North American DDI conference Call for Proposals now open!

Date: Nov 30, 2018

The Call for Proposals for the 7th Annual North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI).  The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences.
NADDI 2019 Theme
The conference theme is "Benefits of Describing Statistical Production and Variables," which emphasizes the benefits of using metadata to drive efficiencies in a research data lifecycle, as well as promotes subsequent re-use of end data products, especially those generated by federal and national statistical agencies.  The keynote speaker will be Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada.
Aimed at individuals working in and around data and metadata, NADDI 2019 seeks submissions of presentations and posters that highlight the use of DDI and other metadata standards within research projects, official statistics, survey operations, academic libraries, and data archives.

Proposals can include:
  • Presentations
  • Panels
  • Posters
  • Workshops or Tutorials

Important Information
  • January 7: Deadline for conference proposals
  • January 18: Notification of acceptance
  • March 29: Early rate registration deadline
  • Conference Dates: April 24-26, 2019
  • Conference Location: Statistics Canada in Ottawa, Canada
How to Submit
Submissions may be made through the conference web site.  The proposal deadline is January 7, 2019.

New tool for evaluating your RDM offering launches

Date: Nov 29, 2018

Institutions now have a new means at their disposal to aid them in assessing their research data management initiatives, the Evaluating RDM Tool.  

A collaborative creation, the tool was developed using the SPARC Europe How Open is Your Research service and the Digital Curation Centre’s RISE Framework.

“We wanted to create something that would go beyond providing initial RDM guidance,” said SPARC Europe Director, Vanessa Proudman. “This tool should help with the next phase, aiding institutions as they continue to improve and evolve their RDM programmes and practices.”

As for how it works, users are invited to answer a selection of questions. Based on their responses, three downloadable radar charts are generated providing insights into: the breadth or range of RDM services provided by the institution; the degree to which RDM services are being tailored to specific users; and lastly, whether or not the initiatives are “sector leading”.

Marta Teperek, Data Stewardship Coordinator at TU Delft, described the Evaluating RDM Tool as a “quick and easy means to help assess RDM readiness at your institution and to visualise gaps.”

The tool is free to use. Any question regarding its use may be directed to

Try out the Evaluate your RDM Offering Tool

Enabling FAIR Data Project and Commitment Statement

Date: Nov 27, 2018

The Enabling FAIR Data Project has reached a significant milestone with the announcement of the Commitment Statement reflecting distinct stakeholder perspectives and roles, and defining the goals for the many communities that collectively support open and FAIR data.  We invite you, your organization, and colleagues to consider a commitment to open and FAIR data by becoming a signatory.

You can read more about the project in a recent article in the journal Science Editor that focuses on the tools and resources that will be helpful to authors: New Author Guidelines Promoting Open and FAIR Data in the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences 

To learn more about the amazing community behind the Enabling FAIR Data Project, read about it in the EOS article, Advancing FAIR Data in Earth, Space and Environmental Science.  

RDA GEDE Webinar: Interoperability through Digital Objects and Digital Object Interface Protocol

Date: Nov 26, 2018

Date: 7.12. 2018 from 14.00-16.00



  • Larry Lannom (Vice President CNRI, Virginia): What is it?
  • Dimitris Koureas (Head DISSCO Coordination Team): Why to do it?
  • Christophe Bianchi (Executive Director DONA Foundation): How to do it?

Between key actors who worked on the concept of Digital Objects within the Research Data Alliance, the Swiss DONA Foundation and on implementing the FAIR principles in the GOFAIR initiative there is agreement about the fact that Digital Objects [1] and the FAIR Principles [2] are steps towards convergence in the digital data domain and are complementary [3,4]. The concept of Digital Objects with its capacities of abstraction, of binding all relevant information together such that machines can find it and its potential for encapsulation [5] is a way to implement the basic FAIR recommendations and to facilitate the others. This has also been indicated in the recent report of EC's FAIR implementation expert group [6] and in a recent workshop in Brussels [7].

Assuming that the FAIR Principles are now widely known, in this webinar we want to present the concept of Digital Objects (DO), discuss it from a computer science and domain science perspective and present the DO Interface Protocol (DOIP) [8] which has the potential to establish interoperability between repositories of digital data independent of the way they are organising their data and which data model they are using. As surveys have shown these differences account for a large percentage of the inefficiencies and costs in data projects in research and industry. As is indicated in the diagram, the DOIP takes over a similar role as TCP/IP some decades ago and it has the potential to open a new phase of improved exploitation of the rich data collections we are gathering. DOIP will be free to use and free of charge to everyone, and it will create an interoperable data square which will not be owned by anyone as Internet is not owned by a particular institution or company - the infrastructure is simply there to be used. 


14.00 Welcome & Introduction

14.05 Larry Lannom: Digital Objects - Concept and Impact

14.25 Dimitris Koureas: Digital Objects - their potential for Data Science

14.45 Christophe Bianchi: DOIP V2.0 - Basic Specification Aspects

15.05 Open Discussion (Moderator: Peter Wittenburg)

This webinar will be recorded and available through the GEDE (Group of European Data Experts) web-site and it will be repeated in January 2019 to allow many to participate and ask questions.

More information about GEDE, the GEDE Digital Object Group and other GEDE activities can be found here:

References to useful reading material:

[1] RDA DFT Core Terms and Model:  2b0aad496318

[2] FAIR Principles:

[3] P. Wittenburg & G. Strawn: Common Patterns in Revolutionary Infrastructures and Data;

[4] E. Schultes & P. Wittenburg: FAIR Principles & Digital Objects: a Complementary Couple?!; to appear soon

[5] P. Wittenburg, G. Strawn, E. Schultes, B. Mons: Digital Objects as Drivers towards Convergence in Data; to appear soon

[6] EC FAIR Implementation Report: [7] GEDE workshop on Digital Objects:

[8] DOIPV2.0 Specification:

The European Commission Expert Group Report ‘Turning FAIR Into Reality’ has been published

Date: Nov 23, 2018

In the context of the launch of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) implementation phase 2018-2020, the European Commission Expert Group Report ‘Turning FAIR Into Reality’ has been published. The Expert Group was chaired by Simon Hodson, Executive Director of CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Science Council.  
To take advantage of the digital revolution, to accelerate research, to engage the power of machine analysis at scale while ensuring transparency, reproducibility and societal utility, data and other digital objects created by and used for research need to be FAIR. Advancing the global Open Science movement and the development of the European Open Science Cloud is the unambiguous objective for this report.
This document is both a report and an action plan for turning FAIR into reality. It offers a survey and analysis of what is needed to implement FAIR and it provides a set of concrete recommendations and actions for stakeholders in Europe and beyond. It is our intention that it should provide a framework that will greatly assist the creation of the European Open Science Cloud, and will be applicable to other comparable initiatives globally.
The report will have the DOI and can currently be downloaded from the European Commission publications website.

New CODATA Executive Committee 2018-2020

Date: Nov 21, 2018

CODATA’s 31st General Assembly was held at the University of Botswana on Friday 9 November-Saturday 10 November following International Data Week 2018.  The General Assembly elected a new President, two new Vice-Presidents and a new Executive Committee.

The full list of CODATA Officers and Executive Committee is now:
CODATA Officers
President 2018-2022: Barend Mons, Netherlands.

Vice-President 2018-2022: Jianhui LI, China.
Vice-President 2018-2022: Alena Rybkina, Russia.
Past-President 2018-2022: Geoffrey Boulton, UK.

Secretary General 2016-2020: Bonnie Carroll, USA.
Treasurer 2016-2020: John Broome, Canada.

CODATA ExComm Members, 2018-2020
Toshihiro Ashino, Japan
Ernie Boyko, Canada
Tyng-Ruey Chuang, The Academy of Sciences located in Taipei
Simon Cox, Australia
Richard Hartshorn, IUPAC
Virginia Murray, UK
Daisy Selemetsala, South Africa
Joseph Wafula, Kenya

Co-Opted ExComm Members
Sarah Callaghan, Ireland, Editor-in-Chief, Data Science Journal
Paul Uhlir, USA, Chair, Data Policy Committee

A milestone in the history of science based on work of the CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Science Council

Date: Nov 15, 2018

CC BY-ND 4.0 BIPMThe General Conference of Weights and Measures will meet in Paris to vote on whether to re-define the International System of Units (SI) for the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole based on fundamental laws rather than measurement.

A unique event in the history of science is scheduled for Friday 16th November when a meeting in Versailles, France, will vote whether to re-define the International System of Units (SI) based on exact values of the fundamental constants. This would mean, for example, that the International Prototype of the Kilogram – a lump of metal which has been used to determine measurement of the kilogram since 1889 – will be replaced by a precise value deduced from fundamental laws of science.

CC BY-ND 4.0 BIPMThe values are the work of the CODATA Task Group on Fundamental Physical Constants, which, every few years since 1969, has summarised and evaluated the cumulative work of scientists and technologists in publishing a recommended set of self-consistent values of the fundamental constants of nature. Their most recent work[1] has been to determine the exact values of the Planck constant h, the elementary charge e, the Boltzmann constant k, and the Avogadro constants NA, so that the value of four of the SI base units — the kilogram, ampere, kelvin, and mole (measures of mass, electric current, temperature, and amount of substance, respectively) — are no longer fixed by measurement, but are deduced from fundamental laws. They will join the other three base units — the second, metre, and candela (a measure of a light’s perceived brightness) — that are already defined in this way. The change will make the units more stable and allow investigators to develop ever more precise and flexible techniques for converting the constants into measurement units.

The decision will be made by the General Conference of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures,  an inter-governmental organization, established in 1875, as the supreme authority through which member states (60 member states + 42 associate states) act together to agree the values of the fundamental constants. Does this matter? Yes, it matters profoundly. Since the earliest human civilisations, precise measurement has been a staple of honest trade and exchange, and as science and technologies have advanced, has been vital to science’s understanding of the universe, to the precision and utility of technological devices, to the terms and trustworthiness of trade and commerce, and to the everyday lives of citizens.

Geoffrey Boulton, retiring President of CODATA and member of the ISC Governing Board, commented that

“it is important that we scientists recognize the magnitude and potential significance of this achievement, as one of CODATA’s proudest moments in its 50-year history, and to applaud not only the members of its current Task Group, under its co-chairs David Newell and Barry Wood, but all their predecessors since 1969. In recognition of their achievements, the General Assembly of CODATA, held last week, agreed, by unanimous acclamation, to award the 2018 biennial CODATA Prize to the Task Group.”

The prize rewards outstanding achievement in advancing data for science. It is the first time that the prize has been awarded to a group rather than an individual.

Images are CC BY-ND 4.0 BIPM



[1] “The CODATA 2017 values of h, e, k, and NA for the revision of the SI,” Newell et al., Metrologia 55 L13-16 (2017)

Artificial and Augmented Intelligence for Automated Investigations for Scientific Discovery (AI3SD) Network+ Launch

Date: Oct 26, 2018

The official launch of the EPSRC Funded Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Intelligence for Automated Investigations for Scientific Discovery (AI3SD) Network+ will take place on Wednesday 5th December in South West London at the Society of Chemical Industry, situated in the picturesque Belgrave Square just South West of Hyde Park Corner.

Our network aims to bring together dedicated researchers looking to show how cutting edge artificial and augmented intelligence technologies can be used to push the boundaries of scientific discovery. We are looking to involve and collaborate with academics, commercial organizations and government officials. Everyone will be welcome to gain a deeper insight into the grand plans of our network, and to ask questions and engage in debate about the research area the network aims to address, and the future plans of the network.

This launch event will set the scene for the events that our Network will be organizing over the next three years, including networking activities, conferences, workshops, hackathons, funding opportunities for pilot projects and feasibility studies, and incubator secondments.

Keynote Speakers

Our speakers will be giving thought provoking talks on a number of topics that are highly pertinent to the Network, ranging from machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques in science, to the philsophy of science, and the difficulties of procuring data for AI.

For more information, please visit

ELIXIR joined CODATA and RDA to organise an international summer school in research data science

Date: Oct 24, 2018

There is a vast array of technologies and techniques that help scientists process and analyse the ever growing volumes of research data. Along with the rapid development of these techniques, there is a growing demand for comprehensive training in Research Data Science, an emerging interdisciplinary field covering data management, large scale analysis, statistics, visualisation, software development and others.

To meet the training needs of life science researchers, ELIXIR teamed up with H3ABioNet and GOBLET and organised an Advanced Bioinformatics Workshop, as an extension of the annual Research Data Science Summer School in Trieste, ltaly, held by Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the Committee on Data of the International Council of Science (CODATA).

The Summer School took place on 6-17 August 2018, ELIXIR Training contributed by providing two instructors from ELIXIR Belgium and ELIXIR Slovenia. The  Bioinformatics Workshop (20-24 August)followed immediately after the Summer school, and was one of the four advanced workshops, that focused on a particular scientific domain. Led by Fotis Psomopoulos (ELIXIR Greece) with Gabriele Schweikert and Amel Ghouila, the workshop programme covered advanced hands-on tutorials on computational methods for genomic and sequencing data, Machine Learning application in bioinformatics, and experimental design.

See the full story on the Elixir News Site:

UCT e-Research Africa 2019 Conference Call for Papers

Date: Oct 22, 2018

In a research-intensive environment, data scientists contribute to real-world problems in public health, education, sustainable energy, climate change, economic development, and many more areas of trans- and interdisciplinary research. Working on data mining or machine learning, on big data and data science projects with social impact, there is limited empirical evidence to demonstrate their contribution. New research impact measures are required for the evaluation of data science in support of social challenges that might include strategic value, significant change, empowerment, livelihoods, and sustainability. This conference will explore the practice, principles and opportunities of data science in knowledge production and decision-making for societal benefit.
Focus areas for 2019 include: (but are not limited to)
  • Kranzberg’s First law: Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral.
  • Big data, analytics, and technology impact on society.
  • Data science: Bridging the gap between science and decision-making.
  • Case studies from public health, urban development, education, social welfare.
  • Chasing the “R” in FAIR data: The sharing and re-use of data and scientific software as supplementary research outputs.
  • The next generation of data scientists: Education models from universities, summer schools, boot camps, and hands-on training programmes. 
  • The dark side of data: threats to privacy and confidentiality; misinformation; cybersecurity.
  • Data science in academic planning: linking student data to academic outcomes.
  • Crowdsourcing data science for social development.
For more information, please visit

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