Humans of Data

Date: Oct 4, 2016

In following news item, Laura Molloy, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Ruskin School of Art, announces the ‘Humans of Data’ project which is appearing on the CODATA blog
“At events like International Data Week, much discussion has happened around the technical and legislative challenges and opportunities relating to research data. But in many presentations and group meetings, we have repeatedly heard that our human behaviour – our desires, ambitions, fears, traditions and habits – shape how effectively we create, manage, share and reuse research data assets, and how open we are to collaborating on research data infrastructure.  As many speakers have noted, the technical challenges are usually susceptible to scoping and tackling, but the really intricate work is the work of creating social change and new behaviours.
“As an artist and a researcher, I’m passionate about digital curation, digital preservation and research data management, and how those skills are useful to everyone in contemporary society to one extent or another.  And I’m also passionate about the way that research data – and visual art – have so much potential to transform our lives, societies and the world around us.  As I’ve continued to attend data-related conferences, I’ve become fascinated with this human element. I also noted that the International Data Week crowd is a welcome mix of nationalities, genders, ages and ethnicities.  It’s critical that our conversations include people unlike ourselves, and there is so much to be gained from getting to know each other better in order to build the kinds of relationships that can help us make progress across communities, nationalities and disciplines.
“To that end, I launched a project called “Humans of Data’. It’s a really simple idea – basically the same as the ‘Humans of New York’ project online, where there is a photo and a quote from each (unnamed) person.  I hope this helps to get a more personal, human conversation going amongst the amazing people I meet at data conferences all over the world, connecting with their lives as individuals and having them say something about what they’re passionate about when it comes to data-related issues.
“I’ll be posting the ‘Humans of Data’ here on the CODATA blog as each photo and quote becomes available. If you’d like to view them as a group, please click the ‘Humans of Data’ category to group these posts together
“If you’d like to participate, please email me at laura.molloy AT, or contact me via Twitter @LM_HATII.

CODATA Task Groups, 2016-2018

Date: Sep 17, 2016

The 30th CODATA General Assembly, held on Sunday 11 September at the start of International Data Week and SciDataCon, approved the following Task Groups for the two year period 2016-2018.
New Task Groups
  • Coordinating Data Standards amongst Scientific Unions
  • Building Foundational Training in Research Data Science
  • Agriculture Data, Knowledge for Learning and Innovation
  • Citizen Science and the Validation, Curation, and Management of Crowdsourced Data (with WDS)
Renewed Task Groups
Although for reasons of continuity and recognition, the Task Group on Fundamental Constants has retained that title, in the CODATA system, this is now a standing, ongoing activity.

New CODATA Executive Committee

Date: Sep 12, 2016

CODATA’s 30th General Assembly, held on Sunday 11 September prior to SciDataCon 2016 and International Data Week, elected a new Executive Committee as well the Officer 

roles of Secretary General and Treasurer.

The full list of CODATA Officers and Executive Committee is now:

President: Geoffrey Boulton
Vice-President: Takashi Gojobori
Vice-President: Niv Ahituv

Secretary General: Bonnie Carroll
Treasurer: John Broome

Ordinary ExComm Members:
Jane Hunter, Australia
Paul Laughton, RSA
DT Lee, Academia Sinica, Taipei
Jianhui LI, China
Alena Rybkina, Russia
Paul Uhlir, USA
Joseph Muliaro Wafula, Kenya
Mary Zborowski, Canada

The Rescue of Data At Risk: Task Group's First International Workshop

Date: Sep 10, 2016

51 attended the "Data At Risk" Task Group's first international workshop, held this week (Sept 8-9) at UCAR in Boulder (Colorado) and generously hosted by the Center Green site of NCAR.  True to its name, the Workshop "worked" hard, dividing its time between oral presentations of Case Studies and vigorous breakout sessions.

Please see the blog post about this workshop 'The Data-At-Risk Task Group (DAR-TG) In Expansive Mood

Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines

Date: Sep 9, 2016

The CODATA-RDA Legal Interoperability Interest Group has studied the issues related to the intellectual property of data: the resulting outcome is a set of principles and practical implementation guidelines. They are offered as high-level guidance to all members of the research community—the funders, managers of data centers, librarians, archivists, publishers, policymakers, university administrators, individual researchers, and their legal counsel—who are engaged in activities that involve the access to and reuse of research data from diverse sources.  The Principles are synergistic, so their greatest benefit is realized when they are considered together.
The following Principles on the Legal Interoperability of Research Data focus on all types of data that are used primarily in publicly funded research in government and academia:

  • One: Facilitate the lawful access to and reuse of research data.
  • Two: Determine the rights to and responsibilities for the data.
  • Three: Balance the legal interests.
  • Four: State the rights transparently and clearly.
  • Five: Promote the harmonization of rights in research data.
  • Six: Provide proper attribution and credit for research data.
The guidelines have been refined through two strenuous rounds of peer review and a penultimate version of the Principles and Guidelines for Legal Interoperability of Research Data has now been made more widely available < Interoperability Principles and Implementation Guidelines_Final2.pdf>.  This document examines each of the six principles and provides guidelines for implementing these principles.
The Implementation Guidelines will be discussed and considered for adoption by the CODATA and RDA communities in sessions at SciDataCon <> and the RDA Plenary 
Any final comments and suggestions for improvements (not wholesale revision) may be made by 23 September, after which a final version will be published.

CODATA Prospectus: Strategy and Achievement 2015-2016

Date: Sep 6, 2016

In advance of the General Assembly to be held in Denver, Colorado on 11 September 2016, CODATA has prepared and circulated a short Prospectus that provides a brief summary of strategy and achievement over the last two years or so.

The Prospectus emphasises CODATA’s many deliverables in this period and the extent to which these contribute to the organisations overall mission and strategy.

In addition, CODATA members and the wider community are invited to consult:

Data Science Journal Special Collection for SciDataCon 2016

Date: Aug 23, 2016

Data Science Journal is pleased to announce that it will be publishing the high profile special collection of papers from SciDataCon 2016.

Authors with papers accepted for presentation at SciDataCon are also invited to submit their full papers to the Data Science Journal.  Submissions should be made at

Please note the following: 

  • The deadline for submissions to be part of the SciDataCon 2016 special collection is 30 September. 
  • Even though abstracts were peer-reviewed and accepted as part of the conference process, the full paper will be peer-reviewed to ensure quality.
  • Given the number of papers expected we are unable to waive the Article Processing Charge (APC) for all papers, however the Data Science Journal is very competitive and has a progressive waiver policy for those unable to pay the APC: Please contact the Editor-in-Chief before submitting your article if you would like to request a waiver. Editorial decisions are made independently from the ability to pay the APC.

SciDataCon 2016 and

Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research

SciDataCon 2016 seeks to advance the frontiers of data in all areas of research. This means addressing a range of fundamental and urgent issues around the ‘Data Revolution’ and the recent data-driven transformation of research and the responses to these issues in the conduct of research.

SciDataCon 2016 is motivated by the conviction that the most significant contemporary research challenges—and in particular those reaching across traditional disciplines—cannot be properly addressed without paying attention to issues relating to data.  These issues include policy frameworks, data quality and interoperability, long-term stewardship of data, and the research skills, technologies, and infrastructures required by increasingly data-intensive research.  They also include frontier challenges for data science: for example, fundamental research questions relating to data integration, analysis of complex systems and models, epistemology and ethics in relation to Big Data, and so on.

The transformative effect of the data revolution needs to be examined from the perspective of all fields of research and its relationship to broader societal developments and to data-driven innovation scrutinised.  Taken together these issues form a multi-faceted challenge which cannot be tackled without expertise drawn from many disciplines and diverse roles in the research enterprise.  Furthermore, the transformations around data in research are essentially international and the response must be genuinely global.  SciDataCon is the international conference for research into these issues.

SciDataCon2016 will take place on 11-13 September 2016 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado, USA.  It is part of International Data Week, 11-16 September 2016, convened by CODATA, the ICSU World Data System and the Research Data Alliance.

CODATA Prize 2016 awarded to Dr. David R. Lide

Date: Aug 22, 2016

One of the most influential figures in the history of scientific and technical (S&T) data, Dr. David R. Lide has been a leader in virtually every aspect of improving the quality, accessibility and management of S&T data. From 1969 to 1988 Lide was the Director of the NIST Standard Reference Data Program (NSRDS), the first centralized program to systematically collect and evaluated S&T data. During that time, he established long-term data centers in numerous areas of chemistry, physics, and materials science, bringing in a new generation of scientists dedicated to S&T data. He was the founding editor of the Journal of Physical and Chemical Reference Data, the first major periodical dedicated to S&T data. In the 1980s, Lide led NIST NSRDS into the computer age, first supporting the computerization of all data center activities and then leading production of PC-based data products containing highly evaluated data.

Recognizing the international nature of S&T data, Dr. Lide was an early and long-time leader in CODATA, serving as Secretary General (1982 to 1986) and then President (1986 to 1990). During his tenure he negotiated the entrance of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy in Taipei into CODATA, as well as the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa, and South Korea.

Perhaps more significantly, Lide was one of the first to realize the importance of creating internationally-accepted, high quality, consensus-driven fundamental data sets under CODATA auspices, in areas as diverse as chemical thermodynamics, fundamental physical constants, and chemical kinetics. These data sets remain significant even today. 

Dr. Lide’s greatest contribution to the S&T data world has been his commitment to data quality. He understood that most data users are not in a position to judge the quality of measurement results and that only through critical evaluation by independent and neutral experts can collections of reliable data be created. To this end Lide has always insisted that data collections, such as those produced by NIST and CODATA, must include an analysis of measurement techniques and when possible uncertainty estimates. He promoted the close cooperation between data evaluators and the measurement community so that future measurements reflected the understanding of which independent variables must be controlled so measurement results become more reliable.
While today the intermixing of S&T data with the Information Revolution is taken for granted, David Lide was a major figure in conceptualizing, defining, and realizing that potential. His contributions covered the full range of activities that are today’s data landscape. They range from direct involvement in creating high quality data collections in chemistry and physics to providing visionary ideas for national and international data programs to providing the leadership necessary for their success. For these reason, Dr. David R. Lide is a most worthy recipient of the 2016 CODATA Prize.

David R. Lide will receive the Prize at SciDataCon 2016, Denver, Colorado, USA on 11-13 September 2016. SciDataCon 2016 'Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research’ is part of International Data Week.

Read full article

Call for Papers: 'Special Issue: 20 Years Persistent Identifiers’, Data Science Journal

Date: Aug 18, 2016

Persistent identifiers (PID) for scholarly resources have been around now for more than 20 years. Since the initial launch of the we have seen a proliferation of PID into many use cases. Some PID systems have become established parts of the science information infrastructure, in other areas we are seeing work in progress, and new use cases being proposed. In addition to the PID use cases a number of critical questions arise. These include:
  • What progress has been made - what works and what lessons have we learned?
  • Are there key gaps in the ways that research outputs are structured, accredited and exposed?
  • How are issues of interoperability between different PID systems to be handled, and what are the implications of doing so?
  • How do we ensure trust in PIDs and their long-term sustainability? What is the relationship between PIDs, metrics and data quality?
  • What are the roles of the various stakeholders, e.g. funders, publishers, researchers, learned societies, repository managers?
Areas of discussion in this issue include:
  • Usage of PIDs within and across disciplines (e.g. earth sciences, life sciences, medicine, digital humanities, cultural heritage)
  • New use cases (e.g. provenance, dynamic data, fine-grained access, reference, credit, metrics, quality, standards)
  • Communities of practice and governance around PID systems
  • New forms of scholarly output, communication, linked data and business models 
The papers will be published in a special issue on this topic for Data Science Journal <>. Guest editors: Fiona Murphy, Jens Klump, Mark Parsons, Tobias Weigel.

Important Dates

The timeline for the editorial process is:
  • Deadline for paper submissions: 31 October 2016
  • Editors’ decision: 16 January 2017
  • Deadline for revisions: 1 March 2017
  • Publication: Second Quarter 2017
Data Science Journal is an electronic open access journal and charges moderate article processing charges (APC) of 350 GBP for full papers [1]. DSJ runs an article-based workflow, so if some authors abide by the deadlines but others don't, the former will still be able to see their papers published online as soon as they're ready. The final issue would be published when all the papers are complete.


Please contact one of the Guest Editors for further information:
Fiona Murphy (
Jens Klump (
Mark Parsons (
Tobias Weigel (

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