Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Toward a World Data System

International science community agrees on first steps to establish a global virtual library for scientific data, a press release from the International Council for Science (ICSU), October 23, 2008.  Excerpt:

The existing networks for collecting, storing and distributing data in many areas of science are inadequate and not designed to enable the inter-disciplinary research that is necessary to meet major global challenges. These networks must be transformed into a new inter-operable data system and extended around the world and across all areas of science. The General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) agreed today to take the first strategic steps to establish such a system....

[A] large amount of valuable scientific data remains inaccessible. Over 50 years ago, ICSU established networks of data centres and services to provide full and open access to scientific data and products for the global community. But the world has changed enormously in 50 years, most notably with advances in technology, and it is time for the existing structures to be integrated into a new expanded system —a World Data System....

Ray Harris, chair of the expert Committee that produced the report said, ‘Data is the lifeblood of science and there are many exciting developments, which mean that access to scientific data both for science and for policy making should be much easier....’

The report and more information on the General Assembly are available [here].

PS:  There are many links on the page to which the press release refers us.  I can find the info on the general assembly but not the report.  If anyone has a deep link to the report, please drop me a line.

Update (10/27/08).  Andrew Treloar believes this is the report ICSU had in mind, even though it's dated June 2008.  Sections 3.2 and 5.3 cover the world data system, although the document covers many other topics as well.

Update (10/27/08).  Also see the article in Research Information.