Advances in Earth Science ›› 2009, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 612-620. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2009.06.0612

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Review, Reform and Prospect Analysis of World Data Center

Wang Juanle, Sun Jiulin   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101,China
  • Received:2009-02-12 Revised:2009-04-20 Online:2009-06-10 Published:2009-06-10
  • Contact: Juanle Wang

Wang Juanle, Sun Jiulin. Review, Reform and Prospect Analysis of World Data Center[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2009, 24(6): 612-620.

World Data Center is one of the interdisciplinary bodies in the  International Council of Science (ICSU). It was established in 1957 to serve the International Geophysical Year (IGY). Because of its success, the WDC system was made permanent and used for postIGY data. Through more than 50 years development, WDC system has made prominent achievements. For example, it has established 51 sub discipline data centers in the world, while it just had 27 data centers at the beginning. The strengths and weaknesses often tell much about an organization. Some ingrained weaknesses in WDC system also were expanded with its development. These challenges include sustainable development mechanism, top design for multi-disciplinary data centers, data management and services capacities, inter-operability among different data centers in the whole system. ICSU had realized these problems since the end of the 1990s, and finally made a reform resolution in the autumn of 2008 after long time consideration. The core content in the reform resolution is to create a new World Data System which is based on the original World Data Center and the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Services (FAGS), absorb other state of the art centers. This reform will enhance ICSU′s strategic leadership role on behalf of the global scientific community in relation to the policies, management and stewardship of scientific data and information. Considering the data sharing background in China, especially the progress of National Science and Technology Infrastructure, six suggestion points are given to nine World Data Centers in China, i.e., (1) join WDS positively, (2) enhance the data service capacities for global scientific community, (3) enhance the data exchange with other WDCs in the world, (4) Create the interoperability system in WDS, (5) implement the data sharing standards and specifications, (6) Training and capacities building.

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