WDS - World Data System

As a member of the global network World Data System (WDS), SND has agreed to follow certain requirements and guidelines to ensure that research data are stored, managed, and disseminated in a sustainable and secure way.

Logo World Data System

What is World Data System?

The World Data System (WDS) is an interdisciplinary body of the International Science Council (ICS, previously ICSU). The WDS began its operations in 2008, with an overall goal to – in keeping with the ICS vision – promote a sustainable and equitable development of accessibility, management and quality-assurance of data and data-related services across the world. Currently, WDS has over 70 member organisations worldwide.

More specifically, WDS strives to build an international network of high-quality research data archives in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. To achieve this, WDS supports their members, who are data archives and other organisations that offer data-related services, in being certified according to internationally acknowledged standards. The most well-known certification standard may be the CoreTrustSeal, which was developed by WDS in collaboration with DSA (Data Seal of Approval), and RDA (Research Data Alliance).

In the current Strategic Plan (2019–2023), WDS lists three major targets:

  • Improve the sustainability, trust in, and quality of open scientific data services
  • Support active disciplinary and multidisciplinary scientific data service communities
  • Make trustworthy data services an integral part of international collaborative scientific research.

The role of SND in WDS

As a member of WDS, your data, data management, and services must uphold a certain quality. WDS has a strong connection to open data, and organisations that become members commit to making research data more accessible for the research community, as well as the public.

It is voluntary to apply for a WDS membership. A repository or other data service can apply for a membership on different levels: Regular, Network, Partner, or Associate Member. SND has been a member of WDS since 2016, when it entered as a Regular Member, which means that SND had obtained a CoreTrustSeal certification. This certification signifies that the recipient organisation has committed to certain requirements and guidelines to offer high quality data and data-related services, and that they participate in international coordination and harmonisation efforts.

Benefits to the research community

The SND membership in WDS means that data shared in the SND research data catalogue can receive more international recognition. By using established standards, research data can be searched and found by users across the world. At the same time, the membership is a quality assurance of the data disseminated by SND. Researchers who make their data accessible via SND can trust that the data are securely and sustainably managed and stored, and described with rich metadata that make the data understandable and re-usable for future users.

Further reading