The International Conference on Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability (SciDataCon) is motivated by the conviction that the most significant research challenges – and in particular the pressing issues relating to global sustainability – cannot be properly addressed without due attention to various issues relating to data. SciDataCon aims to make explicit the connection between concrete and specific challenges to ensure environmental protection, economic prosperity and social well being along with the research questions that arise from these challenges and the necessary role of data policy, management and analysis in addressing these research questions. The effectiveness and credibility of research findings rely on the widest possible availability of quality-assessed and interoperable datasets.
Research data are essential to all scientific endeavours. The emerging cultures of data sharing and publication, open access to, and reuse of data are the positive signs of an evolving research environment. Nevertheless, several cultural and technological challenges are still preventing the research community from realizing the full benefits of these tendencies.
The Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)
and the World Data System (WDS)
, interdisciplinary committees of the International Council for Science (ICSU)
are together advancing this agenda by actively promoting effective data policies and good data management practices in the research community, to produce better science, which ultimately benefits society. As a major contribution to this effort, the two organizations are co-sponsoring and organizing a high profile international biennial conference, which will examine, in an integrated way, the data issues at the heart of the global research questions and in a manner that will have tangible benefit for research and society.
Addressing the theme of Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability
, SciDataCon 2014 will feature four main tracks: (A) Dynamic Planet, (B) Global Development, (C) Transformations Towards Sustainability, and (D) Data Science and Services
. This structure is intended to bridge cross-cutting data themes and research themes of Future Earth
, an international research programme on global sustainability coordinated by ICSU and its partners and starting in 2015. By focusing on the intersection of data issues and scientific research challenges—and by advancing data science and developing international data services—SciDataCon will also amplify the message of like-minded global data initiatives promoting data sharing and interoperability, such as the Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
and the recently established Research Data Alliance (RDA)
SciDataCon will provide a unique platform bringing together international experts and practitioners in data sciences, technologies and management; researchers from the natural, social, health, and computer sciences; research funders and sponsors; and policy makers and advisors.
With high-level keynotes, a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, and stimulating panels and poster sessions, SciDataCon is conceived as a focussed—yet inclusive—conference to address major issues in global data management. The International Scientific Programme Committee
is playing a key role in implementing the scientific programme with innovative online consultation and input from research and data communities worldwide. We are pleased to invite you to contribute to this exciting conference, which will take place on 2–5 November 2014 in New Delhi, India, hosted by the Indian National Science Academy.