PASTD – Task group report of SciDataCon2016 Activities

  1. Continuation of Task Group approved by CODATA General Assembly
    On behalf CODATA PASTD, Dr. Xiang ZHOU attended the CODATA General Assembly in pastdDenver on 11th September 2016. Dr. Zhou gave a 5-minute presentation on the CODATA PASTD Task Group’s activities over the past two years. He also presented the updated objectives, action plan, and expected cooperation with multiple stakeholders in developing and developed countries. The updated CODATA PASTD action plan is a response to the ‘Open Data in a Big Data World’ International Accord issued by ICSU, IAP, ISSC and TWAS. In next two years, CODATA PASTD activities will pay more attention to open data policies, best practices and capacity building in low and middle income countries.CODATA PASTD was on of eight Task Groups approved by the General Assembly (from 15 proposals). The renewal of PASTD as a CODATA Task Group was in line with the CODATA Executive Committee’s recommendations and reflects its wide partnerships, past achievements and high priority activities which are line with the CODATA Strategic Plan.
  2. Key Issues and Action Plan for the Preservation and Access of Research Data in Developing Countries – Panel Discussion Session in SciDataCon 2016 in Denver
    At SciDataCon 2016, held as part of International Data Week in Denver, 11-17 Septemberpastd-workshop 2016, the CODATA PASTD Task Group organized a panel discussion to address key Issues and an action plan for the preservation and access of research data in developing countries.The group was held in the afternoon of 13 September and chaired by Dr. Xiang Zhou, the co-chair of the PASTD Task Group. Dr. Zhou made welcome speech and gave a brief introduction about the CODATA PASTD Task Group and practices of preservation of and access to research data in developing countries. The session provided a forum for participants from many disciplines to exchange ideas about key Issues on data preservation, access and sharing of research data in developing countries. The session consisted of seven invited talks covering issues of policy, technologies, capacity building and best practices, followed by an open discussion (Table.1).
  • Wim Hugo, from South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), presented the concept of a Network Data Centre for Africa.
  • Joseph Muliaro Wafula, from ICT Centre of Excellence and Open Data (iCEOD), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), shared the experiences of developing an open data policy and infrastructure taking JKUAT as a case study.
  • Daisy Selematsela from the Knowledge Management Corporate of the National Research Foundation, South Africa, presented developments and transition of open data access in Africa, and challenges and sustainability of Open Access.
  • Paul Uhlir, as a consultant in research data policy and management, and Scholar of the National Academy of Sciences, described recent developments in open data policies and discussed data sharing and data management principles in developing countries.
  • Kostiantyn Yefremov, Director of the World Data Center for Geoinformatics and Sustainable Development, National Technical University of Ukraine, described the development of the interdisciplinary research infrastructure in Ukraine.
  • Yuanqiang ZHU, Professor of the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR/CAS), discussed publishing and sharing research data for sciences and sustainability in developing countries, and the practice of the Global Change Research Data Publishing and Repository.
  • Maria Natalia Norori from Universidad Latina de Costa Rica, analyzed the benefits, development and challenges of Open Data Empowerment. There is a consensus that Open data is an important weapon to fight the educational barriers imposed by socioeconomic factors in developing countries.
  • Furthermore, participants discussed challenges, policies and actions for implementation of “Nairobi Data Sharing Principles” in developing countries, especially in LMICs. Implementation guidelines for data sharing principles can help promote the infrastructures and the development of data sharing capacity and best practices in future years.

The following tasks are given priority on implementation of task group objectives:

  • Increase awareness and consensus on Nairobi Guidelines / Open Data Principles in Developing Countries;
  • Workshop and training for francophone countries, proposed in Madagascar in 2017;
  • Special issue to the Journal of Data Science: best practices and show cases of implementing Open Data in a Big Data World in developing countries;
  • Enhancement of the online services of the global change research data publishing and repository

Table 1.Agenda of PASTD Session in SciDataCon

Key Issues and Action Plan for the Preservation and Access of Research Data in Developing Countries

13 September 2016
Chaired by: Xiang ZHOU

Topic Who
1 Welcome and Introductions Chair 5’
2 Invited Talks:

Wim Hugo

Wafula Muliaro


Daisy Selematsela

Paul Uhlir

Kostiantyn Yefremov

Yunqiang ZHU

Maria Natalia Norori

3 Open Discussion 45’
4 Review of Actions Chair 5’