications and research results; management of works whose authors are unknown (i.e. orphan works)

    COMMUNIA Contd…


    • Geographical territory of the European Union as well as neighbouring and accessing countries

    • Plans to build strategic relationships with third countries such as the United States and Brazil

    COMMUNIA Contd…

    Activities and Deliverables during three years

    • Thematic workshops (3/yr) and conferences (1/yr) to maintain a strong link between all the participants and use face-to-face meetings as a source of material for the analytical and practical work of the project

    • Production of a book

    • Establishment of an academic journal

    • A "best practices" guide for European research and reference centers on the topics covered by COMMUNIA

    • A final strategic report containing policy guidelines that will help all the stakeholders tackling the issues that the existence of a digital public domain have raised and will undoubtetdly continue to raise.

    COMMUNIA Contd…


    • EU Member States

    • Three candidate countries and Switzerland

    • USA and Brazil

    • CODATA

    • Creative Commons

    • EBLIDA

    Challenges Facing CODATA

    • CODATA has the potential to serve with other organizations as a vehicle of development in the least developed regions, particularly in increasing the quality and spread of education.

    • There is a great scope in integrating traditional knowledge base with the main stream in a transparent and ethical manner.

    Good efforts distributed in several organizations:

    Some examples

    CSIR—NGRI, NML,NPL, TKDL and others


    DBT---Sponsors these activities

    DST--- Sponsors these activities




    Data Science and Indian Scenario

    Need for Digital Repositories in all organizations

    Already initiatives are being taken by many institutes

    Data Science and Indian Scenario

    Challenges before CODATA

    • Need for organizing Data Science as an important discipline

      Examples of emerging areas: Combinatorial Material Science; Design of Materials

    • Data and Information an important part of ICSU Strategic Plan

    • Active participation in International Activities like CODATA Task Groups,

    Challenges before CODATA

    Possibilities of Strong International Collaboration




    UNIDO ??


    • CODATA, its Mission and activities

    • Participation in international initiatives like those of UNESCO and ICSU





    Thank You

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