Impact of open data in agriculture and nutrition

Date: Jun 10, 2015

On 28 May, at the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa, The Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, in collaboration with the Open Data Institute (ODI), released its new research report :

How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data ? 

" [...] This research shows how open data enables more effective decision making in a wide range of contexts, creates innovation and promotes transparency that changes the way organisations work. This helps smallholder farmers who need access to accurate, accessible data on weather and market information to plan their crops and achieve the best yield and price. Consumers increasingly demand accurate information to make food choices and for a healthy diet [...] " 

Find out more:


CODATA Blog: GYA, CODATA-ECDP and Open Science

Date: Jun 8, 2015

CODATA Early Career Data Professional core member, Xaiogang (Marshall) Ma, recently attended the  5th International Conference for Young Scientists and its Annual General Meeting at Montebello, Quebec, Canada.

GYA issued a position statement on Open Science in 2012, which calls for scientific results and data to be made freely available for scientists around the world, and advocates ways forward that will transform scientific research into a truly global endeavour. Dr. Sabina Leonelli from the University of Exeter, UK is one of the lead authors of the position statement, and also a lead of the GYA Open Science Working Group. A major objective of my attendance to the GYA conference was to discuss the future opportunities on collaborations between CODATA-ECDP and GYA. Besides Sabina, I also met Dr. Abdullah Tariq, another lead of the GYA Open Science WG, and several other members of the GYA executive committee.

Read more about Marshall's participation in the GYA Conference on the CODATA Blog...

Data Science Journal: Nominations for Editors

Date: Jun 8, 2015

The Data Science Journal has been relaunched in partnership with Ubiquity Press, and with a new Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Callaghan of the British Atmospheric Data Centre and formerly a co-chair of a number of CODATA Task Groups, including the TG on Data Citation.

Call for Nominations to the Editorial Board

The Data Science Journal is currently accepting nominations and applications for membership of its Editorial Board. The main role of a board member is to act as an advocate of the journal and help advance submissions and reputation, as well as occasional help in the processing or reviewing of submissions.

Read more about the Data Science Journal and the call for nominations.

Please apply by sending an email detailing the applicant’s experience and expertise in the area to by 28 June 2015.

Open Data, Big Data and the Future of Science

Date: Jun 5, 2015

On Wednesday 10 June, CODATA President Geoffrey Boulton will give a public lecture at the University of Pretoria on 'Open Data, Big Data and the Future of Science'.

The lecture will be preceded by a brief introduction to ICSU, the International Council of Science, by ICSU Executive Director, Heide Hackmann; and to CODATA, by Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director.  A discussion on Open Data and Open Science, particularly from a South African perspective will be led by Rob Adam, Director Designate for the Square Kilometre Array South Africa Project.

The abstract for the lecture follows:

The technological revolution of recent decades has produced an unprecedented explosion in the human capacity to acquire, store and manipulate data and information and to instantaneously communicate them globally, irrespective of location. It is a world historical event that has already created major changes in societies and economies, which also offers great challenges and opportunities for science. It challenges a principle, concurrent publication of concept and evidence, that has been the bedrock of scientific progress in the modern era of science. But it also offers new opportunities for scientific discovery through the exploitation of so-called “big data” and this in ways that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and includes the social and human sciences; novel possibilities for commercial innovation; greater involvement of a wider range of stakeholders and citizens in co-production of knowledge; and a deeper democratic engagement with the ways that scientific knowledge is created and used. Moreover, open data and open science are important issues for democracy and the future of an open society. Science must be a public and not a private enterprise that is conducted behind closed laboratory doors.

Responding to the challenges and exploiting the opportunities will depend upon new technical solutions for presenting, sharing and analysing data; on capacity building in “data science”; and on changing the habits and norms of researchers and their institutions to create a culture of openness and data sharing. Science is an international activity, done in a national cultural setting, thereby requiring national strategies to fit within a common international frame. The role of international bodies such as CODATA and ICSU is to facilitate the fit between national priorities and processes and rapidly developing international norms.

The ‘data revolution’, and the emergence of data science as a discipline, raise important questions for international science and for the science base in Africa. The Square Kilometre Array will provide a major impetus. From a broader perspective there are major opportunities and challenges to be seized. Professor Boulton’s lecture will lay out the opportunities and challenges from an international perspective and set the scene for a discussion about science and science policy for Africa in the age of Big Data. 

Further details are available on the University of Pretoria website:

Message from CODATA President, Geoffrey Boulton

Date: Jun 5, 2015

CODATA President, Geoffrey Boulton, has published his message to the CODATA community in which he lays out CODATA's strategic vision and priorities over the next four years.

Geoffrey writes:

Friends and colleagues,

I am honoured to follow Professor Guo Huadong as President of CODATA. He led CODATA at an important time, when the awareness of the new possibilities and new challenges of the data explosion of recent decades was spreading, in what he quoted as a 'second revolution of discovery'. He oversaw the development and early stages of implementation of a strategic plan to cover the period 2013-2018. 

At times of rapid development and change, a strategy must be a living document that is able to adapt to novel discoveries and approaches and the evolving needs of the international science community. Consequently, the first few months of my term of office were taken up, together with CODATA’s Director and its Executive Committee, in developing and refining this strategy to take into account rapidly changing developments in data science, in policy and in practice, and in strengthening synergy with the International Council for Science (ICSU), CODATA’s parent body. 

Continue reading about CODATA's strategic vision and priorities.

ISI-CODATA Big Data Workshop as Word Clouds

Date: Mar 31, 2015

Shiva Khanal - a Research Officer with the Department of Forest Research and Survey in Nepal and one of the international scholars sponsored by CODATA to attend the ISI-CODATA International Training Workshop on Big Data - has created word clouds of that event and shared this through a post on the CODATA Blog.

ICPSR Summer Program on Curating and Managing Research Data for Re-Use

Date: Mar 27, 2015

The ICPSR Summer Program is offering a five-day workshop on Curating and Managing Research Data for Re-Use, July 27-31, 2015.  This workshop is for individuals interested or actively engaged in the curation and management of research data for sharing and reuse, particularly data librarians, data archivists, and data producers and stewards with responsibilities for data management.

Instructors Louise Corti (UK Data Archive), Jared Lyle (ICPSR), and Veerle Van den Eynden (UK Data Archive) will discuss best practices and tools for data curation, from selecting and preparing data for archiving to optimizing and promoting data for reuse. ICPSR social science quantitative datasets and UK Data Archive qualitative and cross-disciplinary data collections will serve as case studies and participants will track the datasets as they make their way through the data assessment, review, processing and curation pipeline. 

Participants will learn about and gain proficiency in the full range of life cycle activities: data review and preparation; confidential data management; effective documentation practices; how to create, comply with, and evaluate required data management plans; digital repository requirements and assessment; and running user support and promotional activities for data. Emphasis will be placed on hands-on exercises demonstrating curation practices and on discussion for sharing local experiences and learning from others. Additional context and expertise will be provided through invited keynote lectures by research data experts.

Participants will leave with knowledge and experience of how to review, assess, curate, and promote data collections for long-term preservation and access. 

Enrolment is limited to 25 participants. Registration is available through the ICPSR Summer Program Web site.

For more information, contact the ICPSR Summer Program at

2015 Dryad Community Meeting, 27 May, Washington. DC

Date: Mar 20, 2015

The 2015 Dryad Community Meeting will be taking place at 8:30am-4:00pm on 27 May in Washington, DC at the American Geophysical Union, 2000 Florida Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009.

The Dryad Community Meeting is an annual event for researchers, journal editors, librarians, data managers, publishers, funders and other individuals or organizations with a stake in the preservation and availability of the scientific and medical data associated with the published literature.

The theme of this year’s meeting is "Taking a closer look at data," featuring a keynote presentation from Brian Nosek of the Center for Open Science and an Emerging Issues panel discussion about data review.

The Program includes:

  • Dryad101, an introduction to the Dryad Digital Repository, including an overview of recent and upcoming developments
  • A Community Perspectives Forum with partner journals and member organizations sharing their experiences with data publishing
  • The annual Dryad Business Meeting
  • An Emerging Issues panel discussion all about the concept of “data review."

Dr. Brian Nosek is Director of the Center for Open Science and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. The Center for Open Science is a nonprofit technology startup that aims to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. Nosek is also a co-founder the influential Project Implicit.

There is no cost for registration, but space is limited, so please register early to ensure availability.

For inquiries, please contact Meredith Morovati (, Executive Director.

Science Journalists Learn about the Data Revolution for the Sustainable Development Goals

Date: Mar 17, 2015

See the CODATA Blog for a new post from Alex de Sherbinin, Chair, CODATA Task Group on Global Roads Data Development and Associate Director for Science Applications, CIESIN, Columbia University who spoke recently on about Big Data, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda as a foundation upon which to build an argument on the importance of the Data Revolution for sustainable development.

Read more on the CODATA blog here.

International Partnership to Increase the Benefit of Research Data for Society

Date: Mar 9, 2015

CODATA, the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology, the ICSU World Data System and the Research Data Alliance today announce the completion of a Memorandum of Understanding which makes formal their collaboration.

Coordination of effort is important since each organisation focuses on different but complementary aspects of research data: CODATA on advocacy, policy, and process; WDS on data provision and stewardship; and RDA on bottom-up implementation of data sharing tools and practices.  

The three organisations already benefit from extensive collaboration: the new Memorandum of Understanding will clarify our respective strengths, with the result that we will be able to accomplish more, and advance data practices and science faster and further in this newly defined partnership.

The announcement is available here.

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