Contest Description

The World Data System is an interdisciplinary body of the International Science Council promoting universal and equitable access to quality-assured scientific data and associated services. With generous support from Canada’s New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO), the World Data System International Technology Office (WDS-ITO) is running a competition to highlight the use of WDS Regular and Network member data in Virtual Research Environments. 2 cash prizes of CAD$1,000 each will be awarded. In addition to the prize, we will recognize the winners in early spring 2022 and highlight their achievements on the WDS website.

We want to know more about how researchers, students, developers, and data scientists facilitate the pipeline of data between repositories and analytics engines, and we’re inviting you to show us your solutions. The purpose of the award is to incentivize and document innovative use, analysis, or visualization of WDS member data in Virtual Research Environments.

Virtual Research Environments (VRE), also called science gateways (SG) or virtual labs (VL), are platforms that promote innovation and collaboration within a scientific community. Examples of VREs include well-established community platforms like XSEDEiReceptor, and GenAp. For the purposes of this prize, we also consider computational notebooks to be a type of lightweight VRE, such as Jupyter Notebooks or RStudio. The Science Gateway Community Institute provides a large catalog of VREs, though this is not a comprehensive list.

Judging Criteria

  • Value added to the scientific community: Does it contribute to a known research issue or societal ill? Does it help inform decision makers?
  • Innovation in approach and style: Does the submission introduce novel ways of approaching a problem?
  • Reusability of end product: Can the submission be used by other members of the research community? How broad are the circumstances by which the submission can be reused?
  • Usability and removing barriers to entry: Is the solution user-friendly? Does the documentation accurately describe the workflow, is it readable and actionable? How complex is the technical background required to implement the solution?

Important Dates

  • Data Prize Opens: August 25, 2021
  • Data Prize Closes: December 1, 2021
  • Award Announcement: February 2022


The submission form is available for download. Please email your submissions to Soulaine Theocharides () with the subject line “WDS-ITO Data Prize Submission”.

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