ISC World Data System

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The ISC World Data System (ISC-WDS) was created by the International Science Council's (ISC) General Assembly in October 2008. [1][2][3][4] ISC-WDS goals are to preserve quality assured scientific data and information, to facilitate open access, and promote the adoption of standards.[5]

World Data System
Logo of ICSU World Data system
Formation2008; 13 years ago (2008)
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan
2018-2021 Chair
Sandy Harrison (UK)


The ISC World Data System superseded the World Data Centres (WDCs) and Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data analysis Services (FAGS) created by ICSU to manage data generated by the International Geophysical Year[6][7][8] (1957–1958).


The ISC World Data System is governed by a Scientific Committee[9][10](SC) made up of data scientists and experts. It is supported by the International Science Council as well as an International Programme Office (IPO), which is hosted and funded by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology[11][12] As of 2021, the International Program Office is hosted by the Oak Ridge Institute at the University of Tennessee (ORI at UT).[13]

In 2018 WDS announced the creation of the International Technology Office (ITO) hosted by a Canadian consortium consisting of: Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria, The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre and the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue at the University of Waterloo.[14][15][16]

A notable former member of the ICSU World Data System Scientific Committee is Professor Jane Hunter, who is the director of the E-Research lab in Queensland University.

Data Sharing PrinciplesEdit

The ISC World Data System member organizations adopt its Data Sharing Principles.[17]

  • Data, metadata, products, and information should be fully and openly shared, subject to national or international jurisdictional laws and policies, including respecting appropriate extant restrictions, and in accordance with international standards of ethical research conduct.
  • Data, metadata, products, and information produced for research, education, and public domain use will be made available with minimum time delay and free of charge, or for no more than the cost of dissemination, which may be waived for lower-income user communities to support equity in access.
  • All who produce, share, and use data and metadata are stewards of those data, and have responsibility for ensuring that the authenticity, quality, and integrity of the data are preserved, and respect for the data source is maintained by ensuring privacy where appropriate, and encouraging appropriate citation of the dataset and original work and acknowledgement of the data repository.
  • Data should be labelled ‘sensitive’ or ‘restricted’ only with appropriate justification and following clearly defined protocols, and should in any event be made available for use on the least restrictive basis possible


Member organizations of the ISC World Data System join voluntarily in one of the four membership categories: Regular, Network, Partner, and Associate Members. Members contribute their data holdings, data services or products. The updated list of Members is available on the ISC World Data System website : ISC-WDS Membership


  1. ^ "World Data System (WDS)". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  2. ^ Ad hoc Strategic Committee on Information and Data. Final Report to the ICSU Committee on Scientific Planning and Review (PDF). ICSU. 2008. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  3. ^ Ad -hoc Strategic Coordinating Committee on Information and Data Interim Report to the ICSU Committee on Scientific Planning and Review (PDF). ICSU. 2011. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-930357-85-6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  4. ^ Dieminger, Walter; Hartmann, Gerd K.; Leitinger, Reinhart (1996), "The World Data Center System, International Data Exchange, and New ICSU Programs", The Upper Atmosphere, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 921–941, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-78717-1_28, ISBN 9783642787195
  5. ^ "Constitution of the International Council for Science World Data System (ICSU WDS)" (PDF). Retrieved 12 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "International science community to build a 'World Data System'". itnews. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  7. ^ Cheryl Pellerin. "International Science Council to Revamp World Data Centers". Archived from the original on 21 October 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  8. ^ US National Academies. "The International Geophysical Year". Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  9. ^ Howard Moore. "WDS Scientific Committee". Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  10. ^ "WDS Scientific Committee". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  11. ^ "WDS‐IPO(世界科学データシステム国際プログラムオフィス)開所式概要" (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  12. ^ "世界科学データシステム国際プログラムオフィス開所式" (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Science for public good: new World Data System International Technology Office opens at University of Victoria | Ocean Networks Canada". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  15. ^ "UVic expands oceans, climate research - University of Victoria". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  16. ^ "WDS International Technology Office to Open in Canada — World Data System: Trusted Data Services for Global Science". Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  17. ^ Emerson, Claudia; Faustman, Elaine M.; Mokrane, Mustapha; Harrison, Sandy (2015). "World Data System (WDS) Data Sharing Principles". doi:10.5281/zenodo.34354. Retrieved 30 November 2015.

External linksEdit