ICSU World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science


The ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) concept aims at a transition from existing stand-alone services to a common globally interoperable distributed data system that incorporates emerging technologies and new scientific data activities. ICSU-WDS strives to become a worldwide ‘community of excellence’, providing trusted data services for global science with searchable common data directories and catalogues, and thus ensuring the long-term stewardship and provision of quality-assessed data and data services.

Many organizations that manage scientific data and data services and networks thereof have already joined us, and our community is striving and steadily growing.  WDS Regular and Network Members undergo a lightweight certification procedure through an application system. WDS Members are reviewed by the WDS Scientific Committee on criteria such as access to high-quality data, data stewardship, and participation in broad harmonization and interoperability efforts.

We would like to build on the fact that some of our Members are active participants in the ESIP Federation to find synergies and establish mutually beneficial collaborations. This town hall meeting will be an opportunity for those with an interest in ICSU-WDS, both current and prospective Members, to liaise with some members of the WDS Scientific Committee and the International Programme Office in an informal environment. Discussions will no doubt include—but will not be limited to—an introduction to ICSU-WDS, the benefits of your organization becoming a WDS Member and the application procedure, as well as the current initiatives that ICSU-WDS is undertaking and those planned for the future.


- non-gov organization - memberships representing 130 national science academies (interdisciplinary) and unions (disciplinary).

- promoting international collaboration. traditionally focus on environmental science

- particular emphasis for providing science for policy

- promoting universal participation in science research

- long term vision emphasizes universal and equitable access to science / information.

Strategic targets

1. trusted data services for international community
2. nurture active scientific data services community
3. improve trust and quality in science data services
4. improve the funding environment
5. Position WDS as premier network for quality research data

Trying to promote

- full and open access data policy
- broad disciplinary and geographic coverage
- trusted scientific data repositories and services

Membership types

- regular - data curation and data analysis - 54
- network - networks of regular members - 9
- partner - contribute support (but not data or curation) - 3
- associate (interested organizations) -16

Future Earth Project

10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades.

- http://www.icsu.org/future-earth

ICSU World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science; Summer Meeting 2014. ESIP Commons , May 2014