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CODATA is an interdisciplinary group that primarily works to promote international standards. They have worked with TDWG on biology projects, including TAPIR and ABCD.

What are our objectives?

  • The improvement of the quality and accessibility of data, as well as the methods by which data are acquired, managed, analysed and evaluated, with a particular emphasis on developing countries
  • The facilitation of international cooperation among those collecting, organizing and using data
  • The promotion of an increased awareness in the scientific and technical community of the importance of these activities
  • The consideration of data access and intellectual property issues

CODATA has four primary activities, all in support of its fundamental aim of fostering worldwide cooperation in scientific and technical data:

  • Sponsorship of a Biennial CODATA International Conference on data, which attracts approximately 300 data specialists from around the world.
  • Specialist meetings of scientific data experts, which address issues specific to one discipline or topic.
  • Publications on data handling, data compilation, surveys of data activities, and conference proceedings.
  • Sponsorship of Task Groups, Working Groups, Commissions and other groups addressing specific data issues, such as:
* Coordination of multinational data project
* Establishment of format standards to promote data exchange, sharing, and compatibility
* Guidelines to presentation of data in the primary literature or archival databanks
* Supplying information on sources of reliable data
* Education and training
* Preparation of key data sets for which consistent international use is desirable
* Organization of conferences and workshop

Immediately relevant Task Groups: activities selected at the biannual CODATA General Assemblies. The following were approved at the November 2004 General Assembly meeting in Berlin, Germany.

A joint CODATA and TDWG* initiative supported by GBIF and BioCASE

“The objective of the ABCD task group is to foster accessibility of existing and emerging biological collection data banks at the international level by developing ad-coordinating proposals for data and metadata standards and standard protocols.”

Treasurer Stan Blum / California Academy of Sciences, USA / sblum at CalAcademy.org

"The International Working Group on Taxonomic Databases is a not for profit scientific and educational association, affiliated to the International Union of Biological Sciences, formed to establish international collaboration among biological database projects so as to promote the wider and more effective dissemination of information about the World's heritage of biological organisms for the benefit of the world at large. To achieve its goals, TDWG (a) develops, adopts and promotes standards and guidelines for the recording and exchange of data about organisms, (b) promotes their use through the most appropriate and effective means, (c) acts as a forum for discussion through holding meetings and through publication such as a newsletter"

Chairperson Walter Berendsohn / Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem, GERMANY / w.berendsohn at bgbm.org

Treasurer Stan Blum / California Academy of Sciences, USA / sblum at CalAcademy.org

"Long-term goal: To create a distributed, web-based index of all known species - a Catalogue of Life - available as both a Dynamic Checklist and a stabilised Annual Checklist from Species 2000 and ITIS, to facilitate general global access to data on the world's organisms. One component of this is to create and maintain an authoritative distributed database (the Global Plant Checklist) of all plant species."