A new role – but it’s still all about research data…!

I’d like to take the opportunity to let those in the UK and international research data communities who may follow this blog that I have changed roles.

On 1 August 2013, I started as Executive Director of CODATA – an international organisation with a long and distinguished history of promoting improved quality and availability of research data.


My principal task is to implement the new CODATA Strategic Plan 2013-18 which details a range of activities and interventions.

CODATA acts, in part, through a set of Task Groups addressing major data needs and policy issues in a wide range of subjects; alongside these there are a number of working groups (currently not well documented on the website) looking at diverse issues such as the data needs of Early Career Scientists, information standards for Nanomaterials, Legal Interoperability for research data and Ethics.

As an interdisciplinary body of ICSU, the International Council of Science, CODATA works closely with other ICSU bodies, in particular the World Data System – I am already involved in the WDS Data Publication Working Group and I look forward to working closely with Mustapha Mokrane, who is the Executive Director of the ICSU-WDS.  Similarly, both CODATA and WDS support ICSU initiatives like Future Earth.

CODATA engages closely with National Members, many with very active national CODATA committees, and with International Scientific Unions – this community is one of CODATA’s key strengths and it comes together every two years in a major conference (last time in Taipei for CODATA 2012)

With its mission ‘to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use’, CODATA is keen to work with scientific and research organisations and those communities that ‘care’ about data.  In particular, the Research Data Alliance will be a key partner.

For those who wish to know more about CODATA, I shall be setting up a blog linked from the CODATA website and shall carry on tweeting as @simonhodson99 ; you may also wish to follow @CODATANews !  My contact details can be found in the CODATA announcement.

I have very much enjoyed my time at Jisc, leading the Managing Research Data programme and working closely with the Digital Curation Centre – and I look forward to continued collaboration with all the wonderful people in the ‘data community’ in the UK and internationally in the future!