Author Archives: codata_blog

January 2021: Publications in the Data Science Journal

Investigation and Development of the Workflow to Clarify Conditions of Use for Research Data Publishing in China
Author: Lili Zhang , Robert R. Downs, Jianhui Li, Liangming Wen, Chengzan Li

Fostering Interdisciplinary Data Cultures through Early Career Development: The RDA/US Data Share Fellowship
Author:Inna Kouper, Lois A. Scheidt, Beth A. Plale

Improving Opportunities for New Value of Open Data: Assessing and Certifying Research Data Repositories
Author: Robert R. Downs

December 2020: Publications in the Data Science Journal

Investigation and Development of the Workflow to Clarify Conditions of Use for Research Data Publishing in Japan
Author: Yasuyuki Minamiyama, Ui Ikeuchi, Kunihiko Ueshima, Nobuya Okayama, Hideaki Takeda

Open Data Challenges in Climate Science
Author: Francesca Eggleton, Kate Winfield

Historical Scientific Analog Data: Life Sciences Faculty’s Perspectives on Management, Reuse and Preservation
Author: Shannon L. Farrell, Lois G. Hendrickson, Kristen L. Mastel , Julia A. Kelly

Incorporating RDA Outputs in the Design of a European Research Infrastructure for Natural Science Collections
Author: Sharif Islam , Alex Hardisty, Wouter Addink, Claus Weiland, Falko Glöckler

Implementing the RDA Research Data Policy Framework in Slovenian Scientific Journals
Author: Janez Štebe , Maja Dolinar, Sonja Bezjak, Ana Inkret

Role of a Croatian National Repository Infrastructure in Promotion and Support of Research Data Management
Author: Kristina Posavec , Draženko Celjak, Ljiljana Jertec Musap

39 Hints to Facilitate the Use of Semantics for Data on Agriculture and Nutrition
Author: Caterina Caracciolo , Sophie Aubin, Clement Jonquet, Emna Amdouni, Romain David, Leyla Garcia, Brandon Whitehead, Catherine Roussey, Armando Stellato, Ferdinando Villa

Going Digital: Persistent Identifiers for Research Samples, Resources and Instruments
Author: Esther Plomp

#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.

Humans of Data 031

“I get passionate when we can engender system change, and that’s often through policy change. Sometimes that’s top down, but it can also often be bottom-up – it feels good when we can make change by having a community come together.

It’s great to see the data community continuing to broaden, particularly to embrace the importance of software in enhancing data analysis.”

October 2020: Publications in the Data Science Journal

ODDPub – a Text-Mining Algorithm to Detect Data Sharing in Biomedical Publications
Author: Nico Riedel , Miriam Kip, Evgeny Bobrov

The FAIR Data Maturity Model: An Approach to Harmonise FAIR Assessments
Author: Christophe Bahim , Carlos Casorrán-Amilburu, Makx Dekkers, Edit Herczog, Nicolas Loozen, Konstantinos Repanas, Keith Russell, Shelley Stall

From FAIR Leading Practices to FAIR Implementation and Back: An Inclusive Approach to FAIR at Leiden University Libraries
Author: Kristina Maria Hettne, Peter Verhaar, Erik Schultes, Laurents Sesink

Raising Curiosity about Open Data via the ‘Physiradio’ Musicalization IoT Device
Author: Andrea Trentini, Simone Scaravati

Data Warehouse Hybrid Modeling Methodology
Author: Viktor László Takács , Katalin Bubnó, Gergely Gábor Ráthonyi, Éva Bácsné Bába, Róbert Szilágyi

Earth Science and Biodiversity Journals can Improve Support for Data Sharing
Author: Andreas Hübner

Who Does What? – Research Data Management at ETH Zurich
Author: Matthias Töwe, Caterina Barillari

Disaster Risk Reduction and Open Data Newsletter: November 2020 Edition

New International Earth Observation Group Tackles Disaster Risk Reduction
This past June, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) established a new international working group for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with over 90 members from around the world. This working group will promote good practice regarding the sharing of data and knowledge to improve DRR.

UN World Data Forum – Session recordings available
The UN World Data Forum was held from 19-21 October, and sessions recordings are now available. In particular, the CODATA session on Multi-Stakeholder Data Bridges may be of interest.

A new technique predicts how quakes would affect a city’s hospitals
A Stanford-led research team is helping disaster response officials figure out where injuries are likeliest to occur, so survivors can get to the hospitals best able to treat them.

Australia supporting Fiji with flood alleviation project
Australia is working in partnership with Fiji to mitigate the impact of floods on the major population centre of Nadi in a joint effort to save lives, reduce homelessness and protect the local economy. The Nadi Flood Alleviation Project will reduce the effects of these regular natural disasters on the commercial centre of Nadi town and on the Nadi flood plain.

Shaping the data governance landscape: A multi-sectoral approach to use, protection, and inclusive digital transformation
COVID-19 is rapidly shifting perceptions, priorities, and needs as they relate to digital and data policy, and this has accelerated the urgency of discussions around data governance. In this blog post, Tom Orrell, SDSN TReNDS’ member and Director of DataReady on behalf of Open Data Watch discusses the four recommendations that came out of a recent UN World Data Forum virtual session on this issue.

WMO: South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System Launched
The South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System (South Asia FFGS) has been officially launched, ushering in the prospect of improved early warnings for a major natural hazard in one of the world’s most populated regions.

Launch of INFORM Severity Index: a new tool to compare severity of crises
The INFORM Severity Index is an improved way to objectively measure and compare the severity of humanitarian crises and disasters globally. It can help us develop a shared understanding of crisis severity and ensure all those affected get the help they need.

New updated version of the DRMKC Risk Data Hub: a big step in the story of disaster loss data
The EC DRMKC Risk Data Hub proposes a facilitated access to knowledge, networks, tools, methods and disaster risk and loss data.

WHO: Pandemic fatigue – Reinvigorating the public to prevent COVID-19
Across the WHO European Region, Member States are reporting signs of pandemic fatigue in their populations – here defined as demotivation to follow recommended protective behaviours, emerging gradually over time and affected by a number of emotions, experiences and perceptions. Responding to a request from Member States for support in this field, this framework document provides key considerations for the planning and implementation of national and subnational strategies to maintain and reinvigorate public support to prevent COVID-19.

IDF: The Development Impact of Risk Analytics
The need for the Development Impact of Risk Analytics report became clear at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019, which saw some fundamental shifts in risk policy. The authors of this report are united in the view that the ability to analyse risk should be shared more widely than it currently is, particularly for public sector decision-makers and other risk owners in climate-vulnerable countries. This can be achieved through cross-sector partnership, use of already available open-source technology and the application of open modelling principles.

Combining UAV Imagery, Volunteered Geographic Information, and Field Survey Data to Improve Characterization of Rural Water Points in Malawi
As the world is digitizing fast, the increase in Big and Small Data offers opportunities to enrich official statistics for reporting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). However, survey data coming from an increased number of organizations (Small Data) and Big Data offer challenges in terms of data heterogeneity. This paper describes a methodology for combining various data sources to create a more comprehensive dataset on SDG 6.1.1. (proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services).

Communication structures and decision-making cues and criteria to support effective drought warning in Central Malawi
Early warning systems trigger early action and enable better disaster preparedness. People-centred dissemination and communication are pivotal for the effective uptake of early warnings. Current research predominantly focuses on sudden-onset hazards, such as floods, ignoring considerable differences with slow-onset hazards, such as droughts. In this paper, the essential factors contributing to effective drought dissemination and communication using the people-centred approach advocated in the WMOs Multi-Hazard Early Warning System Framework (MHEWS) are identified.

UNOPS – Infrastructure for small island developing States: The role of infrastructure in enabling sustainable, resilient and inclusive development in SIDS
In its latest report, UNOPS explores the role of sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure in overcoming challenges and enabling development in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

CODATA: Units of Measure for Humans and Machines: Making Units Clear for Machine Learning and Beyond
This document is a manifesto and call to action produced by the DRUM (Digital Representation of Units of Measure) Task Group as part of its efforts to mobilise representatives from International Scientific Unions and Associations to engage with this fundamentally important issue.

Nov 5 – UNDRR: World Tsunami Awareness Day 202- Ready for the Next Wave!
On 5 November 2020, UNDRR will invite country representatives at the Ambassadorial level, based in Geneva to a 60-minute High-Level Panel to share with a virtual audience how they are implementing disaster risk reduction plans and are preparing to face the next tsunami.

Nov 2-6: Fifth World Landslide Forum 2020
The ICL and the Global Promotion Committee of the International Programme on Landslides (GPC/IPL) will organize the Fifth World Landslide Forum (WLF5) on 2-6 November 2020 in Kyoto Japan. This conference is the mid-term conference of ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships 2015-2025. A new long-term global platform for understanding and reducing landslide disaster risk (Kyoto 2020 Commitment) to 2025, 2030 and beyond will be launched at WLF5. The ICL is now calling for speakers with full papers or abstracts and PPTs.

16-19 Nov: WMO Data Conference (Virtual Conference)
The WMO Data Conference aims to develop a common understanding among entities from all sectors of society of the roles, requirements and arrangements for the international exchange of observations and other data for monitoring and prediction of the Earth System environment, including weather, climate and water.

Nov 20 – CODATA Webinar – Better Software, Better Data Handling
Software practices, skills and training have become an essential part of the toolkit of any researcher who deals with data. In this webinar, we cover how better software skills help you become better at data handling and what support is out there to improve your practice. The webinar is focused on an ECR audience.

2-6 November – GEO WEEK 2020
GEO Week 2020 will showcase the efforts to implement the Canberra Declaration by highlighting initiatives from GEO Members, Participating Organizations and Associates in a series of live discussions and interactive content. The GEO Highlights Report will be launched as an interactive website and PDF showcasing the impact of the GEO Work Programme with highlights from 2020.

Open Science for a Global Transformation: Call for Papers for a Special Collection in Data Science Journal

2021 is likely to be a very significant year for the transformation of science and the adoption of Open Science and FAIR practices.  UNESCO, the educational, scientific and cultural organization of the United Nations, is preparing a Recommendation on Open Science to be adopted (it is hoped) by the UNESCO General Assembly in November 2021.  Against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic—which has accentuated the need for international research cooperation, scientific transparency and data sharing for robust evidence and informed decisionmaking—UNESCO has conducted a global consultation and drafting process for the Recommendation on Open Science.

In June 2020, CODATA coordinated and published ‘Open Science for a Global Transformation’, a response to the UNESCO consultation from a number of partner international data organisations. The first draft of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was released for feedback from member states and the scientific community in early October 2020.  

To encourage further discussion around the issues addressed in ‘Open Science for a Global Transformation’ and the draft Recommendation on Open Science, we invite 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.  Our intention is to create a forum for debate and ultimately a body of reasoned argumentation which can be referenced throughout the UNESCO process.  In the Data Science Journal, this will also form a significant body of scholarly material exploring and defining issues around Open Science. 

Three venues are envisaged for this discussion:

We invite scholarly essays, review articles, practice papers and research articles that discuss issues around Open Science and relate their argumentation to topics addressed in ‘Open Science for a Global Transformation’ and in the draft UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.  Please consult the scope of the Data Science Journal and the descriptions of the categories of article.  All submissions should be scholarly and will be peer reviewed.  While ensuring quality and rigour, the editorial team will do its best to expedite publication.  The collection will serve as a scholarly contribution to the global debate on the content of the UNESCO Recommendation and on the contours and characteristics of Open Science in general.  We will aim to ensure that any articles submitted by 15 December, will be published in time to be referenced during the timescales of the UNESCO review process (see below).  Accepted articles submitted after that date will be included in the collection on Open Science and will still be relevant to the ongoing discussion and debate around the Recommendation.  Submit contributions to the Special Collection at 

If you would like to contribute to this discussion through something more like a blog post, and opinion piece, or if you would like to test your ideas before submitting an more scholarly contribution to the Data Science Journal, then you can do this through a curated collection on the CODATA blog.  To do so, please send your piece to  The proposed blog posted will be checked by the CODATA secretariat and a member of the author group and then published.

  • Threads on the CODATA International List

Finally, we also encourage the community to share ideas and discussion of the draft Recommendation through the CODATA International news and discussion list.  Simply subscribe to the list and send your ideas and views to  Be sure to start the title of your message with ‘UNESCO Open Science Recommendation’.

We welcome any and all contributions to these forums!

The UNESCO Consultation and Recommendation on Open Science

The practices of Open Science and calls for transformations of the way science is practiced, communicated and assessed have accelerated in the past two decades.  Leading transnational organisations including the International Council for Science, OECD and European Commission, have recognised Open Science as the key mode for research in the 21st century.  Recognising the significance of the movement, but also aware that in a ‘fragmented scientific and policy environment, a global understanding of the meaning, opportunities and challenges of Open Science is still missing’, UNESCO launched a global consultation in March 2020.  This has as its objective ‘to build a coherent vision of Open Science and a shared set of overarching principles and shared values’ through the development of ‘an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science’ to be agreed at the UNESCO General Assembly in November 2021.

This is a precious opportunity for the worldwide research community to express priorities, report relevant experiences, and share visions for the future, thus helping to shape a new global order for research and its governance. A UNESCO Recommendation is a timely, important and urgent way to promote Open Science and provide concrete suggestions to national governments and research organisations, including scholarly societies, universities, and research groups.

Consultation on the Draft UNESCO Recommendation

The first draft of the UNESCO Recommendation was produced, on the basis of the consultation and supported by the UNESCO Open Science team, by an international Open Science Advisory Committee, and was published for consultation in early October 2020.  Feedback on the draft Recommendation is invited from UNESCO Member States and from the global research community until the end of January 2021.  After that point, the Advisory Committee will resume its work to produce a second draft.  The revised draft, approved by the UNESCO Director General will be sent to Member States in April 2021.  This will be followed by a process of negotiation culminating, it is hoped, in the adoption of the text at the General Conference in November 2021.

The draft Recommendation offers a definition of Open Science and it presents a set of core values and principles.  Importantly, it lays out seven key areas of action, directed at Member States and other named stakeholders:

  1. Promoting a common understanding of Open Science and diverse paths to Open Science
  2. Developing an enabling policy environment for Open Science 
  3. Investing in Open Science infrastructures
  4. Investing in capacity building for Open Science
  5. Transforming scientific culture and aligning incentives for Open Science
  6. Promoting innovative approaches for Open Science at different stages of the scientific process  
  7. Promoting international cooperation on Open Science

Like any such document, the draft Recommendation tries to synthesise and reconcile a range of views and positions (not necessarily opposed or divergent, but with different emphases, concerns and priorities).  Therefore, discussion and critique of the ‘Open Science for a Global Transformation’ document and the draft Recommendation are to be expected and encouraged.  It is precisely through such scrutiny that we can ensure that this global statement on Open Science is as robust as possible.

We invite the global research data community, such as the readership of the Data Science Journal and those engaged with the Data Together organisations and other data and information organisations, to seize this opportunity and to use these venues described above to share scholarly discussion, opinion pieces, critiques and proposals in relation to the UNESCO process and Recommendation.  This will both provide a resource which can be fed into the direct process of consultation and feedback, and offer a longer-lasting collection of public and reasoned views and debate on the age-defining issue of Open Science.

We are particularly interested in articles documenting regional dimensions, exploring neglected issues, critiques and arguments to improve the Recommendation, and discussions of issues to address in order to ensure positive and equitable outcomes from Open Science implementation. There will also be opportunities for further discussion at the International (Virtual) FAIR Convergence Symposium in December 2020 and other events such as the Virtual RDA Plenary meeting in November 2020.