Rocky road to Open Access

Date: Oct 28, 2015

Mark Thorley, a member of the CODATA Executive Committee, Chair of the CODATA Data Policy Committee, and Data Management Co-ordinator for the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council – NERC, has recently been interviewed by the Research Information magazine*. Here comes some extracts of the article in which he expresses his opinion about Open Access and UK Research:

As open access policies come into force, UK higher education institutions are racing to meet the mandates.Rebecca Pool reports:

‘We always said this would be a journey and not an overnight switch,’ highlights Mark Thorley, chair of the RCUK Research Outputs Network and head of Science Information for the Natural Environment Research Council.

‘We’ve seen issues over the cost of implementation, administrative processes and also policy compliance reporting,’ he adds. ‘But we’re also seeing an increasing volume of research available as open access, so the policy is making a difference.

For Thorley, open access is a no-brainer. With a twitter account called ‘My life is Open Access and Open Data’, he points out how in today’s networked world, anyone can publish, literally anything. And, in his view, this makes instant access to peer-reviewed research more important than ever before.

‘Those in the research process have the responsibility to ensure that quality, peer-reviewed research is widely available to all who need it,’ he says. ‘Otherwise the void will be filled by make-believe and half-truths.’

So, for his part, Thorley is spearheading RCUK’s open access policy, which was introduced in 2013, a year before HEFCE announced its policy on the same. Each organisation’s policy aims to make research arising from its funds widely and freely accessible, although in practice, RCUK policy takes a firmer stance.

As Thorley highlights: ‘Many issues arise from trying to make this open access policy work at scale... we’re gearing up the whole sector to ensure the majority of papers are available in the open access corpus.

‘So the biggest issue has been how do you turn a practical open access policy into something that actually works, is do-able and doesn’t take up endless resources,’ he adds.

Published in Research Information, October/November 2015

Read the full article

* Research Information is a bimonthly printed full-colour magazine produced by Europa Science Ltd, a UK-based company.

The Open Science Prize: rewarding new technology with Open Data for Health

Date: Oct 27, 2015

Last week, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, together with the Wellcome Trust and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute launched the Open Science Prize.

It invites teams to propose or refine technical infrastructure (e.g. tools, services or platforms) that makes innovative use of open data or that advances open science more generally, though with a focus on biomedicine.

The awards will be made in two phases - 6 at $80k each in Phase 1, and in Phase 2, $230k for the winning team among these 6.

Teams must have at least one member each inside and outside the US, and team members can be individuals, groups or legal entities (e.g. a GLAM, a company or a city). The abstracts of the submissions will be public, and openness beyond that is strongly encouraged.

Deadline for submissions to Phase 1 is February 29, 2016.

Read more:

For official announcements, see the Welcome Trust Blog or Data Science at NIH.

For an initial blog post by Fabiana Kubke, one of the members of the expert panel
for the prize, see here.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute website.

RDA Plenary 6: 'Allez les filles'!

Date: Oct 22, 2015

Elizabeth Griffin 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. Elizabeth herself is actively involved as chair of the CODATA Data at Risk Task Group, and co-chair of the related RDA Interest Group on Data Rescue. On the CODATA blog, she writes:

RDA Plenary 6 took place in balmy late September in the centre of Paris, within the confines of CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers) and just down the road from the République. Inaugurated in 1794, CNAM took over a deserted Priory and formally opened in 1802.

As well as housing a museum of innovations relevant to science and industry, it also (and primarily) serves as an adult educational centre, with emphases on practical training in science and engineering on the one hand and management and social sciences on the other. Whether it rose adequately to the challenge of a sudden influx of nearly 600 RDA delegates is more subjective.

What signs of the Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, suggested by such proximity to the République? My French dictionary (1988 edition) offers no equivalent to `sorority’ or `sisterhood’, and a hard-hitting talk by Dame Wendy Hall to a Women-in-RDA breakfast meeting hinted that the emergence of women in both science and practical society is still Work in Progress. Women are climbing the scientific career-ladders, but not as quickly as some of the pointers anticipate. Where, then, is France?

Read more

CODATA in Australia: the Data Revolution and Data Citation

Date: Oct 21, 2015

From 21 to 28th of October, CODATA is involved in a series of events about the Data Revolution and the importance of Data Citation, and in meetings to strengthen our collaboration with Australian organisations.


Dr Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director, will be involved in the following meetings:


Wednesday 21 October: Keynote Presentation on 'Responses to the data revolution: CODATA’s work on data policy, data science and capacity building' at the eResearch Australasia conference 2015

Wednesday 21 October: Panel on 'Overcoming the Data Citation Challenges associated with Large Scale, Dynamic, Collaboratively-Generated Datasets' at the eResearch Australasia conference 2015

Venue: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


Monday 26 October: Researcher @Keynote Series: talk about the Data revolution

Venue: University of Melbourne, Melbourne Law School, Pelham St, Carlton


Wednesday 28 October: CODATA-ANDS workshop on 'Referencing data in publications: principles, policy, and practice' (as part of the international series of CODATA workshops on data citation).

Venue: Australian Academy of Science's Shine Dome, Canberra


Further Information:

eResearch Australasia 2015


University of Melbourne

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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. 

Read more

‘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).

Read more

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