The Community for Data Integration (CDI) is a community of practice whose purpose is to grow the knowledge base in data integration and management in the Earth sciences. CDI members include researchers, data managers, information technologists, and other practitioners in government, academia, and industry. The community is open to anyone who wants to contribute to the community.
The CDI fosters an environment for collaboration and sharing by bringing together expertise from segments of the Earth science community that may not normally interact. Most activity occurs online and includes monthly forums, an annual proposal process, topical collaboration areas, and trainings and workshops. The CDI is funded by the Science Analytics and Synthesis program in the USGS Core Science Systems Mission Area.
The CDI creates value by providing an open forum for solving data challenges for integrated science.
The CDI has approximately 1300 members. All members are invited to monthly virtual meetings and informed about the annual proposal process and biennial in-person workshops. Members may opt-in to smaller, topical collaboration areas (for example, data management, artificial intelligence and machine learning, software development), but are not required to be aligned with any subgroup. The CDI is run by one full time and a few part-time facilitators. The CDI is advised by a group of a few dozen CDI coordinators. Guidance and final decisions about funding support are provided by the CDI executive sponsors.
From the 2013 Annual Report (Chang et al., 2015).
In 2006, the USGS held the first Scientific Information Management Workshop to bring together staff from across the organization. Workshop participants discussed the data and information management issues affecting the integration and delivery of Earth science research and investigated the use of communities of practice as mechanisms to share expertise about these issues. Out of this effort emerged the Council for Data Integration, which was conceived as an official organizational function that would help guide data integration activities and formalize communities of practice into working groups. However, by 2009 it became apparent that many members of the council had an interest in developing data integration solutions and sharing expertise in a less formal grassroots perspective, thus transforming the "Council" into a "Community" for Data Integration (CDI). Today, the CDI represents a dynamic community of practice focused on advancing data and information management and integration.