The Data Policy Committee in CODATA’s Strategy

CODATA has a distinctive role in contributing to the developments needed if the international science community and its national components are effectively to exploit the data revolution. CODATA’s strategy has three components: data policy, data science and data education:

  1. Data Policy: Supporting implementation of data principles and practices
  2. Data Science: Addressing the frontiers of data science
  3. Data Education: Capacity building (particularly in low and middle income countries - LMICs)

The CODATA Data Policy Committee is one of the key instruments by which CODATA pursues its mission of promoting effective data policy and practice.  A subsidiary task is to support the data education mission. To do this, the Data Policy Committee promotes the development and adoption of Open Data policies.

Terms of Reference

The CODATA Data Policy Committee is an international expert body that:

  • Provides a leadership role in developing and advancing the Open Research Data agenda and other data policy objectives at the national and international levels, in support of CODATA’s strategy, using different kinds of implementation approaches;
  • Encourages the adoption and implementation of Open Data policies in support of the Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World, as well as ICSU’s statement on Open Access to Scientific Data and Literature, particularly in the context of ICSU sponsored international collaborative research programmes; and
  • Gives both written and unwritten expert advice to CODATA members and partners on the development, adoption, and implementation of Open Data policies.


The development of policies promoting Open Data for research has been a longstanding and prominent feature of CODATA activity. In recent years, this has occurred through the contribution to the OECD's Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding and the leadership role taken in the GEO Data Sharing Working Group. In order to ensure greater continuity and focus for these core activities – and to amplify CODATA’s voice in these matters – the CODATA Strategic Plan 2013-18 identifies the Data Policy Committee as the principal means by which CODATA should define an international Open Data policy agenda for research. CODATA’s parent body, the International Council of Science (ICSU), adopted at its 2014 General Assembly a statement that, inter alia, endorses the OECD Principles and Guidelines. The Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World, recognizes both the benefits that accrue to science through open data regimes and the responsibility of scientists to make data available through appropriate means and minimal delay.

What follows is a quick guide to significant and useful documents relating to the development and implemenation of research data policies.