ICSU World Data System

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ICSU World Data System
Logo of ICSU World Data system
Abbreviation ICSU-WDS
Formation 2008; 10 years ago (2008)
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
2015-2018 Chair
Sandy Harrison (UK)
Website www.icsu-wds.org

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


ICSU World Data System superseded the World Data Centres (WDCs) and Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data analysis Services (FAGS) created by ICSU to manage data generated by the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[5][6][7] (1957–1958).


ICSU World Data System is governed by a Scientific Committee[8][9](SC) made up of data scientists and experts. It is supported by an International Programme Office (IPO), which is hosted and funded by the Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology[10][11] as well as the International Council for Science.

Data Sharing Principles[edit]

ICSU World Data System member organizations adopt its Data Sharing Principles.[12]

  • 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 ICSU 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 ICSU World Data System website :ICSU-WDS Membership

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


External links[edit]