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Implementation of the
GEOSS Data Sharing Principles
Robert S. Chen
Co-chair/Data Sharing Task Force
Geneva, Switzerland
1-3 February 2011
GEOSS Data Sharing Principles
• There will be full and open exchange of data, metadata
and products shared within GEOSS, recognizing relevant
international instruments and national policies and
• 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.
- GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan, 2005
GEOSS Data Sharing Task Team
• In 2006 GEO established the task DA-06-01 to “Further the
Practical Application of the Agreed GEOSS Data Sharing
• The DA-06-01 Task Team is led by the Committee on Data
for Science and Technology (CODATA), an inter-disciplinary
committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU)
• The Task Team produced:
– the Data Sharing Principles White Paper, which
provided a broad review of existing guidelines and data
sharing barriers
– the initial draft Implementation Guidelines, which were
widely circulated to the GEO community for review and
Data Sharing Task Force
• In response to the 2007 Cape Town Ministerial Summit, the
2008 GEO-V Plenary in Bucharest established the GEOSS
Data Sharing Task Force (DSTF), to build upon the
excellent work of the Task Team
• DSTF Terms of Reference: Objectives (selected)
– Submit an updated draft of Implementation Guidelines for the
GEOSS Data Sharing Principles to Plenary 2009
– Prepare an Action Plan to implement the Data Sharing Principles and
to enable the development of working procedures for data sharing
within GEOSS
– Produce (supporting) documentation (including assessments on the
actions to be taken; some representative costs and benefits; and
responsibilities for the proposed data sharing processes)
Implementation Guidelines for
the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles (DSP)
Accepted by the GEO-VI Plenary, Washington D.C., Nov. 2009
• Promoting implementation of the principle of full and open
exchange of data according to GEOSS Data Sharing Principles
• Enabling GEOSS users to reuse and re-disseminate shared data,
metadata and products
• Ensuring consistency in the implementation of the GEOSS DSP
with relevant international instruments and national policies and
• Implementing pricing policies consistent with GEOSS DSP
• Reducing time delays for making data available through GEOSS
• Promoting research and education uses of GEOSS data,
metadata and products
Data Sharing Implementation Guidelines
• When endorsing the Implementation Guidelines
the GEO-VI Plenary accepted that in the context of the
GEOSS DSP, “full and open exchange” means:
“…that data and information made available
through the GEOSS are made accessible with
minimal time delay and as few restrictions as
possible, on a nondiscriminatory basis, at
minimum cost for no more than the cost of
reproduction and distribution”
slide 6
GEOSS Data Sharing Action Plan
for the Implementation of the GEOSS DSP
Specifies 8 actions to be pursued by:
1, 2, 3
and 4
5 and 6
and PO
7 and 8
Proposed Data Sharing Action 1
• Create the GEOSS Data Collection of Open Resources
for Everyone (GEOSS Data-CORE) to address GEO
Societal Benefit Areas
• The GEOSS Data-CORE is a distributed pool of
documented datasets, contributed by the GEO
community on the basis of full and open unrestricted
access and at no more than the cost of reproduction and
* Global, homogeneous and comparable data would
therefore be particularly suitable and welcomed for the
Proposed Data Sharing Action 7
• Maximize the number of documented datasets
made available on the basis of full and open access
– “When no information about usage rights
and restrictions is provided, the presumption
within GEOSS will be that the data are fully
and openly available with no restrictions on
use and dissemination”
• If useful and appropriate for informing data
providers and users, the GEOSS could point to
machine-readable licenses or waivers of usage
rights to facilitate automated access and reduce the
burden on users to complete one or more license
Data Sharing Action Plan for GEO
Issues Under Consideration for GEO-VIII Plenary (and
1.Populating the GEOSS Data-CORE
2.User registration
3.Attribution and data tagging
4.Handling data with restrictions
5.Data quality/documentation
6.Legal liability
7.Intellectual property, licensing, and other frameworks
12 November
November 2010
• “But these instances are
now perceived as the
exceptions to the
rule…(a)nd that…testifies to
the profound cultural
change on data sharing that
GEO is helping drive.”
-- Bob Scholes, S. Africa
What Does This Mean for the IPCC?
• Implementation of the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles can
help change the culture of both institutions and scientists
regarding open access to data and greater transparency in
data management, access, and integration
– Could serve as a model for increased data sharing by the
broader set of nations and stakeholders represented in the
• Provides a voluntary intergovernmental framework for coming
to consensus on definitions, terms, standards, and
– Less constraining, faster than other intergovernmental bodies
– But not binding…depends on peer pressure, self interest
What Are Some Immediate Opportunities?
• Access to more historical/extant data held by GEO Members
and Participating Organizations utilizing the GEOSS
– Find and access data more easily through the GEOSS Common
– Work with GEO community to develop integrated regional/global
databases that can be made available without restrictions via the
• Development of real-time/near real-time monitoring
capabilities via GEOSS for key variables of interest to the
IPCC – and IPCC stakeholders
– Utilize GEOSS web services architecture including digital rights
management (tbd) to facilitate rt/nrt processing and integration
– Improve access and usability by a broad range of users
How Can the IPCC Help GEOSS Data Sharing?
• IPCC represents a key opportunity to demonstrate the value
of full and open access to data in supporting global and
regional decision making related to climate
• The long time frame of climate change provides a strong
rationale for the need for long-term coordination of data
management and access efforts
• The cross-cutting nature of climate change provides a
strong rationale for the need for cross-disciplinary data
sharing and integration efforts