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Reports of IUCr representative to CODATA

Dear Mike

Please find attached the 2007 annual report and the 2005-08 triennial
report of the CODATA representative, which I am also copying to the
Electronic Publishing Committee list for information. I'm sorry it
has been so late in coming!

Best wishes


IUCr 2007 Report - ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology

CODATA hosted or sponsored the following meetings during 2007:

* Annual meeting of the International Association for Social Science
  Information Service and Technology (IASSIST), Montreal, Canada,
  15-18 May 2007. This meeting focused on the theme of "Building
  Global Knowledge Communities with Open Data".

* Workshop on common-use licensing of scientific data products,
  Paris, France, September 2007. This was hosted in collaboration with
  the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Science

* 2nd International CODATA Symposium on Generalization of Information,
  Geneva, Switzerland, 1-3 October 2007.

* PV 2007: Ensuring  the Long-term Preservation and Value Adding to
  Scientific and Technical Data, Oberpaffenhofen, Germany, 9-11 October

* International Symposium on LandCover Logic: From Sensors to
  Cartographic Products and Business Processes, Berlin, Germany, 29-30
  November 2007.

CODATA also participated actively in the Global Earth Observation
(GEO) Summit, Cape Town, South Africa, 27-30 November 2007, at which
it presented a White Paper 'Implementation Guidelines for the GEOSS
Data Sharing Principles'.

Several CODATA Task Groups also held meetings during the year:

* The Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and
  Technical Data in Developing Countries organized a major workshop
  in Brazil in May.

* The Task Group on Data Sources for Sustainable Development in SADC
  Countries held its first meeting jointly with the Preservation Task Group
  in Pretoria, South Africa on 16-17 May.

* In March, the Task Group on Fundamental Constants released the 2006
  version of the CODATA internationally recommended values of the
  fundamental physical constants. The new values are available from
  the NIST web site at

* The Task Group on International Polar Year (IPY) Data Policy and
  Management held its first meeting in conjunction with the launch
  of the IPY in Paris; a second meeting took place in Quebec in the

* The Task Group on Anthropometric Data and Engineering met in Banff,
  Canada in August.

* The Task Group on Data Sources in Asian-Oceanic Countries (DSAO) met
  in Beijing on 4-5 December.

Following the ICSU Priority Area Assessment review on Scientific Data
and Information, CODATA has moved to develop a Strategic Plan covering
the period 2006-2012. A public review draft of the Plan was released
in July 2007. The IUCr Representative has provided input to this, as
well as to proposed minor modifications to the CODATA Constitution.

CODATA appointed Professor Paul A. David as a co-opted member of the
Executive Committee to take the lead on CODATA-led EU activities
promoting the Global Information Commons for Science Initiative

The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics has joined CODATA.

In 2007 the CODATA Office in Paris moved from the premises it occupied
since the late 1970s on boulevard de Montmorency to 5 rue Auguste Vacquerie.

The IUCr CODATA Representative continues to work closely with the
ICSTI Representative, Professor J. R. Helliwell, on matters of common

B. McMahon, IUCr Representative.


IUCr 2005-2008 Report - ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology

CODATA is the interdisciplinary Committee on Data for Science and
Technology of the International Council for Science (ICSU). It is
currently a worldwide network of 23 national data committees, two
Associate National Members, 16 international scientific unions, 4
co-opted delegates, and 20 supporting organizations from industry,
government and academia which define and lead its scientific
programme. It is concerned with collection, management, manipulation,
access to and exploitation of quantitative data in science and
technology. Specific projects are addressed by Task Groups answerable
to the CODATA General Assembly, by Working Groups, by themed workshops
or conferences, and by publications on specific aspects of data
handling or data compilation, including conference proceedings.

The major activities of CODATA in the past triennium were as follows.

The 20th International CODATA Conference took place in Beijing, China,
in October 2006. Its theme was 'Scientific Data and Knowledge within
the Information Society'. Over 600 delegates attended. Several
sessions celebrated CODATA's first 40 years of existence, and many
other sessions focussed on continuing developments in data collection,
management, interpretation and curation. The IUCr representative
presented a paper on the impact of publishing policy on data quality.
A full meeting report is available at

In response to the ICSU Priority Area Assessment review on Scientific
Data and Information presented in 2004, a draft Strategic Plan was
developed to guide the future activities of CODATA. This Plan will be
presented to the next General Assembly in 2008. The Draft recommends
that CODATA pursue three major initiatives during the period
2006-2012: the Global Information Commons for Science Initiative
(GICSI), the Scientific Data Across the Digital Divide Programme; and
Advanced Data Methods and Information Technologies for Research and
Education. The IUCr delivered a response to the initial GICSI
prospectus (http://www.iucr.org/iucr-top/iucr/gicsi/response.html) and
has taken note of its principles in its evolving approach to
understanding the application of intellectual property rights to
scientific data.

The new Mission Statement for CODATA, arising from the development of
its Strategic Plan and adopted at the 25th General Assembly, emphasises
the social responsibility of scientists in their approach to handling data:

    'The mission of CODATA is to strengthen international science
     for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific
     and technical data management and use.'

Details of CODATA's involvement in other meetings and projects can be
found in the annual reports of the undersigned. Although many
activities are of global scope, or fall well outside the areas of
scientific interest of the IUCr, engagement with CODATA remains
important for following developments in general aspects of data
management, access, interoperability, intellectual property rights
and archiving. I believe that we also have an important role to play
in continuing to emphasise the importance of applying the highest
achievable quality criteria to the handling of physical science data,
as a model for good practice in other disciplines.

The CODATA web site is at http://www.codata.org. 

B. McMahon, IUCr Representative.

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