Monthly Archives: December 2020

#terms4FAIRskills hackathons – December 2020

By Laura Molloy and Peter McQuilton

The terms4FAIRskills core team was delighted to welcome a group of keen annotators from across Europe to join in a hackathon on 11th and 15th December 2020.  Participants from FAIRsFAIR, FAIRsharing, ELIXIR, EOSC-Pillar, the Digital Curation Centre, DANS, CINES and CODATA worked actively with a range of training materials of their choice, and experimented with annotating these materials with terms from the current version of the terms4FAIRskills terminology.

The terms4FAIRskills project aims to create a formalised terminology that describes the competencies, skills and knowledge associated with making and keeping data FAIR.  When mature, this terminology will apply to a variety of use cases, including:

  • To assist with the creation and assessment of data stewardship curricula;
  • To facilitate the annotation, discovery and evaluation of FAIR-enabling materials (e.g. training) and resources;
  • To enable the formalisation of job descriptions and CVs/résumés with recognised, structured competencies.

The completed terminology will be of use to trainers who teach FAIR data skills, researchers who wish to identify skill gaps in their teams, and managers who need to recruit individuals to relevant roles.

Started as a volunteer, bottom-up effort, #terms4FAIRskills has recently received an EOSC co-creation grant to enable collaborative development of the terminology via a core team of ontology experts alongside a coordinating group. The grant also funds a series of hackathons to bring together representatives from the community of prospective users.

In the first virtual hackathon, with lively discussion throughout, we iteratively refined the terminology through the practical annotation of training materials from ELIXIR TeSS and the RDA/CODATA Summer Schools.  Thanks to this feedback, the core team will continue to review the terminology, add synonyms, refine the hierarchy and adapt the current model.

We will run a follow-on hackathon in early 2021, where we will once again test the model through practical annotation of real world training material.

For further information about the terminology, please see the terms4FAIRskills website, follow the #terms4FAIRskills hashtag on Twitter and/or email

Core team

  • Peter McQuilton, FAIRsharing and University of Oxford
  • Yann Le Franc, e-Science Data Factory
  • Laura Molloy, CODATA
  • Allyson Lister, FAIRsharing and University of Oxford

December 2020 virtual hackathon attendees

  • Hugh Shanahan, RDA/CODATA Summer Schools
  • Celia van Gelder, ELIXIR / DTL
  • Victoria Dominguez del Angel, ELIXIR / INRA
  • Angus Whyte, FAIRsFAIR / DCC
  • Marjan Grootveld, FAIRsFAIR / DANS
  • Marie-Anne Maurel, FAIRsFAIR / CINES
  • Samuel Viscapi, FAIRsFAIR / CINES

Coordination group

  • Celia van Gelder (DTL/ELIXIR-NL, NL)
  • Simon Hodson (CODATA, FR)
  • Yann Le Franc (e-Science Data Factory, FR)
  • Peter McQuilton (FAIRsharing and University of Oxford, UK)
  • Susanna-Assunta Sansone (FAIRsharing and University of Oxford, UK)
  • Hugh Shanahan (Royal Holloway, UK)
  • Angus Whyte (DCC, UK)
  • Laura Molloy (CODATA, FR)

A CODATA Connect Webinar on “Urban Data Space as New Frontier: A Responsible Research and Innovation Perspective” by Robert Braun

On 21 September 2020, a webinar titled “Urban Data Space as New Frontier: A Responsible Research and Innovation Perspective” was organized by the CODATA Connect Alumni and Early Career Network. This was the sixth webinar in the series on Smart and Resilient Cities, while other webinars are planned in the coming months throughout 2020. Dr. Shaily Gandhi of the CODATA Connect introduced the speaker and theme of the webinar series. As introduced, the speaker Dr. Robert Braun is currently a Senior Researcher and the Deputy Head of the Techno-Science & Societal Transformation research group at Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna, and Associate Professor at Masaryk University in Brno. He studied philosophy of arts and history at the University of Budapest and completed a Ph.D. in philosophy. He taught at numerous universities in the EU and the US. His research projects involve the representation and engagement of stakeholders in corporate communities as well as the societal impacts of autonomous mobility. 

Robert began his talk by introducing DataSpace and its short history. DataSpace is one of the new frontiers of innovation in digital technology. In recent conceptualizations of industrial DataSpace technology, different scholars envisioned DataSpace as an open business ecosystem for securing exchange and easy linkage of data, as Fraunhofer (2018) observed. Smart City projects worldwide intend to manage big data in urban environments and face the challenges of organizational complexities. European cities and communities require a set of tools to achieve a sustainable transformation towards smarter cities and municipalities and a structured approach to leverage the emerging data-driven economy’s potential, as perceived by Cuno et al. (2019). Then Robert introduced the Urban DataSpace (UDS), which facilitates an ecosystem for data exchange and added value creation utilizing various data types within a smart city or municipality. UDS may, thus, be seen as a new type of urban infrastructure. He pointed out while the relational database management systems served to focus the data management community for decades, rapidly expanding demands of ‘data everywhere’ have led to a new field in data science to emerge. UDS is one such emerging field.

He describes the actor-network theory (ANT) vis-à-vis the responsible research and innovation (RRI). In the ANT framework, technology serves as a distributed agency in actor-actant networks, networks serve as performed material-semiotic spaces, and there are multiple realities. On the other hand, the RRI framework assesses the social desirability, anticipation, reflexivity, responsiveness, and inclusivity of technology and innovation. 

He described the semiotics of DataSpace, i.e., mapping the problems in an artificial intelligence (AI)-based, or a data-driven environment. DataSpace serves as a ‘sign relational complex’ to support data science pragmatics, such as ascertaining, assessing, and researching the processes and intentions of data collecting agents or data analytics elements. There are concerns related to AI learning issues, particularly debiasing, black-boxing, semiotic complexities, and the multistability and multidimensionality of data. He briefly narrated the characteristics of trustworthy DataSpace and responsible DataSpace, respectively, based on the trustworthy AI principles and the RRI principles.

He opined that COVID-19 poses dangers of onlinefication of everything and (big)data-driven research and innovation. He further opined that the EU promotes responsible research and innovation (RRI) in principle, but the implementation leaves much to be desired. Robert Braun concludes that there is a need to improve the alignment of research policy and societal values in urban DataSpace and data-driven society.

Mr. Felix Emeka Anyiam of the CODATA Connect moderated the Question and Answer session and was assigned to obtain questions from the online participants keyed into the webinar question handle. Some of the questions were related to data sovereignty, how data localization can help in responsible and ethical DataSpace, and how GDPR takes care of responsible DataSpace. The speaker briefly appraised the audience on recent EU and international frameworks on the subject.  

The session was concluded with a vote of thanks presented by Shaily. She also announced the forthcoming activities of the CODATA Connect for the CODATA alumni and early career data science professionals.

Prepared by:
Anup Kumar Das
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, India,

November 2020: Publications in the Data Science Journal

Fitness for Use of Data Objects Described with Quality Maturity Matrix at Different Phases of Data Production
Author: Heinke Höck, Frank Toussaint, Hannes Thiemann

Open Data for Sustainable Development on a Knowledge-Based Economy: The Case of Botswana
Author: Oarabile Sebubi, Irina Zlotnikova, Hlomani Hlomani

The CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance
Author: Stephanie Russo Carroll , Ibrahim Garba, Oscar L. Figueroa-Rodríguez, Jarita Holbrook, Raymond Lovett, Simeon Materechera, Mark Parsons, Kay Raseroka, Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, Robyn Rowe, Rodrigo Sara, Jennifer D. Walker, Jane Anderson, Maui Hudson

Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: December 2020 Edition

Heatwaves in Southland (NZ) expected to double in 20 years
A report presented to the Southland District Council’s water supply subcommittee meetings in November says climate change has the most potential to affect the general wellbeing of the district, particularly over the next 20 to 80 years.

Modelling the Cascading Infrastructure Impacts of Climate Change
New research highlights how interdependencies among infrastructure systems like roads can complicate climate adaptation.

CODATA Task Group on FAIR Data for Disaster Risk Research wins 2020 GEO SDG Award
Developed as part of the response to the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, the Rapid Damage Mapping tool (RDM) uses LiDAR, satellite images, and other Earth observational data to gather integrated initial damage mapping information within that first post-disaster period – fundamental in aiding an efficient, effective disaster response and recovery.

Droughts in the Amazon rainforest can be predicted up to 18 months in advance
A study within the TiPES project has revealed how surface temperatures in two coupled areas of the tropical Atlantic Ocean can be used to accurately predict these severe climate events.

Scientists improve model of landslide-induced tsunami
MIPT researchers have created a model of landslide-induced tsunamis that accounts for the initial location of the landslide body. Reported in Landslides, the model reveals that tsunami height is affected by the coastal slope and the position of the landmass before slipping.

Can Climate Preparedness Mitigate Emerging Pandemics?
The coronavirus pandemic presents different challenges in different countries, but it was never going to be easy in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 500 islands and 274 million people. But according to development workers, the fight against coronavirus is getting a boost from an unexpected source: climate preparedness.

New Report from SDSN TReNDS and DataReady on COVID-19 Data and Data Sharing Agreements
There has been an explosion in new technologies and new data partnerships in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, this has also brought about a range of new questions around how data should or should not be used; intellectual property rights; limitations on data re-use; how long data should be used for; and ultimately what should happen to collected data once the pandemic is over. This report explores these issues and the potential of sunset clauses and sunset provisions to safeguard rights and limit the future use of data post-COVID-19.

Should I stay or should I go now? Why risk communication is the critical component in disaster risk reduction
This paper discusses the importance of risk communication as a critical component of early warning systems and explores the constant challenges that vulnerable communities face, how early warning systems sit within the wider Sendai Framework, and what governments have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses how we can communicate more effectively in the future to reduce harm.

UNDRR: Status report on Target E implementation 2020
With the deadline for achieving Target E of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 just around the corner at the end of 2020, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) presents this report as an overview of the status of countries’ progress towards this target. This report covers progress made by Member States from 2015 to 2019.

UN World Data Forum one-pager
The 2020 Virtual UN World Data Forum’s one-pager provides highlights from the forum including session highlights and participant profiles.

UN-Habitat – World Cities Report 2020: The Value of Sustainable Urbanisation
The World Cities Report 2020 shows that the intrinsic value of sustainable urbanisation can and should be harnessed for the wellbeing of all. The report provides evidence and policy analysis of the value of urbanisation from an economic, social and environmental perspective, including the unquantifiable value that gives cities their unique character; and also explores the role of innovation and technology, local governments, targeted investments and the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda in fostering the value of sustainable urbanisation.

WHO technical guidance notes on Sendai Framework reporting for Ministries of Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) technical guidance notes on Sendai Framework reporting by ministries of health aims to guide the health sector, in particular ministries of health, on their role in collecting and reporting data that are relevant for the Sendai Framework targets and other related frameworks, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guidance notes comprise an overview and specific guidance notes for each of the seven Sendai Framework targets.

UNDP Issues Brief on Urban Climate Resilience
Cities globally are highly exposed to disaster and climate-related risks. With accelerating urban growth, increasing exposure to climate change risks and multi-dimensional vulnerability, it is critical for cities to employ an integrated, climate risk-informed development approach to advance resilient lives and livelihoods and achieve progress towards the SDGs.

World Bank – Resilient industries: Competitiveness in the face of disasters
Based on the studies of global cases, this report calls for proactive approaches to industry resilience, provides policymakers with ways to boost industry competitiveness in the face of disasters, and considers the roles of various stakeholders in advancing these goals.

Plenary Session 4: Crisis Reduction and Response and the Role of FAIR Data – Dec 4 (Online)
This double plenary session will explore the role of FAIR data in crisis reduction and response, with a specific focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

International Urban Resilience Forum Seoul 2020 – Dec 9 (Online)
The forum is aimed at introducing trends and best practices and facilitating discussions about ways to strengthen resilience and sustainable city development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum will provide excellent opportunities for city leaders and executives, experts, relevant organisations, and members of civil society to share their experience and knowledge regarding recent disaster-related issues.

Columbia University Climate School: Engaging the World’s Future Now – Dec 14 (Online)
Columbia is establishing this school to marshal its powerful assets in climate research and applied climate and Earth sciences to confront the myriad challenges of climate change. By establishing this first-of-its-kind school, the university will accelerate progress, nurture the most talented research community anywhere, launch innovative education programs, and forge new solutions.

Open Science for a Global Transformation: Call for Papers for a Special Collection in Data Science Journal – Dec 15
To encourage further discussion around the issues addressed in ‘Open Science for a Global Transformation’ and the draft Recommendation on Open Science, CODATA invites the global research data community to share their views, critiques and positions in an open discussion prompted by the draft recommendation and the CODATA-coordinated document.

Natural Hazards Center: The Opportunities and Challenges of Implementing Buyouts – Dec 8 (Online)
In this webinar, a panel of cross-sector experts will review the current state of knowledge about buyouts and discuss questions, concerns, and possibilities associated with relocation through buyout programs.

Using DDI-CDI to Describe Data Processing and Provenance: Dec 9 (Online)
In order to introduce potential reviewers to the parts of the specification which apply to the description of data processing and provenance, a webinar will be held on Weds 9 Dec at 15:00 UTC. The specification will be introduced, followed by a discussion period, with each the webinar lasting for an hour.