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An African Open Science Platform initiative - Invitation to a series of webinars on "Incentives for sharing research data" 25, 26 and 27 October 2017 (Open Access Week)

The Open Science movement – focused on making research data, software code and experimental methods publicly available and transparent - is steadily gaining momentum. According to Gewin (2016), “[A]a spirit of openness is gaining traction in the science community, and is the only way, say advocates, to address a 'crisis' in science whereby too few findings are successfully reproduced. Furthermore, they say, it is the best way for researchers to gather the range of observations that are necessary to speed up discoveries or to identify large-scale trends.” 
Although many researchers are already sharing their raw data and data sets, there are researchers who still question why they should share their data, and what benefits are in it for them. In other words, how will they be incentivized, when others use the outputs of their hard work. These issues also apply on national and institutional levels.  What do research institutions have to gain by embracing Open Science?  Will the associated data expertise and opportunities for collaboration outweigh the perceived loss of intellectual capital that, if closed, can be exploited ahead of rivals?  Similarly, on the national level: is there a strong incentive for poorer nations not to be left behind as science is transformed by the digital revolution?  Or will open data and open science merely lead to data assets in the ‘South' being more quickly exploited by better resourced researchers in the 'North'? Very few countries and institutions have policies in place regarding the management (incl. curation) and sharing of data as an outcome of funded research projects.
The above just some of the issues the African Open Science Platform would like to address during this series of webinars, to be presented during International Open Access Week 2017


We are very excited to bring you 3 experts on this topic, to share their perspectives.

Registration (free)

If you are interested in attending any one/all of the webinars, please complete the registration form by 20 October 2017. The webinars are presented free of charge. Once you have registered, we will provide you with the login details and further instructions.

Report from the Madagascar High-Level Meeting on Environmental & Scientific Data for Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries

From 4-8 September 2017, the African Open Science Platform Project (in collaboration with CODATA and with the Madagascar Ministries of Environment, Ecology and Forests; of Higher Education and Research; of Posts, Telecommunications and Digital Development; and of the Economy and Planning) organised a series of workshops and meetings in Antananarivo, Madagascar. 

These included, on Monday 4 September, a High-level Meeting on Environmental and Scientific Open Data for Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Countries, hosted at the Prime Minister’s Residence and attended by 11 Ministers from the Madagascar government.  
The report of this meeting - prepared by NOASILALAONOMENJANAHARY Ambinitsoa Lucie, National Focal Point of AfriGEOSS and Member of the AOSP Technical Advisory Board - is now available here.
The keynote presentation by Simon Hodson of CODATA and directing the AOSP project is available here (in French): 'La Science Ouverte et les Données ‘FAIR’ : Composants essentiels pour le développement durable dans un monde de données massives'

7th Digital Earth Summit 2018 (DES-2018) 17-19 April, 2018, Morocco - Deadline for abstract submission: 21 October 2017

The 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018  will be a major event in the African and international community of Earth observation and geo-spatial information science in 2018.  It will be organized by International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE, and the Chouaib Douakkali University (UCD, )  in partnership with the the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) and  the Moroccan Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (MARSE).

The main objective of DES-2018 is to bring together scientist and professionals from the African and international community to present latest achievements, discuss challenges and share experiences. The conference program will feature keynote speeches delivered by leading scholars, technical sessions with reports of the latest research outcomes, discussion sessions on operational topics such as capacity building, Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), big data, space policy, programmes and projects, as well as commercial exhibitions showing latest products and services in Digital earth and geospatial information technologies.

For further details and to submit your abstract, please visit the conference website at:

The deadline for abstract submission is 21 October 2017.

IDCC call for papers: beyond FAIR

The 13th International Digital Curation Conference (IDCC) will take place in Barcelona on 19-22nd February 2018. The call for papers is out now and we encourage you to submit work on relevant digital curation, preservation and research data management initiatives.
Beyond FAIR - from principles to practice to global join up
The need to manage and share digital outputs and data has been clearly articulated and gained international traction over the past decade or more. Effective data handling skills and curation services are essential to support and embed these practices. Much progress has been made towards implementation with services being provided by research institutions, funders, domain groups, commercial providers and others. As the landscape matures, attention is turning to coordination and interoperability, with investments being made in the NIH Commons initiative, the European Open Science Cloud and African Open Science Platform. This evolution poses many difficult questions: Who is responsible for what? What do principles like FAIR mean in reality and how should they be assessed? How do you join up or ensure interoperability across existing and emerging infrastructure and services? Where does the investment come from and how do we make this sustainable?
The focus of IDCC in 2018 is sharing practical lessons on the efforts made so far to curate data and pursue a digital data commons. Papers should address one of three overarching themes:
  • Data: We want to hear from different communities on data processing pipelines - what works and where do tools fail you? How realistic is it to use other people’s data? And what challenges emerge from the current policies and drivers for openness?
  • Skills and services: Lessons from those supporting data and digital collections are also called for. What programmes have you been running to share skills and build capacity? To what extent are you tailoring provision to different domains? How are the services on offer maturing and evolving?
  • Value: In terms of impact and sustainability, we want to know what value is being generated for society by sharing and reusing data? What models are emerging to demonstrate the impact of services. And how are services being sustained?
The deadline for paper submissions is Monday 23rd October and for workshops Monday 30th October.
For the full call and further details about the conference, please visit the conference website:

Disaster Loss Data: Raising the Standard - a white paper

National disaster loss databases are crucial to producing and acting upon risk information that, in turn, advances appropriate policy making and risk governance. They also serve as basic mechanisms for reporting on the Sendai Framework targets. Data collection is pivotal to the comprehensive assessment of disaster impacts. Risk interpretation, with standardized loss data, can also provide loss forecasting data in referencing historical loss modelling.

This white paper describes standard framework and protocols for loss data collection systems that offer enhanced and accurate risk assessments.  The paper also discusses identification of indicators in disaster loss estimation, outlining standards, and designing data collection and assessment procedures.
Read the white paper 'Disaster Loss Data: Raising the Standard’ here.

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