Rob Adam, Managing Director of SARAO; Simeon Materechera, Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Center; Jörg Heimschrot, Director of Science and Technology/Capacity Development, SASSCAL to give a keynote at International Data Week 2018

Date: Jul 25, 2018

The organisers and programme committee are very pleased to announce the following keynotes

Rob AdamManaging Director of SARAO, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and the South African part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Rob Adam was appointed Director of the South African Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope project in January 2016.

Until recently, Rob held the position of Group Executive: Nuclear at the Aveng Group. Prior to joining Aveng, Rob was Chief Executive Officer of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), South Africa's foremost nuclear technology company. He held this position from 2006 to 2012. Before joining Necsa, Rob was Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology, from 1999 to 2006. Rob has also been a Professor of Physics at both the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa and served on the Council of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa. He is currently a member of the Human Resource Development Council chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza and has chaired or served on numerous Boards and Councils over the course of his career.

Rob has held various academic positions in Europe and South Africa, has authored over 30 refereed articles in theoretical physics, published widely on science and technology policy and co-authored a book on science and technology in the Republic of Chile.


Prof Simeon Materechera, Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Center at the Mafikeng campus of the North West University

Professor Materechera is the Director of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Center at the Mafikeng campus of the North West University. He oversees the teaching and research activities of IKS at the University and is involved in supervision and mentoring of postgraduate students. His career has involved networking activities that led to setting up of collaborations with peers, organizations and institutions involved with research, teaching and learning, and, community engagement. Professor Materechera has published widely including book chapters, conference presentations, monographs, commissioned research reports and peer-reviewed journal articles. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals.


Jörg Helmschrot, Director of Science and Technology/Capacity Development, SASSCAL

Dr. Jörg Helmschrot holds a diploma degree in geography, geology and urban planning from the University of Jena in 1999. In 2006, he finished his PhD on the impact of afforestation on wetland and catchment hydrology in South African headwater catchments. Dr. Helmschrot also holds an extraordinary Professorship with the University of Stellenbosch, Faculty of AgriSciences and the Water Management Institute since 2016. After working as a SASSCAL researcher at University of Jena until 2012, Dr. Helmschrot joined the Scientific Coordination team of the SASSCAL at University of Hamburg in 2013. Since June 2016, Dr. Helmschrot took up the position of SASSCAL’s Director of Science and Technology and Capacity Development and is in charge for implementing and coordinating the further development of the SASSCAL research and capacity development agenda as well as the establishment of the Open Access Data Centre. He is also in charge for the successful implementation of collaborative research projects funded through e.g. AU GMES Africa, EU H2020, BMBF, World Bank and ARC.

Please see the already announced list of keynotes and panellists at

Call for expressions of interest to establish International Centres of Excellence (UHWB ICE)

Date: Jul 16, 2018

Co-sponsored by the International Science Council (ISC), the United Nations University (UNU), and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the Urban Health and Wellbeing (UHWB) programme was launched as a ten-year programme to address the major challenges to health and wellbeing in the urban environment. Starting in 2014 its International Programme Office at the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IUE, CAS) took up its operation.

The UHWB programme addresses the emerging health challenges in urban environments which are under the influence of and accelerated by broader climate, epidemiological, demographic and ecological changes. The programme recognizes the increasing complexity and interconnectedness of cities as socio-ecological-technological systems and the associated risks to the health and wellbeing of people living in cities. Ageing, safety, inequality, malnutrition, migration, transport, pollution and a range of communicable and non-communicable diseases are among some of the problem areas for which better knowledge and data need to be created, integrated and communicated for improving urban decision-making. However, despite the increasing amount and availability of data the decision-making process requires more systems intelligence to better cope with complexity and progress towards the global goals and targets of the UN landmark agreements of the New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The UHWB programme therefore aims at promoting and encouraging the application of various types of systems approaches in different fields of urban health and wellbeing by developing methodology, identifying and integrating data, strengthening capacity, communication, outreach and decision support to support the implementation of the UN landmark agreements. The programme aims at facilitating the creation of systems intelligence for improving health and wellbeing in changing urban environments.

The UHWB Programme is directed by the Science Committee and the International Programme  Office  (IPO)  which  decided  to  establish  a  limited  number  of  International

Centres of Excellence (ICE). An ICE can be based on and located at existing organisations, such as Public Health Agencies, focusing on public, global, urban health research and service delivery, research and development, education and awareness raising with a focus on cities. The ICE should operate in networks of other hubs engaging and collaborating with other organisations in the region, country or city.

Read more for full details

Call For Papers: Special Collection on Research Data Alliance Results

Date: Jul 9, 2018

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is an international member based organization focused on the development of infrastructure and community activities that reduce barriers to data sharing and exchange, and the acceleration of data driven innovation worldwide. With more than 6,900 members globally representing 137 countries, RDA includes researchers, scientists and data science professionals working in multiple disciplines, domains and thematic fields and from different types of organisations across the globe.

This special collection aims to collect and give visibility to research results and outcomes stemming from RDA activities.

In particular, it solicits high quality papers describing the latest results of RDA working groups (WGs) or interest groups (IGs) that have recently produced an output, including recommendation and associated use cases that could highlight the added value of RDA work in the data related fields.

The scope of the special collection is to become a point of reference for experts from the international community that are committed to directly or indirectly enabling data sharing, exchange, or interoperability. The aim is to promote the work carried out in IGs and WGs and bring the results obtained to the global data expert community. Specific tools, code, best practices, standards, surveys, recommendations, reports, and WG case statements will be brought to a larger audience via the peer-reviewed, open access Data Science Journal.

 Important dates

  • 1 September 2018 – First Submission deadline
  • Accepted articles will be published on-line on a rolling basis to the special collection as they are completed.

Publication fees

Publication fees (i.e. Article Processing Charges) for the first 6 articles will be covered by the “RDA Europe 4.0” project (funded by the European Commission, grant nr. 777388). No other fees will be charged to the Authors of this special collection for publication.

Guest editors

  • Leonardo Candela, Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione “A. Faedo”, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy
  • Donatella Castelli, Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione “A. Faedo”, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy
  • Emma Lazzeri, Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione “A. Faedo”, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy
  • Paolo ManghiIstituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione “A. Faedo”, Italian National Research Council, Pisa, Italy

Paper Submission

Papers submitted to this special collection for possible publication must be original and must not be under consideration for publication in any other journal or conference. Previously published or accepted conference papers must contain at least 30% new material to be considered for the special collection.

All papers are to be submitted by following the instructions and guidelines availailabe at During the submission process authors should select the article type (Research Papers, Practice Papers, Reviews, Essays) and specify that the submission is to be considered for the special issue “Research Data Alliance Results” in the “Cover letter” to be compiled during the submission process.


Call for papers: BigSDM2018, International Conference on Big Scientific Data Management, China

Date: Jul 5, 2018

The International Conference on Big Scientific Data Management (BigSDM 2018) will be held in Beijing, China, during November 30th–December 1st, 2018. The Conference is jointly organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University, CWI, and MonetDB Solutions.


BigSDM 2018 aims to bring together international experts from natural and computer sciences to explore the life-cycle management of Big Scientific Data, to discuss major methodologies and key technologies in Big Data-driven discovery making, to exchange experience and knowledge about Big Scientific Data across various fields through specific cases, and to identify the challenges and opportunities in scientific discovery acceleration. We hope to, through the conference, gather ideas for fostering new ways of scientific thinking, and promote big data sciences at large. 

Call for papers

The two-day conference provides an open forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a big scientific data ecosystem, and to explore best practices, standards, architectures and data infrastructures for fostering cross-disciplinary discovery and innovation.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Paradigms for enhancing scientific discovery through big data
  • Framework for helping the science and AI communities to work together
  • Data cleansing and quality assurance of science data
  • Data sharing and preservation policy
  • Data management challenges posed by big scientific data
  • Machine learning methods to facilitate/accelerate scientific discovery
  • Streaming data, sensor networks and complex event processing
  • Scientific workflow management
  • Science platforms: (hardware/software) tools for data discovery and analysis from different angles
  • Storage system for large scale scientific applications
  • Cloud technology for big scientific applications
  • Scientific data visualisation

Paper Submission

The online submission system is: Authors may submit to either the full paper or short paper track. Full papers should be between 10 to 12 pages in length, and short papers between 6 to 8 pages. All submissions must be written in English and conform to the Springer LNCS proceedings format.

Accepted papers will be published in LNCS proceeding.

Important Dates

Abstract submission: 

September 15,2018

Full papers submission: 

September 22,2018

Notification to authors:

October 20,2018

All deadlines are at 11:59PM Pacific Time.

CODATA-RDA Foundational School in Research Data Science, 22 October – 2 November, 2018, Kigali, Rwanda - Deadline for Applications 18 July 2018

Date: Jul 5, 2018

Foundational School in Research Data Science
22 October – 2 November, 2018 
University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda

The goal of this workshop is to train researchers in Research Data Science (RDS). RDS refers to 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, visualization and modelling techniques, software development and data annotation. These are important tools for extracting useful information from data and these tools are useful in every research area. A 10-day workshop, organized by CODATA, ICTP and EAIFR, will be conducted at the University of Rwanda, Kigali to introduce participants to the skills of RDS.

Topics covered

  • Open Science
  • Unix Shell
  • Version Control
  • Introduction to R
  • Research Data Management
  • Databases and SQL
  • Data Visualization
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Neural Networks
  • Research Computational Infrastructure

Participation Information

This workshop is open to researchers in every field. Science graduates (masters and doctoral levels) working in data intensive fields will find it particularly useful. Women  candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Selection of participants will be based on their technical background and also the urgency of their needs to apply the tools of RDS. Applications for participation for the workshop can be found at:

Deadline for application: July 18, 2018 

For further information contact:  or

Information for Applicants

There is no registration fee for these events.  Some support for travel and accommodation is available and its allocation will be determined during the selection process.  Much of this funding is intended for participants from lower and middle income countries.  Potential participants have the opportunity to indicate they need support in the application.  Self-funded participants are welcome.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to look for alternative ‘third-party’ sources of funding to support their participation.  
The CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School is open to participants in any research discipline.  The data skills taught are also useful for (data) librarians and other research support staff, such as those who envisage a career as data steward or data analysts.  Furthermore, people who are more advanced in their careers who would like to improve their data skills as a form of continuing professional development are also eligible.
Participants will be selected on merit from a very competitive field.  Applicants are urged therefore to ensure they pay careful and full attention to the requirements of the application process.  
Selected participants for the Research Data Science Summer School will have a baseline of data skills and these will have been tested by an online form.  Applicants to the Advanced Workshops should demonstrate their capacity and skills to engage with these themes on a more advanced level.
Applicants to either event should pay particular attention to their personal statement and communicate persuasively their reasons for wishing to attend the Summer School and/or Advanced Workshops: how do they intend to use these skills and experiences, how will participation in the Summer School and/or Advanced Workshops benefit their research or the institution in which they work?  Finally, candidates should take pains to ensure that their application is well supported by references from their past or present tutors or line managers.  This is particularly important so that the directors and organisers of these events have confidence in the candidate and that the skills learnt will have the maximum benefit and impact.

Announcement of the 3rd Digital Belt and Road Conference (DBAR 2018)

Date: Jul 4, 2018

Digital Belt and Road Program (DBAR) is a pioneering international venture to share expertise, knowledge, technologies and data to demonstrate the significance of Earth observation and big Earth data applications for large-scale sustainable development.
The 3rd Digital Belt and Road Conference (DBAR 2018) will host several specialized sessions examining the applications of big Earth data for sustainable development in different fields, such as environmental change, disaster mitigation, water resources, agriculture food security, natural and cultural heritage, coast and marine, urban and infrastructure, High Mountain and Arctic, and the need for big Earth data in solving large-scale regional and global problems. It will host experts and participants from wide variety of public and private entities for improved partnerships and networking towards collaborative and collective efforts for regional sustainable development, through cooperation, sharing and integration of methodologies and data, and pooling of human and technological resources, as an example towards global sustainability.
5-7 December, 2018
The Empark Grand Hotel, Tengchong, Yunnan, China
Important Dates:
Abstract Submission Deadline: 20th September 2018
Notification of Reception of Abstract: 8th October 2018
End of Online Registration: 30th November 2018
Onsite Registration: 4th December 2018        
Registration Fee:
Early Bird Registration: RMB 2500/person (before 1st November 2018)
Normal Registration: RMB 3000/person
Conference Website:

Call for Proposals, CODATA Task Groups 2018-2020 - Deadline 18 July 2018

Date: Jul 2, 2018

CODATA invites proposals for Task Groups to be approved by the 31st CODATA General Assembly which will be held on 9-10 November 2018, in Gaborone, Botswana, following International Data Week 2018, 5-8 November 2018 (comprising our research conference SciDataCon 2018).
The final deadline for submissions of Task Group Proposals is 18 July 2018.  Proposals will be reviewed by the CODATA Executive Committee and by external experts.  Recommendations will be presented to the CODATA General Assembly which will select the Task Groups.
Task Group Proposals should be submitted on this form to Simon Hodson, CODATA Executive Director by the deadline of 18 July 2018.
Task Groups are approved by the General Assembly for 2 years. Existing CODATA Task Groups may apply for renewal and are subject to the same criteria, as described in the attached document.
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.


Fosca Giannotti, Director of Research at the Information Science and Technology Institute “A. Faedo” of the National Research Council, to give a keynote at International Data Week 2018

Date: Jun 28, 2018

The organisers and programme committee are very pleased to announce that Fosca Giannotti is Director of Research at the Information Science and Technology Institute “A. Faedo” of the National Research Council, will give a keynote presentation at the International Data Week 2018, 5-8 November, Gaborone, Botswana

Fosca Giannotti is Director of Research at the Information Science and Technology Institute “A. Faedo” of the National Research Council, Pisa, Italy. Fosca Giannotti is a scientist in Data mining and Machine Learning and Big Data Analytics. Fosca leads the Pisa KDD Lab - Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, a joint research initiative of the University of Pisa and ISTI-CNR, founded in 1994 as one of the earliest research lab centered on data mining. Fosca's research focus is on social mining from big data:  human dynamics, social networks, diffusion of innovation, privacy enhancing technology and explainable AI. She has coordinated tens of research projects and industrial collaborations. Fosca is now the coordinator of SoBigData, the European research infrastructure on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining, an ecosystem of ten cutting edge European research centres providing an open platform for interdisciplinary data science and data-driven innovation In 2012-2015 Fosca has been general chair of Steering board of ECML-PKDD (European conference on Machine Learning) and is currently member of the steering committee EuADS (European Association on Data Science) and on the Italian Lab. of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

New DDI 3.3 specification available for public review and comment

Date: Jun 26, 2018

The DDI Alliance ( is pleased to announce the Public Review of DDI 3.3. This version of the DDI specification includes important updates and new content, including:
  • Classification management (based on GSIM/Neuchatel)
  • Non-survey data collection (Measurements)
  • Sampling
  • Weighting
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Support for DDI as a Property Graph
  • Quality Statement improvements (useful for Eurostat reporting)
Additionally, DDI 3.3 has a formal model now, so a detailed changelog can be generated between DDI 3.2 and 3.3.
Links to the specification and instructions for comment are found at:
We are eager to obtain feedback from the DDI and RDF communities on this vocabulary. The comment period is open for six weeks until August 3, 2018, and we hope to hear from you!

Elizabeth Marincola, Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences, to give a keynote at International Data Week 2018

Date: Jun 20, 2018

The organisers and programme committee are very pleased to announce that Elizabeth Marincola, Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences, will give a keynote presentation at the International Data Week 2018, 5-8 November, Gaborone, Botswana

Marincola is a longtime leader of science publishing, advocacy, education, communication and policy. She is Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences, a pan-African organization dedicated to the advancement of quality science across the Continent. At AAS, she is leading the development and launch of AAS Open Research, an innovative, transparent publishing platform. Marincola prior served as CEO of PLOS, publisher of the world’s largest open access journal. She was President of the Society for Science & the Public, Publisher of Science News, and Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology. She has served on multiple national and international advisory committees and boards, including the Board of Directors of eLife and the Strategic Planning Committee for the NIH National Library of Medicine. Marincola received the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. She received her A.B. from Stanford University and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business

We will be announcing other confirmed keynotes over the next few days!
The deadline for proposals for papers and abstracts for the SciDataCon component of International Data Week is fast approaching (Deadline 25 June)

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