World Data System

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This page describes the World Data System and Dryad's involvement with it. The World Data System (WDS) is part of the International Council for Science (ICSU), and "aims at a transition from existing stand-alone WDCs and individual Services to a common globally interoperable distributed data system, that incorporates emerging technologies and new scientific data activities. WDS strives to become a world-wide ‘community of excellence’ for scientific data, with searchable common data directories and catalogues, which ensures the long-term stewardship and provision of quality-assessed data and data services to the international science community."

WDS has a data policy:

  • There will be full and open exchange of data, metadata and products shared within WDS, recognizing relevant international instruments and national policies and legislation;
  • All shared data, metadata and products will be made available with minimum time delay and at minimum cost;
  • All shared data, metadata and products being free of charge or no more than cost of reproduction will be encouraged for research and education.

The WDS currently has about 40 members. Membership the WDS involves a certification process, which uses an online self-assessment questionnaire which applicants complete, describing its capabilites. The criteria are in "four sections covering policies, organizational framework, management of data, metadata, and services, and technical infrastructure." Dryad is presently (spring 2012) considering applying for membership, and is evaluating the questionnaire and the criteria.


Certification summary

Application form