Monthly Archives: October 2014

LI Jianhui: Statement in Support of Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

Li Jianhui-PhotoThis is the fifth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. LI Jianhui is a new candidate seeking election to the CODATA Executive Committee, although he has been strongly involved CODATA as the Secretary-General of CODATA China.  He is nominated by CODATA China.

As Professor and Assistant Director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Computer Network Information Center (CNIC), and Secretary-General of the Chinese National Committee for CODATA (CODATA-CHINA),I have been making efforts to promote CODATA International and CODATA-CHINA’s activities. My research is focused on scientific data infrastructure, scientific data citation and publication, data intensive computing and data science. I have been leading scientific data sharing in CAS for almost 10 years, and I am now pushing forward research data sharing and data publication in China. Since 1999, I have worked on technology research and platform development for scientific data management, sharing and analysis, and led the scientific data infrastructure development and sharing of CAS. I led my team to design and build up the CAS Scientific Data Cloud ( for data sharing, big data analysis and large scale data-Intensive scientific research, and published more than 50 papers as well as applying for eight patents and one national standard.

I am now leading a group to design and develop a research data repository and data journal for scientific data publication in China. I am also the Co-PI of the National Data Sharing Network for Basic Research, which coordinated scientific research data sharing among universities, institutions and other research organizations. In addition, I am an active member of three CODATA Task Groups to which I have made signficant contributions.

As the Secretary-General of CODATA-CHINA, I organized a series of activities to help promote and improve scientific and technical data management and use, and increasing the impact of CODATA in China through attracting Chinese scientists to participate in CODATA activities, including the International CODATA Conference, Task Groups, Training Workshops, etc. In the beginning of this year, supported by CODATA-CHINA, I initiated and convened the Scientific Data Conference with the theme of “Scientific Big Data and Data Science” in China. This was the first national academic conference on scientific data sponsored by CODATA-CHINA. I also initiated the International Training Workshop for Developing Countries on Scientific Data co-sponsored by CAS, CODATA and CODATA-CHINA. The first training workshop in this series was successfully held in 2012 in Beijing. There were fourteen participants from nine developing countries, including Vietnam, India, Afghanistan, Thailand, Mongolia, Nepal, Indonesia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The Second International Training Workshop for Developing Countries on Big Data for Science was held in June, 2014 in Beijing. There were twenty-one researchers, data managers, and data scientists from ten developing countries including Vietnam, India, Mongolia, Indonesia, South Africa, Kenyan, Tanzania, Columbia, Brazil and Uganda attended the training workshop. Additionally, Paul Uhlir and I have coordinated a series of China-U.S. roundtable meetings on scientific data cooperation from 2006 till now, jointly host by CODATA-CHINA and U.S. National Committee for CODATA, serving as a catalyst and coordinating body for bilateral cooperation on scientific data practices and policies at the academic and national level in each country.

In the future, I will try my best to link international CODATA and CODATA-CHINA, increasing CODATA visibility in China and make it the natural home and focus for Chinese data scientists. I will help to enhance capacity building activities in developing countries, for example, the CODATA-CAS joint training workshop, especially for young data scientists. I will also push forward scientific data citation and publication practices in developing counties. I believe that through these activities I can help CODATA carry out its missions, objectives and key initiatives of Strategic Plan 2013-2018.

Paul Laughton: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

Paul LaughtonThis is the fourth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Paul Laughton is a new candidate seeking election to the CODATA Executive Committee, although he has been strongly involved with the CODATA Early Career Data Professionals Working Group. He is nominated by the South African CODATA National Committee.

“We are living in interesting times regarding the exploration of the potential of data intensive lives. There is so much to be done to enhance data in a meaningful way to improve everyday lives.”

Currently I am a senior lecturer at the Department of the University of Johannesburg at the Department of Information and Knowledge Management. My research interests include data duration and data policy. Through my work I have been exposed to some of the challenges and issues we are facing regarding the management of research data. I am the newly elected chair of the South African CODATA Committee, and I am passionate and insistent on taking up the challenge set out by those who served before me. I have been very actively involved with the CODATA “Young Scientists” or as we are referred to now as the “Early Career Data Professionals (ECDP)”, since Kiev CODATA conference in 2006 I have been working to improve the involvement of early career data professionals in CODATA.

I have had the privilege to work some great people in the CODATA community and I have learned a lot in a relatively short space of time (leaving room for so much more to learn). The South African National CODATA Committee have a strong strategic focus on leveraging research data to reduce the digital divide. We are focused on improving Pan African data sharing relationships as well as with other international institutions. South Africa faces some real landmark challenges with the development of infrastructure and systems to collect, process and store data from the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope in the near future.

As a country on the African continent South Africa is very privileged and benefits greatly from the involvement with CODATA. As a chair of this committee we look to enhance the potential of research data, as we strive to make a difference in the scientific data community.

Mary Zborowski: Statement in Support of Candidacy

ZborowskiBio-for2014CandidacyThis is the third in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Mary Zborowski currently serves on the Executive Committee and is seeking re-election.  She is nominated by the Canadian CODATA National Committee.

Mary Zborowski has served on CODATA’s Executive Committee since 2012 (CODATA GA, Taipei) but has been involved with CODATA Canada since 1998. Since 2004, she has been Executive Secretary for the Canadian National Committee for CODATA (CNC/CODATA). Under her management, the CNC has thrived and attracted new key participants from Canada’s principal granting agencies, government departments, collaborative working groups, data-related initiatives, and large scientific research projects such as NEPTUNE Canada and International Polar Year – which projects involve widespread collaboration and result in large data collections. Mary has also been involved with the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) and was Executive Secretary to the Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group, a multi-disciplinary group of universities, institutes, libraries, granting agencies, and individual researchers with a shared recognition of the pressing need to deal with Canadian data management issues. (This working group’s most recent success was the Canadian Research Data Summit, which attracted over 150 leading players and decision-makers from government, private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations.)

Mary’s personal enthusiasm and commitment have combined with her organizational abilities to effectively promote many of CNC/CODATA’s initiatives, such as the Sangster Award for young scientists, communicated among all graduate universities in Canada and in similar networks, and awarded biennially in coordination with CODATA’s International Conference. She is editor of the bilingual serial, Report on Data Activities in Canada, presented to CODATA at its General Assemblies as evidence of Canada’s contribution to shared priorities. She is also on the Editorial Board of CODATA’s Data Science Journal, in which journal she also has published articles. She has contributed to CODATA’s Newsletters, and also to publications of own organization, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and to its networks. NRC ranks CNC/CODATA as one of the highest ranked among its sponsored CNCs, thereby ensuring ongoing support of the Canadian National Committee as well as its involvement with CODATA International.

Mary’s background in atomic and molecular physics was followed by over 20 years’ experience in Library and Information Science, working extensively with databases, catalogues, collaborative projects, and delivery of information services to researchers. She is especially attuned to the complexities relating to the design and delivery of services during times of rapid technological change. Since 2008, Mary worked at the corporate level, preparing ministerial documents detailing NRC’s performance strategy and resultant impact to the Canadian innovation community. In recent years, she has planned and chairs sessions at international conferences held in Canada, for the purpose of promoting the interests of both CODATA and WDS.

Mary has been a technical advisor to CODATA on web and publishing matters since 1998 and it is through her personal and active involvement that CODATA’s web site was moved to a new and economical infrastructure in 2013, then redesigned and re-launched. She is the current Liaison officer to the CODATA Fundamental Constants Task Group and has participated in the successful running of SciDataCon2014 in New Delhi.

Claudio Soares: Statement in Favour of Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the second in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Claudio Soares is a new candidate, not currently serving on the Executive Committee.  He is the nominee of IUPAB, the International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics.

Claudio SoaresName of Candidate: Claudio M. Soares

Affiliation: International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics

Nationality: Portuguese

In nominating Dr. Claudio M. Soares as an Ordinary Member of the CODATA Executive Committee, the IUPAB points out that he has been an active scientist in the fields of biomolecular modelling and simulation and structural bioinformatics for more than 24 years. This mostly computational work is highly relevant, requiring large amounts of data processing and data standards, putting him in a particularly privileged situation to understand and foster CODATA’s mission.

He works in the larger field of structural biology, and has a considerable knowledge and understanding of the importance of structural and sequence data on biomolecules for the advancement of Life and Health Sciences. These two areas (structural and sequence data) are the ones where he can be most useful to the operations of CODATA.

Briefly, Dr. Soares’ scientific and academic experience and contributions include:

  • The management and participation in scientific societies (Portuguese Biophysical Society, Portuguese Biochemical Society, IUPAB)
  • Chairperson of the Portuguese Biophysical Society between 2002 and 2008
  • Experience in the management of academic institutions as Dean of ITQB, a Research and Training Institution belonging to the New University of Lisbon
  • Since 1994 he has published 95 research publications (ISI) with a h-factor of 30

Niv Ahituv: ‘My past contribution and my future vision for CODATA’

This is the first in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections.  Niv Ahituv is a current member of the CODATA Executive Committee and a candidate as Vice-President.

IMG_4143 (2)I would like, first, to briefly review my academic and managerial experience, since I believe it pertains to my contribution to CODATA. I serve now as the Dean of Dan School of Hi-Tech Studies at the College of Academic Studies in Israel and a Professor Emeritus of Tel Aviv University (TAU). In TAU I was the founder and the Academic Director of the Institute of Internet Studies, and the Marko and Lucie Chaoul Chair for Research in Information Evaluation. From 1999 to 2002 I served as Vice President and Director General (CEO) of TAU. From 1989 to 1994 I served as the Dean of the Faculty of Management – The Graduate School of Business Administration at TAU. In 2005 I was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by ILLA, The Israeli Association for Information Technology. In a worldwide ranking of scientific publications in Information Systems published from 1985 to 1990, I came out in third place. My recent research focuses on Privacy and Technology.

It can be observed that my career has incorporated managerial experience as well as academic achievements.

I have served as a CODATA EC member for four years. During those two terms I chaired the Membership Committee, which developed a new strategy for member recruiting that is now under implementation. I was also a member of the Strategic Committee of the EC. I helped in organizing a workshop on information requirements for taking care of elderly people, held in Tel Aviv in 2012 and sponsored by CODATA. I also helped in organizing the 2014 annual meeting of the EC in Jerusalem, with cooperation of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

My contribution to the EC and CODATA relies on my practical experience in management and business strategy (serving as a Dean of the Business School and the CEO of Tel Aviv University, and as a consultant and a member in a number of Boards of Directors of large companies), and my academic experience in IT Management research and Internet Studies. In those capacities I helped develop and implement strategies dealing with increasing the membership community of CODATA and its long term strategy.

As a faculty member in a business school and IT Management, I am a “minority” among the EC members who are more anchored to Exact Sciences and Life Sciences. Consequently, I try to represent the views of Social Sciences and Humanities in the EC.

I truly believe in the high importance of CODATA. It must pursue information sharing among various academic disciplines, as well as among researchers in various parts of the world. It must strive for open access to all scientific data and to easy accessibility of data to all the parts of the globe, particularly to less developed regions.

This should be achieved by increasing the impact of CODATA within the scientific community. That can be done by setting two main targets:

  1. expanding membership to more countries but also to organisations and academic institutions pertaining to CODATA domain of activities;
  2. striving to collaborate and create strategic partnerships with other organizations that share or partly share interests with CODATA.