“Open Data and African Research” Special Issue - Call for Papers

Date: Jul 1, 2016


Louise Bezuidenhout (University of Witwatersrand and Notre Dame); Louise.M.Bezuidenhout.1[at]
Sabina Leonelli (University of Exeter); S.Leonelli[at]
Brian Rappert (University of Exeter); B.Rappert[at]

Background: This Special Issue aims to explore how, why, and to what end scientists in developing countries, and particularly those in sub-Sahara Africa, share and re-use data, and whether these activities differ from the priorities, practices, and policies associated with research in other conditions. We seek to attract papers that capture the challenges of conducting research in low-resourced environments and the innovative ways in which scientists overcome these challenges and produce/disseminate/use data (whether in digital or other formats).  We would be happy to discuss possible contributions with prospective authors over email.

Abstract submissions should be sent to the Editors via

Venue: The Data Science Journal is produced by CODATA (the Committee on Data for Science and Technology), an interdisciplinary Scientific Committee of the International Council for Science overseeing data handling and data-intensive research across disciplines and countries around the world.  The Data Science Journal has a range of submission types, including standard articles (up to 8,000 words).  See for more details. Data Science Journal speaks to a range of audiences, including researchers across the physical, life and social sciences, and provides inexpensive Open Access publication options.

Provisional Timetable:

Invitation of Submission of Abstract (500 words): 1 September 2016
Deadline for Submissions: 20 December 2016
Reviewers’ Feedback to Authors: 30 March 2017
Deadline for Submission of Revised Papers: 15 May 2017
Potential Publication: July/August 2017

Confirmed Contributors:

Michelle Willmers (UCT)
Louise Bezuidenhout (Exeter)
Sabina Leonelli (Exeter)
Brian Rappert (Exeter)


Uniform Description System Version 2.0 Now Available

Date: Jun 30, 2016

A complete revised version of the Uniform Description System for Materials on the Nanoscale (UDS) is now available for download. Version 2.0 of the UDS is the result of two years of work and meetings by the CODATA-VAMAS Working Group on Nanomaterials that extensively updated and extended Version 1.0. The UDS 2.0 contains 19 tables of detailed descriptors and their definitions that are directly applicable for reporting nanomaterials research results, identifying nanomaterials in regulations and standards, developing formats for nanoinformatics resources, specifying nanomaterials in commercial transactions, and other uses. Comments and suggestions are welcomed. Please send to

Reviews and comments requested on Draft White Paper: 'Gap Analysis on Open Data Interconnectivity for Global Disaster Risk Research'

Date: Jun 17, 2016

The CODATA Task Group on Linked Open Data for Global Disaster Risk Research invites external review and comment on a draft White Paper which presents a 'Gap Analysis on Open Data Interconnectivity for Global Disaster Risk Research’.
Comments are invited by 30 September 2016.  Comments may be sent to the Task Group coordinators:
Please consult both the summary document and the white paper itself.
From the Introduction to the White Paper:
Gaps in data infrastructure, data sharing policies and data use governance must be addressed to unleash the potential of disaster research in helping regions, especially the developing countries, to improve risk assessment, reduction and mitigation. Two related areas are being studied: open data , and data interconnectivity . The data­driven nature of disaster research demands open access to scientific data, as it is impossible to fully understand the cause and impact of a disaster event without consulting multiple types of data. In addition to open data, disaster researchers face perhaps a greater challenge –to find relevant data sets in a “sea” of distributed and disparate data resources. The next generation data infrastructure must provide linkage of data, helping researchers to find relevant data across distributed data holdings.
As stated in the Sendai Framework, disaster risk reduction requires a multidisciplinary approach and decision­making based on the open exchange and dissemination of disaggregated data. It is urgent to enhance the scientific and technical work on disaster risk reduction and its mobilization through the coordination of existing networks and scientific research institutions at all levels and in all regions. In answering this call to the science community, it is of utmost importance to promote and practice the collection, management, opening up and sharing of scientific data related to disaster risk research, as well as the employment of relevant technologies and applications, consistently and globally. This white paper, supported by ICSU and CODATA communities, aims at systematically analyzing the needs for the data infrastructure proposed in the Sendai Framework and providing the conceptual building blocks to help realize the Sendai imperative.

Our vision for the next generation disaster risk research data infrastructure is an interconnected, collective repository of observational and derived disaster­related data that is open, discoverable, and easily accessible and usable by all, enabled by the revolutionary digital technologies today and open access policy embraced by users and providers.
This paper aims at identifying the gaps in technology and relevant policies that prevent effective interconnection of disaster related data and information for use in research, education and public engagement. It examines the current state of information technology for data management and sharing, as well as policies regarding data availability at various levels, and discusses potential solutions and examples toward open data and data interconnectivity for disaster research.

Provision List of Candidates for CODATA Elections Announced

Date: Jun 9, 2016

At the forthcoming CODATA General Assembly, to be held on Sunday 11 September 2016
at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, at the start of International Data Week in Denver, Colorado, delegates representing CODATA members will be able to vote for candidates for the following positions: Secretary General, Treasurer and 'Ordinary Members' of the Executive Committee. 

As ‘Officers’, the Secretary General and Treasurer are play an important leadership role within CODATA.  The Secretary General and Treasurer are elected for four year terms, which may be renewed once if no other restrictions apply.  The CODATA Executive Committee comprises eight Ordinary Members and is elected in its entirety every two years.  Members may serve up to three two-year terms. 

Provisional List of Candidates

The Provisional List of candidates for this year’s election is now available, as is the full collection of nomination forms and candidates CVs.

We are fortunate to have a range of very strong candidates for all the positions available and there are no fewer than 15 candidates for the 8 places as Ordinary Members.  However, please see the Statement from the Nominating Committee below.

The CODATA constitution allows for additional candidates to added to the list.  For this to happen, the candidates must receive the nomination of at least four CODATA members.  Additional nominations, on the requisite form, should be sent to by the deadline of 31 July.

Statement from the Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee thanks CODATA members for the nominations they have provided for candidates for election to the CODATA Executive Committee.  The nominations represent an experienced and geographically diverse set of candidates; however, the Nominating Committee is disappointed with the lack of female candidates (three out of fifteen for the Ordinary Membership of the Executive Committee).  Though the committee has the authority to add additional candidates to the provisional list, it did not think it appropriate to do this when there are already sufficient candidates nominated, and any process to add candidates outside of being nominated by CODATA members lacks transparency and is essentially undemocratic.
The CODATA Constitution allows for additional candidates to be nominated by at least four CODATA members, provided such nominations are received at least six weeks before the General Assembly. Therefore, the Nominating Committee would ask CODATA members to consider nominating additional candidates to add to the provisional list to help address the gender imbalance.


CODATA Prize 2016 to Recognise Outstanding Achievement in Advancing the Availability, Quality and Use of Data for Research

Date: Jun 9, 2016

The CODATA Prize is made every two years at our conference.  It is a major award which recognises outstanding achievement in advancing the availability, quality and use of data for research.

The 2016 CODATA Prize will be presented at SciDataCon 2016, 12-13 September 2016, Denver, Colorado, USA.  SciDataCon 2016 is part of International Data Week, a major event for the global research data community.  The recipient of the Prize will be presented with a commemorative artwork and will also receive financial support to travel to Denver to deliver a Prize lecture at SciDataCon 2016 

Past prize winners include Prof. Sydney R. Hall, Professor Michael F. Goodchild, Dr. Paul Uhlir, Prof. Liu Chuang, Dr. John Rumble, Prof. Jean Bonnin, and Dr. Barry Taylor  

Nominations, using the attached form, should be sent to Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director <>.  The deadline for nominations is 11 July 2016.

In addition to recognising outstanding achievement in advancing the availability, quality and use of data for research, the CODATA Prize:

  • is given in recognition either of a one time achievement or of an achievement over time;
  • is given, in preference, to an individual;
  • recognises work carried out in areas of importance to the CODATA mission, such as data management, evaluation, dissemination, access issues, international cooperation, knowledge discovery, archiving or related subjects.

Nominations should be sure to address these criteria.

Nomination Procedure

Nominations may be made by CODATA National and Union Members, Supporting Organisations and Task Groups and should use the attached form.

CODATA Prize 2016 Committee

The CODATA Prize 2016 Committee is composed of:

  • Geoffrey Boulton, CODATA President
  • Takashi Gojobori, CODATA Vice-President
  • Niv Ahituv, CODATA Vice-President
  • Sara Graves, CODATA Secretary General
  • John Broome, CODATA Treasurer


Call for CODATA Task Group Proposals, 2016: deadline 11 July

Date: Jun 3, 2016

CODATA has released a call inviting proposals for Task Groups to be presented to the CODATA General Assembly on 11 September 2016 in Denver, Colorado. 

The below document provides detail of the required scope of such Task Groups as well as an indication of some priority areas.  Proposals should be sent to on the form included in that document no later than 11 July 2016. 

The call is open to new Task Groups or to existing Task Groups to renew their activities.

Task Groups are an important means through which CODATA delivers on its mission and Strategic Plan.  It is imperative that Task Groups should have clearly defined outputs that contribute to one or more of the strategic priorities that are laid out in that plan.

The three priority areas in the CODATA Strategy are as follows:

  1. To promote Open Data principles, policies and practices;
  2. To advance the frontiers of data science and its adaptation to scientific research;
  3. To build capacity for  improving skills and the functioning of science systems (particularly in low and middle income countries - LMICs)

The call suggests some high priority topics under each of these headings (see the call document for further details): 

Open data principles, policies and practices

  • developing good practice and recommendations around data principles and policies;
  • examining the limits of openness;
  • synthesizing and advancing work on the benefits of data sharing;
  • exploring the theme of data diplomacy to consider what international agreements can promote the more open availability of data.

Frontiers of Data Science

  • Reproducibility in research
  • Statistical, epistemological and ethical challenges of Big Data
  • Criteria for selection and preservation of research data
  • Development of glossaries, data dictionaries or ontologies
  • Data integration and data strategies for international, transdisciplinary research programmes

Capacity building, data skills and education

  • analyzing requirements for data education
  • developing and refining the curriculum for ‘research data science’;
  • examining and articulating the processes and standards for the creation of reusable online materials and the development of those materials;
  • examining and addressing issues around access to research software, the maintenance and development of Open Source research software.

Task Group proposals addressing these or similar issues are particularly encouraged.  This does not mean that Task Group proposals addressing areas not described below will be considered out of scope: we invite and encourage innovative ideas from the CODATA community.

Data Citation Workshop: Developing Policy And Practice

Date: Jun 1, 2016

CODATA/ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation and hosted by The National Research
Council's Board on Research Data and Information

Workshop for data professionals focused on increasing awareness and encouraging policy and practice in support of data citation.

Hear perspectives on the value, use, and challenges of data citation from various stakeholders, including:

  • Publishers
  • Editors
  • Data Managers
  • Federal Agencies, and 
  • Authors

Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 (8:00 am – 5:30 pm EST)

Venue: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., NW, Room 100, Washington DC

Register here

The Rescue of Data At Risk: An RDA / CODATA Workshop

Date: May 4, 2016

The Rescue of Data At Risk: An RDA / CODATA Workshop

A workshop on The Rescue of Data At Risk will be held in Boulder, Colorado, on 8–9 September 2016, in association with International Data Week that is taking place the following week in nearby Denver.

The Workshop is being organized by the joint CODATA Task Group for Data At Risk and the RDA Interest Group for Data Rescue, and is being hosted by NCAR (the National Center for Atmospheric Research), 3090 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80307, USA.


It is becoming imperative, and urgent, to broadcast the need to rescue (uncover, preserve, digitize and create public access to) heritage data which are languishing in non-digital (or non-readable) formats and cannot be used at all efficiently (or at all) for research in that state. Many are stored in inappropriate conditions and may be deteriorating rapidly. The most effective tool is example―showing what can be gained (and equally, what is currently being lost), both in science and in the humanities and social sciences.

By presenting a variety of Case Studies, the Workshop will demonstrate the scientific value of recovering the information from those non-electronic data through the use of modern technology, and will debate the methods, techniques, and support, needed to make many more of those older data widely accessible.

The Workshop also needs to hear about projects which were unsuccessful―or never even got off the ground―since one objective is to size up the actual challenges.

Content, Schedule and Call for Abstracts

We invite papers, either as oral presentations or as posters, that describe the management and challenges of nearly-lost heritage data. Posters will be on view for the duration of the Workshop, and may thus gain much more exposure than would a brief oral presentation. Following presentation(s) on one of the Workshop themes, the meeting will divide into breakout sessions to discuss the specific challenges or pointers, and then collect and review the various conclusions.

Posters relating (even distantly) to any of the themes below will be welcomed.  Please submit a brief Abstract, and indicate which of the Themes would be the most appropriate.  A few of the Abstracts will be selected as oral presentations to be given at the start of each themed sub-session (if your submission would not be appropriate for that, please indicate).  Abstracts should be sent to, and will be shared among the support team.


  1. Locating nearly lost data (“dark data”), e.g., libraries, reports,closed field stations, hearsay. Aspects of access, borrowing or transferring ownership
  2. Contents catalogues for analogue materials
  3. Digitizing technologies
  4. Meta-data
  5. Long-term preservation of digitized records
  6. Long-term preservation of originals.

Speakers include: John Faundeen, David Gallaher, Mike Daniels, Stephen Del Greco, Seamus Ross, Jane Greenberg, Lynn Woolfrey, Usha Munshi, Denise Hills, Janine Aquino, Elizabeth Griffin, Vivek Navale

Registration (click here):

Registration ( $100 USD) will include morning/afternoon tea/coffee breaks and lunch on both days, reception on Thursday and transport to/from hotels if required.

Note: A late Registration Fee of $130 will be charged after August 31

Travel and Accommodation

Boulder is about 40 miles (70 km) from Denver International Airport. The route is serviced by the AB bus (see schedules).


Preferential rates have been arranged with the Best Western Inn Boulder for 30 rooms at $139 (includes breakfast).

15 rooms have also been set aside at the Millennium Hotel for $119 (breakfast not included).

Participants should make their own bookings. Hotel discounts are only available until August 7.

Other hotel rooms may be booked as per individual choice.

Travel Support

Limited travel support may be available for those who do not have other sources of travel funds. When pre-registering, please indicate if travel support is essential, and (if so) approximately how much will be needed.


We are very grateful to all our sponsors:



Mike Daniels (UCAR)
David Gallaher (NSIDC)
Matthew Mayernik (UCAR)


For general enquiries, please contact Elizabeth.Griffin [at] in the first instance.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Data Science Journal - Call for Papers (deadline extended)

Date: Apr 22, 2016

The Data Science Journal is seeking papers for a special issue devoted advances in data modeling and knowledge representation. The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 29, 2016.

For more information about this special issue, topics of interest, and submission details please see:

If you have any questions or would like feedback on a potential submission please feel free to email the special edition editors at any time: Nic Weber (

CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science, Beijing, 4-17 July

Date: Mar 22, 2016

Applications are invited from early career researchers as well as from research leaders and managers of research institutes from countries with developing or emerging economies to participate in the CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science, Beijing, 4-17 July 2016.  Participation for successful applicants will be financially supported, thanks to a grant from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).  The deadline for applications is 18 April 2016.

Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data WorldWorkshop Description

In today’s data-rich world, streams of digital data are being generated from science facilities and myriad sensors (telescopes, video cameras, traffic monitors, magnetic resonance imaging machines, and biological and chemical sensors monitoring the environment etc).  Combined with the increasing ability for large-scale storage, communication and analysis, the Data Revolution presents major opportunities for science.  The Science International Accord on ‘Open Data in a Big Data World’ highlights the most important issues to be addressed if these benefits are to be realized.  These include the Open Data imperative, the need to maintain the scientific self-correction and the ethical constraints which must be respected.  Equally important is the need for open global participation in the benefits of the Data Revolution.  Systemic capacity building and targeted training in Big Data and data science are essential if this is to be achieved in countries with emerging or developing economies.

Building data science capacity in countries with developing and emerging economies (in part through promoting technical training in data science, in data management and in the implications of Big Data for science) is an important part of CODATA’s strategy.

The training program offered aims to engage participants with a number of facets of data science and data management in the Big Data age.  Topics include, but are not limited to, interdisciplinary applications of open research data, data intensive research, data management policies, cloud computing, visualization, analytics and data infrastructure development in the Big Data Age.  Through a mix of theoretical study, workshop and practical sessions as well as field visits, the organizers aim to help participants develop a deeper expertise in the latest Big Data technologies for scientific discovery.

The CODATA International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science shares the objectives and much of the content of the CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer Schools and is partnering with that initiative.  Applications are invited from 1) early career researchers with an interest in data science, and 2) research leaders and managers of research organisations who are interested in putting on a similar short course at their home institution or with partners in their country.

Professor Li Jianhui, Secretary General of CODATA China and CODATA Executive Committee Member gives at class during the 2014 Edition of the CODATA China Training CourseA number of activities will be organized involving elite Chinese scientists, in order to promote knowledge sharing and to develop opportunities for future exchanges and collaboration.  Participants will benefit also from visits to a number of leading research institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).  In these visits, participants will have the opportunity to learn from the scientific approach, management expertise, knowledge development and practical application that characterize activities at CAS institutes working at the frontiers of research.  Furthermore, the program will promote interaction and exchange of knowledge between experts and participants and among participants who will benefit greatly from exchanges with colleagues for a variety of academic and national backgrounds.

On 7-8 July, the International Society for Digital Earth is convening the 6th Digital Earth Summit, a major event involving many international experts and in which CODATA is playing an important role.  Participants in the training workshop will also benefit from participation in the Digital Earth Summit.

Application Procedure and Deadline

Applications should be completed on the designated form, providing all the requested information and an academic CV. Completed applications should be submitted to both the addresses below by the deadline of 23.59 UTC on 18 April 2016:

Dr. Simon Hodson, Executive Director, CODATA: simon [at]

Ms. LI Chang, CODATA-China Secretariat: lichang [at]

Further Information

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