Monthly Archives: September 2018

Barend Mons: Candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee and CODATA President

This is the seventh 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. Barend Mons is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as CODATA President.  He was nominated by USA.

CODATA: 2018-2022

Barend Mons

Vision: CODATA serving the global community as a global champion of machine-actionable data publishing, according to FAIR principles in a well coordinated ecosystem of global organisations

A phase transition in Science
Both science and innovation are in the process of a methodological transformation. Because of the unprecedented amount of data we deal with, we are in the midst of a significant landslide away from a closed, individual-privilege-patent- and ‘center of excellence’ based system towards a system that has to support fully distributed, collective human intelligence much more effectively.  But even more critically, a modern data science and innovation ecosystem should be able to maximise the use of powerful, distributed digital assistants.

The roughly ten million times increase of storage and compute power over the past three decades, accompanied by roughly a hundred thousand times decrease in storage costs, has finally brought us to a point where ‘ICT’ is frequently mis-conceptualised as a commodity. Consequently, we capture so much data and subsequently reveal such complex patterns in it, that the human mind is unable to make sense of these patterns anymore. That is…. without massive international collaborations and digital assistance. So, on top of the Internet for People, we now need and Internet for Machines, in which machine actionable data and services will play a central role.

A need for data stewardship
Unfortunately, our ability to deal responsibly with data as the principal first-phase output of the scientific process, has not kept pace with the generation and storage capabilities. The current reality is a glaring lack of expertise; a crippled practice of cottage-industry data stewardship; an almost complete lack of interoperability of data in domain silos; and a hopelessly outdated scholarly publication and reward system, which effectively prohibits open science and innovation.

Many reports have recently highlighted the unacceptable loss of valuable data, and the waste of time and effort as an estimated 70% of researcher time is spent on ‘data wrangling’.  Furthermore, the persistence of narrative publishing in formats solely meant for human consumption  is a nightmare for machine processing of results and data.  It amounts to a means of hiding the data behind pay walls, embedded and difficult to extract from figures and tables, with remote and volatile links to ‘supplementary data’, without proper metadata and provenance. This picture is even more gloomy as it is precisely the lack of access to an reusability of data that results in the emerging and well-documented reproducibility crisis in science.

Much of this lament is painfully familiar and has been made repeatedly with too little real impact for over two decades…

The role of mandated organisations such as CODATA
Data-focused organisations with a global mandate can play a major converging role in the decades to come. With its mandate from ISC (representing nearly 200 national members and the international scientific unions and associations), CODATA should be in a unique position to assist and guide where appropriate the transition to modern data stewardship for open science. It is high time for CODATA to become a global champion of machine-actionable data publishing, according to FAIR principles, supplemented with narrative for humans, and so to help ensure an optimal data substrate for modern, data-intensive and (thus) machine-assisted science and innovation. The emergence of open science, and the recent merger of the two parent councils, prompt a timely occasion to recalibrate what the role of CODATA during and after the landslide may be. As a servant of the science and innovation communities world-wide, CODATA has to, first of all, redefine its goals in the new data reality. This should be done in line with the several high level reports from the European Commission (such as the various reports and the -SWD-roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud) and from the United States (such as the consensus study Open Science by Design), while also taking into full account the simultaneous efforts in other continents including BRICS activities and efforts for open science in Africa and Latin America.  Next, CODATA needs to redefine its unique added value niche vis a vis other data related initiatives, such as the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the Global Open FAIR (GO FAIR) initiative. These are relatively young organisations compared to CODATA but they enjoy rapid uptake in the community and in the turmoil associated with any landslide, there is confusion about the various roles they and CODATA play.

Multiple roles
The CODATA strategic plan 2013-2018 showed deep insight in the data revolution that was upon us even back then. However, the current rate of data production, and analysis, challenges has far surpassed even the boldest predictions at the time. Currently, in many scientific disciplines, the learning algorithm, frequently hyped as ‘artificial intelligence’ is now predominantly present in methodology. Contemporary science, even in disciplines where the other hype term ‘big data’ is not yet mainstream, increasingly relies on complex pattern recognition by powerful and self-learning algorithms, followed by human decision on ‘actionable knowledge’ emerging from ‘meaningful’ patterns. What we have seen in the past three years is a rapid development of machine-oriented initiatives such as the formulation of the FAIR principles (, describing how data should be formulated, published and stewarded in a way that supports optimal reuse in open science and innovation for both machines and humans.

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) has also seen a remarkable growth pattern. Given the importance of these ‘data-driven science’ global movements, it is not surprising that RDA, GO FAIR and other organisations have arisen that address the opportunities and challenges of reusable data and services, each addressing different aspects and filling different, complementary niches in this tumultuous field. In fact, the time is now right to ensure that we create and support an efficient, mutually enforcing ecosystem of these organisations. That means staking out the appropriate ground for each, clarifying appropriate working space, synergies and eliminating unnecessary duplication. This vision includes clear definition of missions, comprising both bottom-up and more top-down approaches where appropriate, and focusing our efforts.

A vision of mutually enforcing collaboration
The following section represents my initial thinking in this area, sharpened by many discussions with leading colleagues in this field:

The oldest international coordinating organisation in the data space is CODATA, which has been in existence for more than 50 years. CODATA, is a committee of ISC, after the merger of the International Council of Science and the International Social Science Council. ISC has a second data related initiative, the World Data System (WDS), which is ten years old as an International Programme Office (but has roots in the International Geophysical Year of 1958). In addition to these ISC-affiliated organisations, the Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a five-year-old grass roots organisation mainly supported by the EC, the US NSF and NIST, and the Australian Department of Innovation. RDA has rapidly developed into a large (> 7000 individual members) organisation that serves a crucial public role, namely bottom up consensus building about approaches, protocols and standards in expert communities. The EC and the EU member states have been particularly active in the data space, also conceiving and supporting the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Initiative. The supporting GO FAIR initiative (Global Open FAIR), initiated as a kick start approach for the EOSC by the governments of The Netherlands, Germany and France, is rapidly growing into a practical network or existing networks of excellence in early implementation of community adopted approaches, protocols, standards and training. These four key organisations (CODATA, WDS, RDA and GO FAIR) are all international and cross-disciplinary in scope, mandated and poised to support the global science enterprise including pan-European, and global, domain specific research infrastructures and e-infrastructures. To better support global science, I propose investigating ways to better coordinate and differentiate the work space for these four and perhaps other more disciplinary and regional science data organisations.  In the spirit of community-wide consensus I have discussed these issues for several months now with the leadership of CODATA, RDA and GO FAIR and the following section represents my resulting view.

A triangular shape
The key roles of CODATA, RDA and GO FAIR are distinct, complementary and synergistic. They are depicted in the triangle model below. Like any model, it will always fall short to describe reality in all aspects and dimensions, but it is a way to visualise the various complementary roles. It should be stated as a preamble that in many concrete actions, the roles of the three organisations will overlap, such as for instance in training and education, and advocacy for best practices. Therefore, the triangle model is also meant visualise how the tasks following from the focus described at the corners of the triangle dovetail when ever appropriate. With the recent establishment of the ISC, complementarity between the three organisations becomes even more pertinent. It should also be emphasised that each of the organisations has additional activities outside the scope of this collaborative structure.

RDA has a principal bottom up working mechanism centred around interest and working groups that address, and where possible solve, intellectual challenges associated with solutions needed around research data in the broadest sense (also data analytics services, software and basic compute issues are in scope). This is done in community driven manner and leads to recommended solutions and designs. Obviously, these have to be tested for feasibility in practice, which can be done anywhere, but GO FAIR has a strong mandate and basis in a growing number of so called GO FAIR Implementation Networks to rapidly test recommended solutions. These are expert communities with ‘critical mass’ (community leadership) and impact that can implement proposed solutions (by RDA or others) in practice. This also provides an early testing ground of such applications (in social change, training or actual module building for the Internet for FAIR data and services). Obviously, many key stakeholders in the community play a role in RDA working groups and in the organisation as well as in GO FAIR implementation networks.

CODATA is mandated by ISC as the international body for research data in the broadest sense, focusing on data policies, data science and data skills and education. Despite being a lean organisation, CODATA is involved in various implementation activities on interoperability, capacity building, training and dissemination,

but has also played a crucial role in the development of key data policies and principles (including those of the OECD, GEO and the ISC endorsed ‘Open Data in a Big Data World’ that have effectively become ‘soft law’ for the scientific community.

In continuous and structural collaboration, the three organisations, having already established very good practical working relationships and participating in each other’s activities whenever appropriate, can collectively serve the community by providing organised and emerging consensus building and design, coordinated early expert implementation and broad adoption of best practices. This is all pre-competitive, but can form the basis for certification of providers in the EOSC, US, BRICS and beyond.

What is my motivation to serve as CODATA president for the 2018-2022 term?
Being involved in the early days of RDA and (GO) FAIR, I have seen many critical decision points where the development of an effective ecosystem for open, FAIR science and innovation could have gone astray.

Risks for science in the data intensive age include (re)centralisation, recidivist monopoly formation, exclusion of the private sector (critical for innovation and scaling), defending powerhouses built in the transition phase, and further propagation of ‘yet more standards’. In addition, there are many misperceptions around frequently used hype terms such as ‘open’ (versus FAIR), AI, Big Data, Data Sharing, Open Access (articles) versus Open Science, Linked (Open) Data, Semantic Modelling etcetera. It is therefore imperative to support global, community compliant consensus building on commonly accepted definitions of these central concepts. CODATA, in close collaboration with RDA, GO FAIR and others, could prevent many of these potential mistakes and play a key intellectual leadership role in the transition phase described here.

As CODATA President I would like to work with the core staff in this multi-organisational ecosystem and ensure that CODATA will have a solid, specific, recognised, and effective role.  I was the organiser of the foundational meeting in 2014 where the FAIR principles were conceived, the Chair of the HLEG of the EC on the EOSC and I currently co-lead the GO FAIR International support and coordination offices, with branches in the Netherlands, Germany and France. I have extensive connections to RDA, and serve on the US National Academy of Sciences Board for Research Data and Information (which is the US National Committee for CODATA).  If I were also to help lead CODATA, I would concentrate on an ambassadorial role for the joint ecosystem of the various organisations as summarised in the triangle model above, and thus be in a good position and interested in using these relationships to bring RDA, GO FAIR and CODATA closer together, as well as determining the role of WDS in the new reality, each with their specific and complementary expertise networks, thus creating greater strength to the common good.

For all this to happen, it will be of critical importance that each of the supporting organisations is mandated and properly funded (although at the leanest possible level) to serve the science and innovation communities, without ever competing for the same funds. They should focus on those supra-level tasks that never make it to the top of the priority list of individual researchers and innovators.

If you agree that the time has come to better coordinate and possibly consolidate the international organisations in this important area, and appropriate mandates and resources to achieve this goal will be put into place, I would be happy to serve you as CODATA President.

Toshihiro Ashino: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the sixth 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. Toshihiro Ashino is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by Japan.

Professor Toshihiro Ashino is mainly continuing research into data and knowledge representation for materials science and engineering. The article of materials ontology in CODATA Data Science Journal 2010 is regarded as an advanced research in current materials informatics area. He is participating a Japanese national project “Materials Integration” and playing an important role to develop materials data and knowledge representation for integrate heterogeneous information resources of the project.

He is also working for standardization of materials data representation, participating a series of CEN workshops, workshop on ‘Economics and Logistics of Standards compliant Schemas and ontologies for Interoperability – Engineering Materials Data’ (WS/ELSSI-EMD, 2009-2010), workshop on ‘Standards for Electronic Reporting in the Engineering Sector’ (WS/SERES, 2012-2014), workshop, ‘FAtigue TEsting DAta’ (WS/FATEDA, 2016-2017) and workshop on ‘MEchanical TEsting DAta’ (WS/METEDA, 2017-2018).

International collaboration for data standards and ontologies are one of the CODATA’s important role and increasing importance for promote open data and open science. He is continuously trying to establish them for materials science and engineering, it will extend CODATA’s activity in this field.

Also, Professor Ashino is working not only in materials science and engineering field, participating JOSS (Japan Open Science Summit) organization committee and RDUF (Research Data Utilization Forum) program committee, working to promote open data and open science activities in Japan. From June 2018, he have been appointed to the chair of CODATA Sub-Committee, International Scientific Data Committee of Science Council of Japan and working to contribute the achievement of CODATA’s objectives.

Join the Eye on Earth Symposium online: All 36 sessions will be webcast globally

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), as co-founder of the Eye on Earth movement, in partnership with the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) and the Eye on Earth Alliance are delighted to invite all who support evidence-based decision making for environmental and natural resource aspects of sustainable development to Convene, Converge and Collaborate at an Eye on Earth Symposium.  The Symposium will be held at the Mina A’Salam Hotel in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 22-24 Oct. 2018.   Participation in the Eye on Earth (EoE) Symposium is free of charge.

The FCSA, with support from the Statistics Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and the High-Level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will concurrently be hosting the 2nd United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF) also at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Topics of common interest are listed in the outcome document of the preceding UNWDF (objectives 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.1 and 5.1)

Please note the UNWDF and the EoE Symposium are independently organised events.

The Eye on Earth Symposium Described

The Symposium comprises two ~50 person meeting rooms and an adjacent networking area.

The Symposium is a working/outcomes-focused event.  The focus is on progressing the EoE Vision by catalyzing and strengthening bilateral and multi-lateral partnerships.

The Symposium content is provided by members of the EoE Global Community.

The Symposium content is a mixture of presentations with Q&A, panel discussions, and in-depth, interactive, multi-hour workshops.

We plan to webcast the Symposium sessions for those unable to attend in person. Remote participants will be able to see, hear and speak.   Webinar details are listed below.

Symposium Programme

Start times are shown in UAE (UTC+4) time zone.    We recommend using an online timezone converter to accurately convert to your time zone.

Follow #EyeOnEarthSymposium  on social media for regular updates and Symposium news.

The Symposium Programme is subject to change.  Please revisit this page from time to time for updates.

Click Here to Download the Full Programme

Niv Ahituv: Candidacy for CODATA Vice President

This is the fifth 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. Niv Ahituv is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as a Vice President.  He was nominated by Israel, USA, Canada, Russia.

Niv Ahituv is a Professor Emeritus of Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University. He was a faculty member of the School from 1981 until 2011. During that period he held a number of positions: He was the founder (2003) and the Academic Director of the Institute of Internet Studies, and held the Chair for Research in Information Evaluation. From 1989 to 1994, he served as the Dean of School of Management, and from 1999 to 2002 he served as Vice President and Director General (CEO) of Tel Aviv University. In 2005 he was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by The Israeli Association for Information Technology. From 1997 to 2011 he represented the Israeli Government in UNESCO on issues related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Since 2006 he represents the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities in CODATA, where he was elected as a member of the Executive Committee in 2000, and Vice President in 2014.

His main areas of interest and research: information economics, IT strategy and management, social and business implications of the Internet, privacy and IT, developing academic programs in Data Science. He has published 14 books and chapters in books, and over 60 articles in academic journals. In 1990 he was ranked third in a worldwide ranking of publications in Information Systems.

He holds degrees of B.Sc. in Mathematics, MBA, M.Sc., and Ph.D. in Information Systems Management.

Past activities in CODATA: EC Member (2000-2014), VP (2014-2018). During that period Ahituv chaired the Membership Committee and was a member of the Strategic Committee of the EC. He helped in organizing a workshop on information integration requirements for taking care of elderly people, held in Tel Aviv and sponsored by CODATA.

Niv’s contribution to the EC and CODATA relies on his practical experience in management and business strategy (serving as a Dean of the Business School and the CEO of Tel Aviv University), his academic experience in IT and Internet Studies, and his experience in international organizations. In those capacities, he can help developing and implementing strategies dealing with increasing the membership community of CODATA and its long-term strategy.

Being a faculty in a business school and IT Management, he is a “minority” in the group whose anchor lies mainly in Exact Sciences and Life Sciences. Consequently, he tries to represent the views of Social Sciences and Humanities in the EC of CODATA.

Full version of CV

Humans of Data 25

“I’m an archivist who does digital preservation in a library and I’m very aware of the opportunities and challenges that happen in that context.  When we talk about inclusion, we need to remember professional and technical inclusion, too.  We don’t leverage our cumulative power enough.  Archives, libraries, digital preservation, digital curation, data science: we need to think what we all bring to the table and how we can put the pieces together.  If we don’t do that, we end up bumping into each other and missing opportunities.

I recently marked 30 years of working with data.  I’ve been a curator, preserver, creator and user.  I believe strongly in the continuum of data to information to knowledge to wisdom – we often stop at data and that’s short-sighted.  Data is the raw material that fuels we what understand and share, and we don’t make nearly enough of its potential.

I really like the kinds of stories that people are able to tell with various types of data.  When people think about what data can be, they often stop at structured, quantitative data, but there is a a broad mix of the various content that we can consider to be data.  We have an opportunity to innovate if we come together to develop a shared understanding of data services and practice, and collaborate with shared objectives.”


Refiloe Mabaso: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the fourth 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. Refiloe Mabaso is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  She was nominated by South Africa.

Refiloe Mabaso is an accomplished senior business leader with over 15 years’ experience that spans the full spectrum in both private and public sector. Areas of specialization include amongst others, Data Management, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Library Management, Records Management and Business Intelligence with a proven record of accomplishment in planning and leading comprehensive information and knowledge management strategies in support of business goals and objectives. Expertise in directing the formation of information and knowledge management tools and steering the execution of information and knowledge sharing programs. Demonstrated success driving growth in information and knowledge management through implementation of key projects. Experience in growing start-up organizations to leading business units and growing teams in large multi-national corporates. Recently have been nominated by the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) to participate ON Making It Stick Knowledge Management Research Project, to share and develop a case study on the successful practices to manage KM-related change and engage end users in KM tools, approaches, activities and work which will be published on APQC’s Knowledge Base library.

Holds, among other qualifications a degree in Library and Information Studies – University of South Africa, Management Development Programme – University of South Africa, Postgraduate Certificate in Knowledge Management – University of Pretoria, Masters in Business Administration (MBA) – University of South Africa, International Women in Leadership Programme – Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and General Manager Programme –  Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Currently working at Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS), Senior Manager- Information and Knowledge Management leading a team of Specialists covering areas of Library Management, Records Management, Knowledge Management, Data Analyst, Business/Market Intelligence and Digital Enterprise Content Management.

Serving as a member of the South Africa CODATA Committee with the objective of promoting CODATA activities and goals in South Africa. Previously served as a member of CODATA Executive Committee. Currently serves as a deputy chairperson of the Knowledge Management South Africa, a society for knowledge management professionals who are passionate about moving their discipline forward in their organizations while investing in themselves. The society supports the research and development of knowledge management practices in both private and public sectors.

Robert J. Hanisch: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the third 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. Robert J. Hanisch is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by USA

Dr. Hanisch is currently the Director, Office of Data and Informatics at NIST.  He has built that office to be a major force in US data management.  Before joining NIST in 2014, Dr. Hanisch was Director of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory, a major contributor to innovation in open science and open data.  Over his career Dr. Hanisch has worked in both astronomy and in data, in the US as well as in France and the Netherlands.   At the Space Telescope Science Institute Dr. Hanisch led the development of the Multi-Mission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST), which hosts data from NASA’s optical, UV, and near-IR astrophysics missions.  Since coming to NIST, Bob has participated in the BRDI/US National Committee Meetings.  He has been the chair of the Steering Committee for the US National Data Service, is a past co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Domain Repositories Interest Group and is a member of the leadership team of RDA-US.  He is also a member of the Interagency Working Group on Open Science and is NIST’s representative to CENDI.  Also at NIST, Dr. Hanisch has led efforts in data discovery and preservation, coordinating the development of a new NIST-wide public data repository and deploying data resource registries for materials science, metrology, and greenhouse gases.   He has represented NIST at meetings of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM), the international organization that oversees the more than one hundred national metrology institutes around the world.  He has given invited talks on data management at the Materials Research Society, American Astronomical Society, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program, and the Earth Science Information Partners.  For CODATA international, Dr. Hanisch has been an active member of the Steering Committee for the Commission on Standards.  He was a key organizer of the Commission meeting held at the Royal Society on 13-15 November 2017.  Dr. Hanisch is involved in national and international issues of reproducibility in science and data as a critical building block for reproducibility.  As a member of the EC, Dr. Hanisch would be an effective contributor to our Frontiers goal and will continue to be actively involved in one of CODATA’s key international initiatives, the Commission on Data Standards (and interoperability). As a leading thinker in US data science development Dr. Hanisch can also make effective contributions to data policies and well as workforce development.

Simon Cox: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the second 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. Simon Cox is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by Austraila

Simon Cox leads the Environmental Information Infrastructure team in CSIRO. With a background in geology and geophysics, he has been working on standards for publication and transfer of earth and environmental science data since the emergence of the world wide web. He has engaged with most areas of environmental science, including water resources, marine data, meteorology, soil, ecology and biodiversity, focusing particularly on cross-disciplinary standards. His current work focuses on aligning science information with the semantic web technologies and linked open data principles, and the formalization, publication and maintenance of controlled vocabularies and similar reference data.

He is principal- or co-author of a number of international standards through Open Geospatial Consortium, ISO, and World Wide Web Consortium, including Geography Markup Language (GML), Observations & Measurements (O&M), the Semantic Sensor Network Ontology (SSN), Time Ontology in OWL (OWL-Time), and the Dataset Catalog Vocabulary (DCAT). These have been broadly adopted internationally. The value of cross-disciplinary standards is to enable data from multiple origins and disciplines to be combined more effectively. He has worked across a variety of technologies and institutions.

Simon has held leadership positions in a number of organizations, including Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (Advisory Board), IUGS Commission for Geoscience Information (Executive Committee), Open Geospatial Consortium (Architecture Board, Planning Committee), Research Data Alliance (Technical Advisory Board), American Geophysical Union (ESSI Executive Board), alongside numerous positions on technical working groups and committees.

He was awarded the Gardels Medal by the Open Geospatial Consortium, and presented the Leptoukh Lecture for the American Geophysical Union. His career at CSIRO has been supplemented by stints teaching at Monash University, and as a senior fellow at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. 

Simon is a member of the team steering the technical side of the CODATA Data Interoperability Initiative, which is using a set of pilot projects to frame the design of some multi-disciplinary data infrastructure. If elected, he would bring a technical practitioner’s perspective to the CODATA Executive Committee, and insights around communities and process gained from his experience in a range of standards organizations.

Additional professional details are available at

Richard Hartshorn: Candidacy for CODATA Executive Committee

This is the first 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. Richard Hartshorn is a candidate for the CODATA Executive Committee as an Ordinary Member.  He was nominated by IUPAC

Professor Richard Hartshorn, Secretary General of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will make an excellent member of the CODATA Executive Committee. In his role as Secretary General, and through others within IUPAC, he has demonstrated strategic leadership and gained significant experience in governance of an international science-based organization.

As you know, IUPAC has created and maintained a common language for chemistry, for almost one hundred years, via the development of standards in nomenclature, terminology, weights, symbols, etc. Such activities involve reaching international consensus among experts from around the world. In this context, Professor Hartshorn has been involved in nomenclature activities for many years and led the IUPAC Division of Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation (2010-13). He is also significantly involved in the International Chemical Identifier (InChI) Trust, both at a governance level as a member of the InChI Trust Board, and in InChI-based projects [the InChI is and will be a key tool in making chemical data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)].

IUPAC is committed to continued innovation in nomenclature, terminology, other intellectual infrastructure, and particularly to developing tools for the use, global exchange, and archiving of digital chemical data. Professor Hartshorn has taken a strategic role in this area, including initiation of work that will lead to development of standards for data repositories, building on the platform of the JCAMP spectral data standard and the InChI. Both JCAMP-DX and InChI are globally-accepted standards currently used in major scientific databases and publications.  We believe that a close working relationship with CODATA will be mutually beneficial as the Missions of both organizations are in alignment – working to support the free exchange of scientific information and facilitating global collaboration for the advancement of scientific discovery.

As the new International Science Council seeks to establish itself across the sciences and social sciences CODATA will inevitably need to move with the times.  It is, however, essential that it carries with it the support of its current constituency and maintains its already high level of respect in scientific data. There will, therefore, be an even greater need to negotiate and balance different demands in a global and diverse arena. Professor Hartshorn has significant experience of this through his work in achieving international consensus in chemical nomenclature and other aspects of IUPAC work.  This requires skills of diplomatic negotiations in situations where a very small staff need to work with a global membership, coping with the limitations of small organizations and yet still maintaining the global impact that satisfies the wider membership.

IUPAC’s interest in digital data standards accelerated in 2013 when Jeremy Frey, the current IUPAC representative to CODATA, put forth a proposal for the creation of a “Digital IUPAC,” recommending that IUPAC develop standards in collaboration with other scientific organizations and governments for the creation of a consistent global framework for Human and Machine-readable (and “understandable”) chemical information.  This proposal resulted in the creation of the IUPAC Committee on Publications and Cheminformatics Data Standards (CPCDS) whose members have since been involved in collaborative efforts with the Research Data Alliance, the InChI Trust, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Allotrope Foundation, and others, including CODATA. The recent CODATA activities include 1) a joint workshop entitled “Supporting FAIR Exchange of Chemical Data through Standards Development” that was held in Amsterdam 16-17 July and initiated further development work on criteria for spectral data packages and repositories; 2) submission of a proposal for an Inter-Union Workshop and Symposium for SciDataCon 2018 that will focus on data interoperability in chemistry, biology, and crystallography; and 3) IUPAC is taking a lead role in developing a Chemistry Implementation Network as part of the Go FAIR initiative. Professor Hartshorn has been closely involved in and has contributed significantly to these developments.

While IUPAC, through its Divisions and Standing Committees, has other digital data initiatives underway, we listed just a few above to demonstrate our commitment to the development of standards for digital chemical information. Professor Hartshorn is a major force in moving IUPAC forward in this arena. We believe that having an experienced, data-oriented IUPAC Senior Executive serve as a member of the CODATA Executive Committee will reinforce the already strong relationship that exists between our organizations and allow us to collaboratively move forward in building standards for the digital future of science.

Professor Qifeng Zhou                           Bonnie Lawlor                          Professor Jeremy Frey
IUPAC President                                   Chair, IUPAC CPCDS               IUPAC Delegate to CODATA

Call for Paper International conference – Data Value Chain in Science & Territories

The International conference Data Value Chain in Science & Territories will take place onThursday 14 & Friday 15 march 2019 in Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée University (near Paris): auditorium, multimedia library, 2 place d’Ariane 77700 Serris – City Center.


logo-cod-fr                       UPEM-IFIS-V2_72dpi                               DICEN_23mm_CouleurV2


One of the main challenges, in most fields, is to handle and process a huge amount of datacoming from a large spectrum of professional, scientific or open sources. This data, by nature heterogeneous and generated by people, systems, things (IoT) and intelligent networks, may be handled directly or transmitted by different remote operations.

This raises several technical and societal problems with respect to data coherence and quality, data privacy and protection, as well as the need to develop original techniques and powerful tools for collecting and processing large volumes of data.

In a multidisciplinary approach centred on Information and Data Science, the conference focuses on how to raise, retrieve, and build relevant datasets and knowledge from different fields to manage and optimise data evaluation and also aims at a transversal approach between different domains, techniques, processes, strategies and uses of data.

The contributions can report specific cases, generic models, constructivist and critical postures. Inter-disciplinary contributions, both in engineering or in human and social sciences are expected to discuss the paradigm of data as a source of information, knowledge, and various indicators.


Accepted articles will be published in Conference Proceedings with ISBN  by Comité Codata France in cooperation with University of Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée and Cnam Paris.

Best papers may be published later in international specialised journals.

More information

Extended Abstract submission

Submission guide