Data for the Planet: making data work across domain boundaries

You are here

05 Dec 2019

Data for the Planet: making data work across domain boundaries

Submitted by Simon Hodson

Meeting objectives: 

BoF proposal relating to the CODATA International Science Council Decadal Programme ‘Data for the Planet: making data work across domain boundaries’

This BoF session seeks to engage existing RDA Groups and the RDA community with the International Science Council’s Science Action plan and the Decadal Programme ‘Data for the Planet: making data work across domain boundaries’ that CODATA is preparing as part of that initiative.  It is hoped that RDA groups can contribute to the programme.

The target audience is:

Scientists and data experts with an interest in cross-domain global challenge research, including but not limited to, the Sustainable Development Goals, Disaster Risk Reduction, infectious and non-infectious diseases (SDG3), resilient cities (SDG11), biodiversity, agriculture and nutrition.

Experts in metadata specifications, vocabularies, taxonomies and semantics relevant to any of these areas.

Existing RDA Groups on SDGs, domain interoperability and so on.

RDA discipline focussed-IGs/WGs

We may look to initiate an Interest Group if that is felt to be a useful means of furthering engagement and collaboration on the Data for our Planet Decadal Program.

For these reasons we would prefer to avoid clashes with:

Sessions to avoid conflict with:


Earth Space and Environmental Science IG

The Social Science Interest Group

And also the Data Quality Assessment joint meeting; Vocabulary Services Group.

Meeting agenda: 

Introduction to the objectives, impact and means of the Decadal Programme: Simon Hodson (10 mins)
Summary of the technical approach: interoperability for cross-domain research, findings of two Dagstuhl Workshops: Simon Cox, Steve McEachern (10 mins)
Introduction to pilot case studies (resilient cities, disaster risk reduction): Theresa Anderson, Resilience Brokers; Bapon Fakhruddin, CODATA TG and Tonkin Taylor (10 mins)

Structured Discussion: (1 hour)

  • Technical Objectives
  • Pilot Case Studies
  • Partnerships and Collaboration.
Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Short introduction describing any previous activities: 

The pressing and major global scientific and human challenges of the 21st century (including climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction) can only be addressed through research that works across disciplines and geographical boundaries to understand complex global systems, and that uses a transdisciplinary approach to support extraction of the required knowledge and understanding.

Overall, the ability to link, combine and analyse diverse data from different disciplines, at scale, so as to model and identify patterns in complex systems remains embryonic and insufficiently realised. The manual effort required to prepare and ‘clean’ data before use is an enormous and unacceptable diversion of scientific resources. It is estimated that 80% of research expenditures are used to prepare, harmonise and combine inconsistent data prior to analysis. The ultimate impact is to limit our ability to respond rapidly and efficiently to global problems. Overcoming these barriers is crucial if we are to use to best effect the increasing quantities of diverse data to understand the complex systems that are at the heart of global challenges. Doing so will require the widespread adoption of replicable, generic approaches to combining and linking data and of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data standards in more science disciplines and interdisciplinary research areas. 

As part of its Action Plan ‘Advancing Science as a Global Public Good’ (, the International Science Council has tasked its ‘Committee on Data’ to prepare a Decadal Programme: ‘Data for the Planet: Making data work across domain boundaries’.  This session will introduce the objectives, intended impact and planned means of the programme.

Exploration of the technical challenges has been conducted at two DDI CODATA Dagstuhl Workshops and with pilot case studies covering the SDGs, Disaster Risk Reduction, Infectious Diseases and Resilient Cities.  Presentations will communicate the challenges encountered and the methodology and approach developed to address these.  

Among other means, to establish the programme, CODATA and ISC will issue a call for participation to establish partnerships and identify contributing organisations.  This BoF will discuss these mechanisms and potential collaborators in Australasia and South East Asia as well as in the RDA community.  Above all, the BoF is intended as a platform for engagement and collaboration with existing RDA Groups working in related areas.  The possible creation of an Interest Group to assist this engagement will be discussed.

Remote participation availability (only for physical Plenaries): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (3):