When are Old Data New Data?

Date: Jul 1, 2015

The European Geosciences Union General Assembly, in April, saw the International Data Rescue Award in the Geosciences given to British Macrofossils Online, a Jisc-funded project from the British Geological Survey to create a fully electronic catalogue of all the fossil collections in UK museums and similar repositories.

At the same ceremony, a Special Issue of an online journal, GeoResJ, was launched: it was given over entirely to descriptions of data rescue projects, and featured a six-page introductory article by the CODATA “Data At Risk” Task Group (DAR-TG) team, entitled ‘When are Old Data New Data?’.

Read more on the CODATA blog...

Science and the Road to Transformation: Side Events to 'Our Common Future under Climate Change'

Date: Jun 25, 2015

ICSU and the ICSU World Data System have each organised side events to the Our Common Future Under Climate Change Conference, Paris, 7-10 July 2015.

Science and the Road to Transformation: Opportunities in the post-2015 Global Climate Regime

The International Council for Science has historically played a central role in the development of climate science at the global level, from its prominent role in the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to being one of the international sponsors of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

To explore the scientific knowledge from across the disciplines and from different parts of the world that can drive and support  a world transformation to a low-carbon future, the event will bring together the leadership of ICSU co-sponsored research programmes, international scientific committees and networks, leading science advice practitioners and other representatives of the world's scientific community.


Identify the most critical scientific knowledge that can and does offer transformative opportunities in dealing with climate change challenges;
Explore what needs to change in our current science systems to leverage those opportunities;
Draw on the diversity of ICSU-led international scientific community to develop the key science messages that could be presented to the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) within the framework of an ICSU statement and official side event ;
Showcase the achievements of ICSU co-sponsored research programmes, international committees and networks in providing improved understanding of climate change.

CODATA will be among the ICSU programmes and interdisicplinary bodies contributing to this event.

Further information and registration.

Trusted Data Services to Support Climate Change Research

Several high-profile cases have highlighted the need for open sharing of quality-assured data underlying published scientific knowledge. For example, the integrity of data underlying critical climate research was challenged in the so-called Climategate, and several scientific studies have reported the impossibility of reproducing results of experimental research because of missing or poor quality datasets. Scientific data services—with certified technical and scientific capacities—are essential components of the research environment. They play an essential role in ensuring the integrity and availability of datasets, and thus promote trust in open science.

Global scientific initiatives, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Polar Years, provide ample evidence that appropriate acquisition, handling, sharing, exploitations and dissemination of scientific research data is of critical importance to the success of critical international collaborative endeavours. Appropriate provisions must be made at an early stage, and as an integral part of the scientific planning, to identify and secure reliable and trustworthy scientific data services to support research activities.

Further information and registration

Polar Data Forum II, Abstract Deadline 1 July

Date: Jun 25, 2015








Polar Data Forum II: International Collaboration for Advancing Polar Data Access and Preservation

27-29 October 2015, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

For further information please see:

The Second Polar Data Forum (PDF II) will build on successes of the first Polar Data Forum (PDF I) in Tokyo, Japan, October 2013. PDF I and a series of other international and national meetings have identified priority themes and key challenges in the domain of polar data management (See the PDF I Communiqué) for a brief listing and description of outcomes). PDF II will further refine these themes and priorities and will accelerate progress by establishing clear actions to address the target issues, including meeting the needs of society and science through promotion of open data and effective data stewardship, establishing sharing and interoperability of data at a variety of levels, developing trusted data management systems, and ensuring long-term data preservation. The Forum will be held in conjunction with the scheduled annual meetings of the Arctic Data Committee (ADC) of the International Arctic Science Committee and Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (IASC/SAON) and the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management (SC-ADM) of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). This unprecedented co-location presents unique opportunities for coordination and is envisioned as the first international Polar Data Week.

Special Issue of Data Science Journal

All participants will be invited to submit a Forum paper towards a planned special issue of the CODATA Data Science Journal summarizing the outcomes of the Polar Data Forum II. Specific instructions and deadlines for preparing manuscripts are to be confirmed and will be given to authors in the late summer, as well as announced on the Forum website.

We hope to see you in Waterloo in October!

"Open Data & the Future of Science" ANDS webinar

Date: Jun 16, 2015

CODATA President, Professor Geoffrey Boulton, will participate to the Australian National Data Service* webinar, later today or tomorrow, depending on your time zone (Wed 16 June 12.00-13.00 AEST, 02.00-03.00 UTC)

"This webinar is a rare opportunity for the Australian data community to hear more about Professor Geoffrey Boulton's views on open data and how it can be achieved, as well as this groundbreaking Report, and its six key areas for action.

Professor Geoffrey Boulton is an international leader in the open science movement. He is Regius Professor of Geology and Vice Principal Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, the lead author on “Science as an open enterprise", current president of CoDATA (International Council for Science : Committee on Data for Science and Technology) and shares his own research as a glaciologist.

This webinar would be of interest to:
-- Librarians
-- Researchers
-- Data Managers
-- Publishers

To enable Australia's research data to be transformed, ANDS is:

creating partnerships with research and data producing agencies through funded projects and collaborative engagements
delivering national services such as Research Data Australia and Cite My Data
providing guides and advice on managing, producing and reusing data
building communities of practice
building the Australian Research Data Commons"

More information
-- Science as an open enterprise Report:


CODATA Blog: our Roads Task Group at #SOTMUS 2015

Date: Jun 12, 2015

Last week, Alex de Sherbinin and Paola Kim-Blanco, both from the CODATA Global Roads Data Development Task Group and CIESIN at Columbia University, attended the State of The Map US, the annual conference of OpenStreetMap, held at the United Nations headquarters, in New York City on 6-7 June.

"State of the Map US represents an annual confab of OpenStreetMap (OSM) mapping enthusiasts, with representatives from 41 countries present. OSM has had impressive growth in coverage and detail in the decade since its launch, and is increasingly being seen as an authoritative data source, much as Wikipedia has rivaled traditional encyclopedias for content and currency [...]"

In this important OpenStreetMap meeting, the CODATA Global Roads Task Group presented a lightning talk on 'Validation and Assimilation of OSM Data for the Global Roads Open Access Data Set' and organized a breakout group on the same topic.

Read more about the report on #SOTMUS 2015 by Alex de Sherbinin, (chair of the CODATA Roads Task Group)


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:

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