IVOA Standing Committee on Science Priorities (CSP)

Terms of Reference (2015-):

Motivation and Objectives:

The Virtual Observatory (VO) is designed to enable new scientific research via interoperability of astronomy resources (data and software) around the world. Scientific prioritisation of IVOA activities is essential to ensure that the development and operations of the Virtual Observatory (VO) are relevant to the research needs of the astronomy community. The primary objective of this Committee is to identify the high level scientific requirements for the VO of major astronomy projects and of the wider astronomy community as input to the setting of priorities for IVOA. The Committee's activities around the collection of requirements are intended to provide a high level entry point for major astronomy projects to interact with IVOA, and are also intended to foster the concept of major astronomy projects being “participants in”, rather than “customers of” the IVOA.


The Committee will take action within the context of the IVOA to enable the use of the VO by the research community. The Committee will consult as widely as needed, in particular to gather of use cases and requirements from major astronomy projects. The Committee is expected to develop plans to vigorously encourage the creation and implementation of infrastructure, services and tools, and other activities. Such plans are expected to include the definition of ‘minimal requirements’, and the identification of CSP member(s) who will ‘champion’ priority topics. These plans, after endorsement by the Executive, will be carried out in close collaboration with the TCG. It is likely that such activities will often draw upon the expertise of several Working Groups or Interest Groups. Monitoring of the progress of tasks and related Working Group tasks will be done in liaison with the TCG with regular reporting to the Executive. Any resources required for Committee activities will be negotiated among the relevant parties on a case by case basis.


The membership and internal governance of this Committee will be determined by the Chair of the IVOA Exec in consultation with the Chairs of the IVOA TCG, the IVOA Exec Vice-Chair, and others as needed. The Chair of the IVOA TCG shall be a member ex-officio of this Committee. The nominal term for members of the CSP is expected to be 3 years. It is expected that the CSP will include scientists associated with IVOA member projects, and (at least two) scientists associated with major astronomy projects. The Chair of the Committee has the responsibility to coordinate the activities and to report to the Executive.

Committee Members:

Current Projects

Project Status/notes
Time Series

Use cases focus sessions collected for May 2013 interop

Coordination with Time Domain Interest Group

Use Case development page (To be reviewed 2016)

Multi-dimensional Data Use cases collected for focus sessions for May 2013 interop Use Case development page (next steps to be defined 2016)
  Follow-up Focus Session on Multi-dimensional Data were held in May 2014 InterOpMay2014MultiD
  Standards for Multi-d data access close to convergence (SIA v2.0, AccessData/SODA v1.0, DataLink v1.0, ObsCore v1.0) Aim for 1st set of multi-d standards finalised early 2016
  Focus Session on “Interoperability of data from major astronomy projects” at the May 2016 IVOA Interoperability Meeting IVOA_Project_Survey.pdf: Survey version 21 Oct 2016

Past Projects:

Project Coordinator
ObsTap David Schade
SED Builder Evanthia Hatziminaoglou and Paolo Padovani
Search for Classes/List of Objects Mark Allen

Previous Committee Members


Terms of Reference (2010-2015) (PDF)

Topic revision: r23 - 2016-10-21 - MarkAllen
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