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An Invitation to take part in the CODATA Connect – Data Science Journal Early Career Essay Competition

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CODATA Connect Early Career and Alumni Network in collaboration with the CODATA Data Science Journal (DSJ) is pleased to invite to its second Essay Competition for Early-Career Researchers (ECR), defined as a university undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate students or early career researchers/ data professionals within five years of completing their highest qualification. CODATA Connect exists to ensure a structural and sustained collaboration and support for the activities of the alumni of CODATA-RDA Summer Schools, of the CODATA China and Trieste Training Workshops and other early-career researchers and data professionals involved in the CODATA community and those of partner organisations.

Topic for the Essay: “Challenges and Benefits for governments and industry involvement in the Open Data Initiative”

  • Participants interested in disseminating information on research data in the sciences, humanities and the arts using essays as the medium are welcome to apply.

  • Topics might include but are not limited to human health, climate change, resilience, etc.

  • Essays that discuss the necessary limits in openness are also in scope and are welcome (e.g. personal health information, indigenous sovereignty, etc.)

  • Essays that discuss the challenges and benefits in making data as open as possible and the roles the government and industry can play is welcome.

  • Essays might discuss challenges at any point in the data lifecycle and in relation to any of a number of global and societal challenges.

  • We discourage essays that simply present well known and generic arguments in favour of open data.

  • Essays are encouraged to use local or specific examples for the benefits of open data and to discuss how challenges can be overcome in both specific circumstances and more globally.


  • The dates for the essay writing are 7th June to 31st August 2021.

  • The Essay Writing Competition is open to all CODATA-RDA Summer Schools Alumni and any early career researchers/ data professionals.

  • The Essay must adhere to Data Science Journal guidelines for Essays They should cover topics and controversies of interest to the community and aim to stimulate discussion and debate. Essays may be provocative and less focused on reporting original research work but should still consist of original thoughts and ideas. More information on the criteria for essay submission at the DSJ can be found here:

  • The essay writing time is 3 months and the length of the essay should be 2000-3000 words. References do not count as part of the word limit.

  • Each essay must contain the full name(s), affiliations and contacts details of the authors.

  • Essays are only accepted in the English language.


The panel of judges consists of representatives from the CODATA community and editors of the CODATA Data Science Journal. The judges’ decision is final and may not be appealed. The review process will be single-blind: judges will not know the identity of the authors.


Essays should be interesting, original and provocative but also clearly situated in a body of knowledge. It is important that the authors show an appropriate knowledge of the chosen research area for discussions. Other criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Contemporary relevance of the topic to the science of data.

  • Demonstrated awareness of the state of discussion around the topic. Essays do not need to include a comprehensive literature review but must illustrate where their argument fits into the broader discussion in the field.

  • Strength and persuasiveness of the argument, underpinned by reference to literature, evidence and data.

  • Clarity of writing and appeal of writing style.


Essays must adhere to DSJ submission guidelines:


  • The winning essay will be published in DSJ for free along with a formal certification of their achievement.

  • Shortlisted essays will be invited for submission to the CODATA Data Science Journal (the usual peer review, article processing charges and waiver terms will apply).


  • The deadline for submitting the essays is 23:59 UTC on Tuesday 31 August 2021.

  • Essays submission process will be updates by 1st July 2021.


The selected essay winner will be announced on the CODATA website by Thursday 30 September 2021. The winner will also be contacted through the CODATA Connect email.

CODATA reserves the right to publish the winners’ name and affiliation, as well as the winning essay in the CODATA Data Science Journal:


For further enquiries and information, contact:

If you wish to read the Essays of the Winners of the 1st Essay Competition 2020, they are shared on