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Looking forward to 2021!

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2020 has been an ‘interesting’ year!  International collaborative organisations like CODATA have had to adapt to circumstances and make even more use of online, collaborative technologies and virtual meetings (which was already quite intense).  The absence of face-to-face meetings has not limited our productivity – we may even have done more, and some of these activities are listed below.

But this is certainly a time to look forward to a 2021 in which we will articulate and apply the lessons of the pandemic for FAIR data and Open Science! We will doubtless not go back to the previous ’normal’, our activities and ways of collaborating and meeting will evolve.  But there are some important events and activities to look forward to!

Looking forward to 2021!

International Data Week 2021: Data to Improve our World! Seoul, Korea and online, 8-11 November 2021.  Whet your appetite for K-Culture, K-Food and K-Data with this promotional video!

Call for Sessions, SciDataCon, part of International Data Week: deadline 31 March 2021.  International Data Week combines the RDA Plenary Meeting and SciDataCon, the international conference for scrutiny and discussion of the frontier issues of data in research, into one integrated programme.  The call for sessions in the SciDataCon component has been released with a deadline of 31 March 2021.

CODATA General Assembly: Elections and Approval of Task Groups: the next full General Assembly will take place on 12-13 November, following International Data Week.  This event will almost certainly combine in-person and virtual participation. At November 2021 GA will elect a new Executive Committee, Treasurer and Secretary-General, and appoint new Task Groups.  The call for nominations for the election and for Task Group proposals will be released before 12 May 2021 and the deadline will be 12 July 2021.

ISC CODATA Decadal Programme ‘Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challengesthe major focus of this initiative, which is part of the ISC Action Plan will be moving from the pilot phase to launching the Decadal Programme.  The first step will be the appointment of a Scientific and Technical Advisory Group.  Watch out for announcements of this and other activities.

Cooperation between Global Open Science Platforms: thanks to a Chinese Academy of Sciences funded project, and in partnership with the Data Together organisation, CODATA will play a major role to encourage cooperation and alignment between initiatives to develop Open Science platforms and clouds.  A major high level forum and symposium is being planned for late 2021.  Watch this space!

International Dialogue on Open Science: UNESCO has developed a draft Recommendation on Open Science: after further consultation it is hoped this will be adopted at the UNESCO General Assembly in November 2021, then launched at the World Science Forum, South Africa, December 2021.  To contribute to this discussion, CODATA has issued Call for Papers for a Special Collection in Data Science Journal on the theme of Open Science for a Global Transformation.  The collection will be ongoing and colleagues are encouraged to contribute to the global discussion on Open Science.

Achievements of 2020!

A significant achievement was the International FAIR Convergence Symposium, organised in partnership with the GO FAIR initiative.  There were 56 sessions, over 300 speakers, over 1100 registrants from 70 countries!  For those who registered, the session recordings are available through the Virtual Attendee Hub.  We will be making the presentations and recordings available via the conference submission site and the symposium’s Vimeo Channel.

Summaries of CODATA activities were presented and discussed at Virtual General Assemblies in June and November for which the presentations and recordings are available.

Achievements include but are not limited to…

The independent, CODATA Twenty-Year Review of GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility:

Open Science for a Global Transformation: CODATA-coordinated submission to the UNESCO Open Science Consultation:

Development of a range of pilot activities for the ISC CODATA Decadal Programme: Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges, including a series of webinars and workshops on the new DDI Cross Domain Integration specification.

The Task Group on FAIR Data For Disaster Risk Research has continued its successful monthly newsletter and launched a new series of policy briefs and webinars.  The TG received the GEO SDG Testimonial Award for work on Rapid Damage Mapping response in support of #SDG11 as part of GEO Week 2020.  Virginia Murray, a member of this Task Group and of the CODATA Executive Committee, has shown remarkable leadership in the ISC UNDRR review of hazard definition and terminology.

The DRUM (Digital Representation of Units of Measure) Task Group launched a manifesto ‘Units of Measure for Humans and Machines’ and activities to engage with the International Scientific Unions through ‘ambassadors’.  Members of the TG will be playing an important role in a BIPM Workshop on the International System of Units (SI) in FAIR digital data, 22-26 February 2021.

For other Task Group reports, see the presentation and recording from the recent Virtual General Assembly, held on 15 December.  Fuller reports will be made in the New Year!

The CODATA-RDA Schools of Research Data Science moved their activities online, with virtual schools at Trieste, Manchester and Costa Rica as well as a new website and newsletter.

The CODATA Connect Early Career and Alumni Network has been remarkably active, organising a webinar series on research data skills and on smart and resilient cities, a podcast series on data for resilient cities, and an essay competition!  Congratulations to Esther Plomp and to Francesca Eggleton and Kate Winfield for their essays already published!

Growing readership and citations for the Data Science Journal including a vibrant collection on Research Data Alliance Results

Concluding the Data Together agreement for closer and more coordinated collaboration between CODATA, GO FAIR, RDA and WDS.

New institutional members (including CNGB) and collaboration agreements with DDI, the Data Documentation Initiative and IIASA, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Ernie Boyko, CODATA Executive Committee member and Chair Canadian National Committee, and Bonnie Carroll, CODATA Secretary General and Chair US National Committee have led the creation of a National Committees Forum to improve bidirectional communication between CODATA and it’s National Committees.

These are just highlights of achievements and activities.  A fuller report will be published in 2021.

It remains simply to thank you, the CODATA members and community, for your support and to wish you all the best for the New Year!  For those of you taking winter or summer break, We wish you a happy repose. May we all burst like corks from champagne bottles into a successful 2021!