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IDPC Terms of Reference


The CODATA International Data Policy Committee (IDPC) was formed in 2014 following a recommendation from the Executive Committee and an ISC Review of CODATA. The development of policies promoting open data for research had been a longstanding and prominent feature of CODATA activities. In order to ensure greater continuity and focus for these core activities — and to amplify CODATA’s voice in these matters — the CODATA Strategic Plan 2015-18 identified the IDPC as the principal means by which CODATA should further pursue an international FAIR and open data policy agenda for research.

Contributions to data policy are made, not only by the IDPC, but throughout CODATA in nearly all its engagements. CODATA has contributed substantially, for example, to the 2007 OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding and to successive iterations of the GEO Data Sharing Principles and Data Management Guidelines. From 2015, CODATA has produced a series of significant data policy reports. As well as deploying specific expertise through the IDPC, the CODATA Secretariat and parts of CODATA contribute to data policy activities. Among these activities, the CODATA Executive Director co-chaired the OECD-CODATA study on Business Models for Sustainable Data Repositories, chaired the EC Expert Group that produced the Turning FAIR into Reality report, and was Vice-chair of the Expert Advisory Group to UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science.

The IDPC supports and seeks to advance the implementation of UNESCO’s Recommendations on Open Science and on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. In the context of specific legal and policy frameworks for data privacy, data security, and intellectual property, the IDPC contributes to policy that reflects the position that data created by research and of use to research should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’. The IDPC advocates for open data policies and Open Science policies, facilitates discussion around best practices, and supports the development of robust policy frameworks and tools that reflect the goal of making research outputs open and data work for the benefit of society, including in the context of its uses in AI.


The International Data Policy Committee is composed of diverse and knowledgeable individuals who are dedicated to advancing responsible and effective data governance through data policy on a global scale. IDPC members play a vital role in shaping the development of policy studies, research, projects, publications, guidelines, and standards that promote data quality, reliability, and integrity, while upholding the values of open science and ethical principles and practices.

The IDPC aims to have diverse representation from various stakeholders, including government entities, industry leaders, academia, civil society organizations, and legal, ethical, and regulatory experts. The selection process involves identifying key individuals with the appropriate backgrounds and interests while largely representing important stakeholder groups who possess relevant expertise and can contribute meaningfully to the committee’s objectives. 

New members may be proposed by the CODATA Secretary General, members of the CODATA Executive Committee, or members of the IDPC. Members may also be recruited through an open application process that is periodically launched. See the recent call for IDPC Members published in July 2023

IDPC members are appointed for a 2-year term and are eligible for renewable for a second term. A third and final term may be engaged only in exceptional circumstances, if the member in question is leading a sub-group. The CODATA Executive Director and a liaison from the Executive Committee are ex officio members of the IDPC. The CODATA IDPC Chairperson is appointed by the CODATA Executive Committee for a 3-year term and is eligible for renewable for a second term. 

Expectations of the IDPC members are described in detail in the IDPC Membership Policy. The policy also outlines a.o. the decision making process or meeting frequency of the Committee. 

The Committee’s current membership, including bios and terms, is available at: