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9th Meeting of the Board on Research Data and Information Tuesday 24 September 2013. CODATA Activities and Plans. Simon Hodson Executive Director CODATA /blog @simonhodson99. What is CODATA?.

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codata activities and plans

9th Meeting of the Board on Research Data and Information

Tuesday 24 September 2013

CODATA Activities and Plans

Simon Hodson

ExecutiveDirector CODATA



Whatis CODATA?

  • Mission: To strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use.
  • An Interdisciplinary Body of ICSU, the International Council for Science:
  • CODATA has been working at the forefront of data science since 1966
  • Not-for-profit, membership organisation (national members, scientific unions, affiliate members, members-at-large).
  • Genuinely global: 23 national members.
  • Strong links with international scientific unions: 16 union members.
  • CODATA is…
  • An international community and network of expertise on data issues.
  • An influential and authoritative voice in national and international policy regarding scientific data management.
  • A focal point for international, cross- disciplinary collaboration and communication on key scientific data issues.

CODATA Activities

  • Policy frameworks for data: take the lead in defining a policy agenda for scientific data.
    • Establishing high level and expert Data Policy Committee. Provide authority and support for data policy issues: international, national, research initiatives.
    • Contributing to ICSU consultation workshop on OA for publications, data and on the use of metrics for the appraisal of scientific contributions.
  • Frontiers in data science and technology: coordinate work in key frontiers of data science and interdisciplinary application areas.
    • CODATA workshop series on Frontiers of Data Science and Technology: looking to partner other organisations and build on work of task groups.
    • Capacity building activities: curriculum for data science, global outreach activities.
    • International Science Data Conference, with WDS, New Delhi 2-5 Nov 2014.
    • Reinvigorate the Data Science Journal.
    • Task Groups Working Groups (e.g. Young Data Scientists).
  • Data strategies for international science: support major ICSU scientific programmes to address data management needs (including infrastructure, policies, processes, standards).
    • Future Earth; Integrated Research on Disaster Risk

CODATA Data Policy Committee

  • Core membership: Mark Thorley (chair), Paul Uhlir, Tyng-Ruey Chuang, UshaMunshi.
  • Expand to 10-12 international experts.
  • Propose call for members and selection process involving CODATA EC.
  • Propose CODATA DPC to proposed data principles for Future Earth initiative.
  • Discussed with Mark Thorley that CODATA DPC should prepare model data policies and engage in a process of validation and iteration with National CODATA Committees (and academies, funders, transnational bodies …), with International Scientific Unions (and Learned Societies, publishers, journal editorial boards ….).
  • Involves CODATA in expert agenda setting activity.
  • Engages DPC with National Committees and IUs: opportunity for an informed dialogue around national and disciplinary concerns WRT data policies.
  • Addresses ICSU initiatives: Future Earth, ‘Report on Open Access and metrics for evaluation’

CODATA National Committees

  • Keen to understand and promote activities of CODATA National Committees.
  • Opportunity for National Committees to take leading role in addressing data issues – relationships with funders, with National Academies, learned societies.
  • What issues and debates are being raised at national levels? To what extent can various stakeholders be involved (funders, research organisations, data experts, data centres, research libraries etc)?
  • Can we build dialogue and exchanges between national committees?
  • If CODATA rests on national membership, then National Committees must have a prominent role and must benefit from international exchange.
  • National Data Coordinating Committees (IPY had National Data Coordinators…)?
  • In the UK the time is ripe for a data forum to build dialogue between funder driven policy, data experts and the demands of particular research disciplines.

Frontiers of Data Science

  • Frontiers in data science and technology: coordinate work in key frontiers of data science and interdisciplinary application areas; capacity building activities.
    • CODATA workshop series on Frontiers of Data Science and Technology: Identify and address key data issues (workshops, white papers, put together larger initiatives).
    • Where do you want to see exploratory work done?
    • Opportunity to partner other organisations…
    • Build on work of Task Groups, engage with International Unions
    • Identify and support addressing of data issues in coordination with International Unions.
    • Current activities: nanotechnology, data for sustainable development.
    • Possible areas: contextual metadata, data policy/standards/repository ‘interoperability’,
    • Expand CODATA’scapacity building activities, education and training activities including curriculum development.
    • Early Career Data Scientists (funding allocated, programme needs to be designed).

CODATA Task Groups

  • TGs are approved for two-years by the CODATA General Assembly; seed funding provided; benefit from community endorsement, linkages.
  • Task Groups to contribute more directly to realisation of strategic plan: contribute to programme of workshops, white papers, reports on Data Frontiers.
  • Current TGs
    • Advancing Informatics for Microbiology
    • Anthropometric Data and Engineering
    • Data Citation Standards and Practices
    • Data at Risk
    • Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability
    • Exchangeable Materials Data Representation to support Scientific Research and Education
    • Fundamental Physical Constants: 2010 CODATA constants
    • Global Information Commons for Science Initiative
    • Global Roads Data Development
    • Linked Open Data for Global Disaster Risk Research
    • OCTOPUS: Mining Space and Terrestrial Data for Improved Weather, Climate and Agricultural Predictions
    • Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in/for/with Developing Countries

Data for Future Earth

  • Lessons from IPY (Mark Parsons in Nature Article on Data Sharing, 2009, doi:10.1038/461160a
  • Particular challenge in interdisciplinary projects.
  • Disparate data sharing cultures in research disciplines: some disciplines have established cultures of data sharing; others not.
  • Some disciplines have established data infrastructures others not.
  • Dependency on funding streams can lead to orphan data.
  • How readily can established data centres expand to cover other areas in interdisciplinary projects? Need for data archives that can deal with diverse data types.
  • Despite good intentions a lack of follow through and integration: essential to involve data scientists directly in the science at all levels early in the process and throughout. This means funding data science as part of the scientific effort.
  • As a result of ‘ “naive assumptions”, [a] lack of planning and other unanticipated obstacles, properly managing the IPY data will require another decade of work.’

Proposals for Future Earth

  • CODATA and WDS seeking to work closely with Future Earth and support the data agenda in Future Earth.
  • Joint CODATA-WDS SciDataCon to give prominence to Future Earth related themes.
  • Agreement to nominate some from the FE SC as data champion.
  • Agreement that data experts need to be directly involved with projects.
  • Resistance from Future Earth team to overarching data policy…
  • CODATA and WDS to work on brief data principles text for MoU between projects and Future Earth.
  • CODATA and WDS to have ongoing dialogue with Future Earth…

Thank for your attention!

Simon Hodson

ExecutiveDirector CODATA


Twitter: @simonhodson99

Tel (Office): +33 1 45 25 04 96 | Tel (Cell): +33 6 86 30 42 59

CODATA (ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology), 5 rue AugusteVacquerie, 75016 Paris, FRANCE