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International Council for Science : Committee on Data for Science and Technology
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2008 was indeed another busy year for CODATA- some of the major highlights at a glance were:

* New Members

The CODATA family expanded with the UK and Australia becoming formal members.

* Building European Activities with the support of the European Commission

CODATA European activities expanded under the COMMUNIA network signed with the Politecnico of Turin, Italy on the “Public Domain in the Digital Age.” This is a European funded Thematic Network. CODATA is taking the lead, in collaboration with other partners of the network, on the second international conference in 2009 on Global Science and the Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions (G-SEKSI). The first International Conference, in which CODATA participated, took place in June 2008 in Louvain, Belgium. More information can be found on

* Collaboration with GEOSS, Global Earth Observation System of Systems

CODATA, as scientific lead on GEO Task DA-06-01 “Review of GEOSS Data Sharing Principles”, built on the work that started in 2006. This culminated with a special side event organized by CODATA in conjunction with the GEO-V Plenary in Bucharest in November 2008. See The event focussed on Implementation Guidelines of the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles prepared by CODATA. Given its view of the importance of this activity, the GEO V Plenary meeting proposed expanding it to GEO Task Force status with direct involvement by both Member countries and the Scientific Participating Organizations (notably ICSU/CODATA).

* The G8 explicitly recognized the importance of data sharing issues in GEOSS

G8 Declaration on Climate Change Japan 08 “…….To respond to the growing demand for Earth observation data, we will accelerate efforts within the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), which builds on the work of UN specialized agencies and programs, in priority areas, inter alia, climate change and water resources management, by strengthening observation, prediction and data sharing”

* Building and Strengthening Scientific Activities

CODATA’s Scientific Agenda for 2008-2010 was strengthened by the approval of 10 International Scientific Task Groups and 1 Working Group by the 26th CODATA General Assembly. These address the following areas:

  • Anthropometric Data and Engineering
  • Biodiversity: Observation and Specimen Records
  • Data Exchange and Interoperability of Heterogeneous Data Resources for Material Research and Education
  • Data on Natural Gas Hydrates
  • Data Sources for Sustainable development in SADC Countries
  • Fundamental Constants
  • International Polar Year Data Policy and Management
  • Preservation of and Access to S&T Data in Developing Countries
  • eGY Earth and Space Science Data Interoperability
  • Global Information Commons for Science – EU-GICSI Activities
  • Working Group on Documentation, Archiving and Open Access to Disaster Information

* CODATA Strategic Plan 2006-2011 and request from ICSU

CODATA’s Strategic Plan for 2006-2011 was formerly endorsed by the 26th CODATA General Assembly in Kyiv, October, 2008. At the 29th ICSU General Assembly in Maputo, ICSU requested CODATA to focus its efforts on implementation of the three main initiatives in its strategic plan - the Global Information Commons for Science Initiative, Advanced Data methods and Information technologies for Research and Education, ADMIRE and Scientific Data Across the Digital Divide. The implementation of the Strategic Plan will be led by the Officers and new Executive Committee, see below.

* CODATA Prize Award Recipient 2008

Dr. LIU Chuang, from the Institute of Geography and Natural Resources in Beijing, was the 2008 recipient of the CODATA Prize. She received the award for her outstanding achievement on the world stage in scientific data research, policy and management issues while simultaneously nurturing international cooperation and highlighting the many challenges facing data scientists in developing countries. She is the leader in development of the Global Alliance for Enhancing Access to and Application of Scientific Data in Developing Countries of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID).

* Newly appointed Officers and Executive Committee

The 26th CODATA General Assembly elected Robert Chen, Director of CIESIN, Columbia University New York as Secretary General of CODATA for the period 2008-2012. Michel Sabourin, Treasurer of IUPsyS and former Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Montreal, was elected Treasurer for the same period. CODATA’s mission and strategic plan will be led by the Officers and the newly appointed CODATA Executive Committee as elected by the 26th General Assembly (details on

* CODATA International Conference 2008

The organisation’s work in 2008 culminated in the 21st International CODATA Conference held at KPI, Kyiv in October. It was an outstanding success attended by approximately 400 scientists from around the world. The theme the Conference emphasized was the importance of the information society and the role IT plays in cultivating and nurturing an open access environment to scientific data and information. Many young scientists participated recognizing the importance of engaging the younger generation of scientists to lead future developments in a world community increasingly dependent upon information and scientific data. CODATA is committed to building on these activities in 2009. An excellent report on the Conference was prepared by CODATA IUCr Delegate, Brian McMahon and it will be available shortly on the website.

These are only some of the highlights of CODATA activities over the last year. More information can be found on our website at

We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank our National Members and Supporting Organizations for their support and collaboration. It is thanks to you that CODATA is able to carry out its activities.

CODATA Secretariat
December 2009.



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