Ernie Boyko: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the tenth in the series of short statements from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections at the General Assembly to be held on 9-10 November in Gaborone, Botswana, following International Data Week. Ernie Boyko is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an ordinary member.  He was nominated by Canada, Israel, South Africa, TGFC.

Ernie Boyko is an agricultural economist with extensive experience in data development, data dissemination and research data management.

His wide experience at Canada’s national statistics agency, Statistics Canada, involved working at senior levels in a variety of areas including agriculture statistics, corporate planning, electronic dissemination, census operations and library and information services.

As an advocate for data access, his crowning achievement at Statistics Canada was the creation of the Data Liberation Initiative with Wendy Watkins from Carleton University.  This program allowed affordable access to all public microdata and aggregate files for the first time to post-secondary institutions.  It has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with 79 institutional members.    DLI has been cited internationally as a model program for statistical institutions.

Ernie was involved in several assignments with the World Bank and OECD’s PARIS21 projects.  This involved work in several African and Asian counties in data development for agriculture and dissemination and data management policies for statistical agencies.   He was able to put his Statistics Canada and international experience to use while spending a decade as an Adjunct Data Librarian at Carleton University where he taught the basics of research data management to faculty and graduate student researchers.

Mr. Boyko is a past president of the International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) an organization he has been part of for nearly 30 years.  This has given him exposure to the challenges of social science data services.  It was under this umbrella that he was part of a working group that developed a metadata standard, the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI).  DDI is now widely used as a standard for documenting research data.  In 2018, IASSIST presented Ernie with a lifetime achievement award for his work.

Ernie has been involved with CODATA for a decade, serving as an observer, a member and currently the Chair of the Canadian National Committee for CODATA.   As chair, he is leading a project that will realign the emphasis of the national committee with the new CODATA constitution’s focus on research data management.    The creation of the International Science Council through the merger of ICSU and the ISSC has led CODATA to focus more squarely on research data management and outreach.  The goal of the current work of the Canadian committee is to develop a process that will allow reporting on the status of RDM in Canada in a way that facilitates international comparisons.

His varied experience stands Ernie in good stead to help meet the challenges faced by CODATA in its transitions to being part of the International Science Council. It is hoped that Canada’s RDM project will be of interest to other countries, thus enabling a broader understanding of the state of research data for the benefit of science.