CODATA: Unlocking the Power of Data

Guo Huadong
President, Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)

Technology has been pushing science into new frontiers for decades. These advances in science in turn have demanded advances in technology, creating a cycle of progression. At the center of all this has been data—persistent, scientific data of ever-increasing volume. Scientific data include data entities from observations, experiments, simulations, models, and higher-order assemblies, along with the associated documentation needed to describe and interpret the data. The use of digital technologies to collect and manage these data has transformed the scientific landscape. Data that are “born-digital” — available only in digital form and preserved only electronically — are increasingly becoming the primary output of science and the starting point for new research. Data-intensive science has emerged as a new paradigm of science. It is clear that the need for well-developed, globally-coordinated data strategies is even more important than it was at CODATA’s inception. As CODATA is an interdisciplinary body of ICSU, it strengthens international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use. CODATA’s outreach and collaborative activities fall under what has been dubbed the Hand in Hand Program, whereby CODATA links together various international organizations through their common interest in and reliance on scientific and technical data. CODATA will explore cooperation with WDCM in the future to implement data sharing best practices as they are developed by the international data science community. This is CODATA’s place in science and society: doing all that is necessary to unlock the power of data.