News

Open Data: moving science forward, or a waste of time and money?

Date: Oct 20, 2015

Organised by the University of Cambridge (UK), an Open Data panel discussion will be held on the 4th of November 2015 (7pm-10pm) at the Department of Engineering. Among five experts, Mark Thorley, CODATA Executive Committee Member and Data Management Co-ordinator for the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council - NERC, will participate to the debates.

Are you aware of the new funders’ requirements for sharing research data? Will Open Science and sharing research data benefit society and help move science forward? Or is Open Data simply a waste of time and money?

Come to the Open Data panel discussion and take part in a conversation led by researchers, funders, and policy-makers:

  • Rafael Carazo-Salas, Group Leader, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
  • Sarah Jones, Senior Institutional Support Officer, Digital Curation Centre
  • Frances Rawle, Head of Corporate Governance and Policy, Medical Research Council
  • Tim Smith, Group Leader, Collaboration and Information Services, CERN/Zenodo
  • Mark Thorley, Research Councils UK Open Access Policy, and Natural Environment Research Council

The discussion will be around five main topics:

  • Benefits of Open Data
  • Possible negative aspects of data sharing - What are the possible side effects of data sharing?
  • Accessibility of Open Data
  • Open Data and the future of publishing
  • Incentives for data sharing

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Prof. Guo Huadong, CODATA Past-President, elected President of ISDE

Date: Oct 15, 2015

The 9th International Symposium on Digital Earth was successfully held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from 5th to 9th of October 2015, under the theme of “Towards a One-World Vision for the Blue Planet”.

A day before this event, the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), host organisation, held its Council meeting. In this assembly, the Council members congratulated Prof. Guo Huadong, former CODATA President and current Director-General of the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), for being elected the 3rd President of ISDE.

Chaired by the new President, the Council meeting made many significant outputs, including:

  • Prof. Guo Huadong as the President of ISDE and Dr. David Coleman as the President of GSDI signed the Memorandum of Understanding in a joint ceremony to work towards cooperation for mutual benefits.
  • Sydney, Australia was given the honor to host the 10th International Symposium on Digital Earth in 2017.
  • Ms. Kristina Kehayova from Bulgaria was voted to be the winner of the ISDE video competition.
  • The way forward for the Society was fully discussed.

Following the ISDE Council meeting, the International Symposium on Digital Earth took place in the World Trade and Convention Center of Halifax. About 300 delegates of scientists, engineers, technologists, and environmental managers from 28 countries around the world, including United States, Canada, Australia, Germany and China, attended the Symposium and shared their thoughts, researches, and practical applications relating to Digital Earth vision.

The theme of the Symposium was “Towards a One-World vision for the Blue Planet”. The invited keynote speakers included Prof. Michael Goodchild, Dr. Lynn Moorman, Dr. James Boxall, Prof. Guo Huadong, Dr. Dawn Wright, Ms. Rebecca Moore, Dr. David Green, Mr. Rear-Admiral John Newton, Dr. Doug Wallace, Prof. Rob Kitchin and Prof. Deren Li.

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Global Data Activities for the Study of Solar Terrestrial Variability

Date: Oct 15, 2015

Alena Rybkina, member of the CODATA Executive Committee, of the CODATA Early Career Data Professionals Group, and a participant in the Task Group on Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability, recently attended the SCOSTEP-ICSU joint workshop ‘Global Data Activities for the Study of Solar-Terrestrial Variability’, writes:

On 28-30 September 2015, the joint workshop of the Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) and the ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) ‘Global Data Activities for the Study of Solar-Terrestrial Variability’ was held in the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), in Tokyo, Japan.

The workshop mainly focused on data issues and data analysis. More than 60 participants shared their experience in data activities in the field of Earth-Space interoperability. From 49 presentations 21 were related to event data analysis, 4 to data science and 9 to data systems.

(c) Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP)

SCOSTEP is an ICSU Interdisciplinary Body tasked with the responsibility to organize long-term scientific programs in solar terrestrial physics. Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact (VarSITI) is that program for the period 2014–2018. The VarSITI program will strive for international collaboration in data analysis, modeling, and theory to understand how the solar variability affects Earth.

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Call for Preconference Meetings: FORCE2016 conference

Date: Oct 7, 2015

FORCE11 (Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship) is now soliciting proposals for preconference meetings for the FORCE2016 conference. The 2016 conference, “Building Bridges, Connecting Knowledge” will be held April 17-19, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

Sunday, April 17, 2016 is set aside for groups who want to meet in conjunction with the FORCE2016 meeting, whether to conduct a workshop, convene a working group, hold informal or formal collaborations, or a business meeting.  

For the best opportunity for consideration, proposals should be submitted by November 13. Submissions after this date may be considered, depending on topic and availability of space.

Submit a Proposal Here 

Proposals will be reviewed for their alignment with the goals and mission of FORCE11, Notification of proposal acceptance will occur by December 1. 

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‘Cranking it out’: CODATA and RDA Plenary 6

Date: Oct 7, 2015

RDA 6th Plenary - Simon Hodson, CODATA Ex.Dir, lecture (c) Cap DigitalSimon Hodson, Executive Director of CODATA, recently participated in the Research Data Alliance 6th Plenary Meeting held in Paris. The CODATA community was very actively involved in this event with a number of joint Working Groups and Interest Groups. Simon himself, is actively involved as co-chair in three Groups (Data Science Summer Schools, Income Streams for Data Repositories and Legal Interoperability).  On the CODATA blog, he writes:
 
A highlight for me was Barbara Ryan’s keynote and the impromptu and well-informed talk given by the French Minister of State for Digital Affaires, Axelle Lemaire.
 
This was a somewhat different Plenary for me than previous ones.  RDA Plenaries have a chaotic, ‘unconference’ feel, with a lot of ‘Birds of a Feather’ sessions to collect together interested parties and Interest Groups working out their activities, as well as Working Groups reporting on their progress.  It is an exciting model, with huge potential, but it also requires perseverance and patience; for people both to stand up for their ideas and to be willing to collaborate and compromise.  These are good things, of course.  Watching them evolve is fulfilling, fascinating and frustrating in equal measure, as it must be.
 


Call for Symposium & Workshop Session Proposals: 23rd Pacific Science Congress

Date: Oct 6, 2015

A joint effort of Academia Sinica and the Pacific Science Association (PSA), the 23rd Pacific Science Congress will be held in Academia Sinica, Taipei on June 13-17, 2016. The main theme of this event is “Science, Technology, and Innovation: Building a Sustainable Future in Asia and the Pacific.”

The Organizing Committee of the 23rd Pacific Science Congress is announcing a Call for Symposium & Workshop Session Proposals for the Congress. If you would like to propose a session, please submit your proposal containing requested information to the PSC-23 website here.

Please note that the deadline for submitting proposals is scheduled for October 31, 2015.

Sub-Themes for Submission include:

1.         Climate Change and Earth System Sciences
2.         Biodiversity and Natural Resources
3.         Food / Water / Energy
4.         Human Health
5.         Human Diversity and Inclusive Development
6.         Disaster Risk Reduction
7.         Science for Society: Building Green Societies
8.         Emerging Technologies

Plenary Speakers

  • Dr. Takashi Gojobori speaks on “Biodiversity and Natural Resources” (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
  • Dr. Sandra Harding speaks on “Human Diversity and Inclusive Development” (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Mr. Lawrence Kent speaks on “Food / Water / Energy” (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)
  • Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee speaks on “Science for Society: Building Green Societies” (Academia Sinica)
  • Dr. Gordon McBean speaks on “Disaster Risk Reduction” (International Council for Science, ICSU)
  • Dr. George Whitesides speaks on “Emerging Technologies” (Harvard University)
  • Dr. Chi-Huey Wong speaks on “Human Health” (Academia Sinica)
  • Dr. David Wratt QSO speaks on “Climate Change and Earth System Sciences” (Chief Scientist (Climate), National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand).

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Science International 2015: Big Data/Open Data

Date: Oct 1, 2015

CODATA has been asked to take a leading role in Science International 2015: Big Data/Open Data.The Expert Working Group that has been tasked with producing the international science ‘accord’, that is the principal output of this initiative, is being chaired by CODATA President Geoffrey Boulton.

Science International
Science International is a new coalition of the major international science bodies – ICSU, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) – to bring its members’ combined international representation and credibility to act as a single global voice for science in the international policy arena. For the first edition of Science International, the four partner organizations have selected the issue of ‘Big Data/Open Data’.
 
Science International 2015: Big Data/Open Data
‘Big data’ has emerged as a major opportunity for scientific discovery, while ‘open data’ will enhance the efficiency, productivity and creativity of the public research enterprise and counteract tendencies towards the privatisation of knowledge. In addition, concurrent open publication of the data underpinning scientific papers can provide the basis of scientific ’self correction’. For organisations, individuals and society to maximise the benefits of big data, however, will depend on the extent to which there is open access to publicly-funded scientific data.

In this regard, there are a growing number of calls from various actors, both within and outside the scientific community, and from inter-governmental bodies such as the G8, the OECD and the UN, for open access to publicly-funded scientific data, especially regarding data of particular importance to major global challenges.

Full exploitation of ‘big data’, however, will also depend on the extent to which national science systems are able to develop the capacity to use it, on avoiding the creation of new ‘knowledge divides’, and on deciding which data can be made open for use and re-use.
‘Big Data/Open Data’ will therefore be the subject of the first meeting of Science International, to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, from 7-9 December 2015. The meeting will be hosted by South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology and held in parallel with the first South African Open Science Forum and a planned G77 Ministerial meeting.

At the meeting, the Science International partner organizations will agree an international science ‘accord’ on Big Data/Open Data. The accord will be prepared by an expert working group jointly appointed by the partner organizations and will be presented in Pretoria at the G77 + China Ministerial Forum and the Open Science Forum.

The meeting will also recommend a global plan for data science capacity development, with an initial focus on Africa.
 
 


Historic launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Date: Sep 30, 2015

Xaiogang (Marshall) Ma, from the CODATA Early Career Data Professionals Group (ECDP), recently attended the Historic Launch of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, in New York City on September 28th.

"The forum was held in the Jade Room of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, and lasted for three hours from 2 to 5PM, with a tight but well-organized schedule of about 10 lightning talks, four panels and about 30 commitment introductions from the partners.

 The panels and lightning talks focused on why open data is needed, how to make data open and, especially, what and the value of Open Data for The 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the social impact that the data can generate. I was happy to see that successful stories of Open geospatial data were mentioned several times in the lightening talks and the panels..."

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'Making Open Science a Reality': New OECD Report Published

Date: Sep 29, 2015

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) has just released its study on ‘Making Open Science a Reality’.

This document also comprises individual country notes available here.

The report preface summarises well the significance of the study and its contents:

Science is the mother of the digital age. And yet, twenty-two years after CERN placed the World Wide Web software in the public domain, effectively creating the open internet, science itself has struggled not only to “go digital” but also to “go open”. This report, Making open science a reality reviews the progress in OECD countries in making the results of publicly funded research, namely scientific publications and research data openly accessible to researchers and innovators alike.

The report i) reviews the policy rationale behind open science and open data; ii) discusses and presents evidence on the impacts of policies to promote open science and open data; iii) explores the legal barriers and solutions to greater access to research data; iv) provides a description of the key actors involved in open science and their roles; and finally v) assesses progress in OECD and selected non-member countries based a survey of recent policy trends.

This project was carried out as a part of the activities of the OECD’s Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP).

Find out more:


Get Ready to Apply for the CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School

Date: Sep 22, 2015

First Introductory 'Vanilla' CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, in collaboration with CODATA, RDA and TWAS, is organising a short course in the data science approaches and skills that are essential for 21st century research. The CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School will be held at the ICTP, Trieste, Italy from 1st to 12th August 2016.

The ever-accelerating volume and variety of data being generated is having a huge impact on a wide variety of research disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities. The international, collective ability to create, share and analyse vast quantities of data is having a profound, transformative effect. This 'Data Revolution' offers great opportunities for students with modern data skills, both in conducting their research and in entering a jobs market where those skills are in demand.

Contemporary research – particularly when addressing the most significant, transdisciplinary research challenges – cannot be done effectively without a range of skills relating to data. This includes the principles and practice of Open Science and research data management and curation, the use of a range of data platforms and infrastructures, large scale analysis, statistics, visualisation and modelling techniques, software development and annotation and more. We define ‘Research Data Science’ as the ensemble of these skills.

The application form will be made available from 19 October 2015.  The deadline for applications is 18 April 2016.

For more information see the full presentation of this event on the ICTP website


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