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 supporting and encouraging these positive changes by actively promoting effective data policies and good data management practices in the research community, to produce better science, which ultimately benefits society. Likewise, the challenges and opportunities of ‘Big Data’ may have ramifications for the conduct of science and for the whole of society: the value and importance of data are being recognized more than ever before.
As a major contribution to this effort, the two organizations are co-sponsoring and organizing a high profile international biennial conference on scientific research data. 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.
The sustainability challenges facing society today cannot be solved without multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary research on global sustainability, which requires the use, sharing and integration of data across scientific disciplines and domains and from international sources. The effectiveness and credibility of this research will rely on the availability to the research community of quality-assessed and interoperable datasets. In order to facilitate the work of international research undertakings—including the Future Earth international research programme on global sustainability launched by ICSU and its partners in 2014 — and amplify the message of like-minded global data initiatives promoting data sharing and interoperability—including the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the recently established Research Data Alliance (RDA) — SciDataCon 2014 will highlight the theme of Data Sharing and Integration for Global Sustainability.
With high-level keynotes, a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, and a stimulating poster session, 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.