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XXXI SCAR Delegates Meeting
9-11 August 2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina

SCAR XXXI WP10: Report on SCADM 

Working Paper 10
Agenda Item: 5.4
Posted/Revised: May 1
Person Responsible: Finney

Executive Summary

Title: SCADM Report

Authors: Kim Finney

Relevant URLs or references to other reports:  SCAR Data and Information Strategy: (or IP4c), SCAR DIMS Implementation Plan:

Introduction/ Background: The committee in SCAR responsible for all aspects of data and information management is the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data management (SCADM). At its 2009 business meeting, the SCAR Executive endorsed the SCAR Data and Information Strategy (DIMS), which was drafted by SCADM and an ad-hoc working group, consisting of representatives from the Science Standing Groups and the SCAR Executive. Following endorsement of the Strategy, the Chief Officer of SCADM, developed and promulgated a SCAR Implementation Plan designed to unpack key aspects of the Strategy, after consulting both SCADM and SCAGI members at a joint SCAGI/SCADM meeting held in Amsterdam in September 2009 and Science Standing Group members in Cambridge (early 2010). This report outlines the key recommendations made in the DIMS, lists the tasks in the DIMS Implementation Plan, introduces the need for a SCAR Data Policy and provides a progress report on where SCAR currently sits in terms of DIMS Implementation.

Important Issues or Factors: The SCAR DIMS can only be implemented if SCAR members commit to undertaking actions identified in the Implementation Plan and agree to follow the principles in the draft SCAR Data Policy. SCADM is primarily an information sharing body, with only a few members having established National Antarctic Data Centres with the capacity to take on the long-term stewardship of data. In the main these Centres operate independently and not as part of a SCAR system of interoperable repositories. The goal of developing an Antarctic Data Management System will only be realized through national contributions and active collaboration. Currently, national commitment to implementing the DIMS is low. There are a few members “carrying” the rest of the community in terms of SCAR data management support. This model is not sustainable.

Recommendations/Actions and Justification: Delegates should consider how their nation can contribute to DIMS implementation, or alternatively determine whether the current terms of reference for SCADM should be modified to better reflect its role as an information sharing forum only, rather than a group charged by SCAR with delivering data management infrastructure and services.

Expected Benefits/Outcomes: Improved SCAR data management infrastructure and practices. Alternatively, better alignment between member’s expectations of SCADM with respect to data management functions and SCADM’s ability to deliver on its terms of reference.

Partners: Potential DIMS Implementation partners include: Polar Information Commons, GCMD, WMO, IASC, Creative Commons, Science Commons, Global Biodiversity Information Facility, IODE.

Budget Implications: GCMD receives $10K p/a for its support on metadata matters (i.e. supplies AMD system and a part-time liaison officer).