Sanna Sorvari: Statement in Support of Election to CODATA Executive Committee

This is the sixteenth and final statement is our series from candidates in the forthcoming CODATA Elections. Sanna Sorvari is a new candidate seeking election to the CODATA Executive Committee.  She is nominated by Finland.

Sanna SorvariI’m honoured for the opportunity to stand for election to the CODATA Executive Committee. In recent years I have been involved in establishing new Pan-European and national data intensive research infrastructures in the field of environmental and Earth System science. From those activities, I have gained a lot of experiences and insights on multinational and international challenges and opportunities related to research data. As actively working at the national, Nordic, European and global level on scientific data, I consider that I could bring new perspectives and collaboration opportunities for CODATA to liaise with the bodies (such as ESFRI) and organisations that are currently building and setting new data management structures, standard, protocols and data policies.

I’m a member of several boards, committees and projects relevant to CODATA, such as:

  • European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Group on European Research Infrastructures and e-infrastructures – guiding EC on the strategic orientations for future actions related to data and e-infrastructures;
  • Belmont Forum’s E-Infrastructures and Data Management Collaborative Research Action to draft recommendations on how the Belmont Forum as an IGFA group can internationally fund and support global environmental change research more coordinated way;
  • COOPEUS project (WP leader) – to establish Transatlantic roadmap for Earth system research infrastructures for the next 10 years in related to data and interoperability;
  • European ENVRI Environmental Research Infrastructure Stakeholder Advisory Board (chair) – to coordinate and ensure the interoperability among the European environmental research infrastructures;
  • Project coordinator of Nordic research infrastructure network – to align the developments and data policies of Nordic environmental RIs;
  • and a member of recently established Finnish National Committee on Research Data Management – to bring together national organizations and experts from the field of research data management.


Even though there are a huge number of initiatives and big investments made to facilitate the modern, data-driven science, only a small fraction of the existing scientific data is used for scientific or any other purposes. Thus, there still seems to be many existing barriers that decrease the applicability of data products and usage. Quite often these barriers are not related to the technical issues but are often related to other perspectives, such as on knowledge (how to discover and access the data), human behaviour (trust), policies (IPRs, licenses,..) and discipline/cultural oriented aspects (e.g. understanding the data).

CODATA has a very central position in the international arena and it’s close connection to ICSU and ICSU’s national committees gives a unique opportunity for CODATA to steer the process for better utilization of the data and removing the barriers around data access, usage and applicability. CODATA should continue to work on increasing the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data. However, for the following years CODATA should start implementing the recommendations of the CODATA review panel, especially on sharpening the scope of the actions and increasing the visibility of CODATA among global research communities. CODATA should define its role in the international data landscape and to be ready for task sharing and close collaboration with other initiatives. If elected in the executive committee, I’m ready to work towards these goals for CODATA.