This paper discusses the progress since 2003 of ICSU's strategy on improving access to data and information for science.
The paper starts with a review of the main arguments from the ICSU Panel Area Assessment (PAA) on information and data, namely more professional data management, ensuring universal and equitable access to data and information, and concern over the question of who pays for data and information.
The paper continues by presenting the results of the Strategic Committee on Information and Data (SCID) that led to the creation of the ICSU World Data System based in part on the old World Data Centres and the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data Services.
An update on the progress with the World Data System will be provided.
The final part of the paper presents the main issues identified by the Strategic Coordinating Committee on Information and Data (SCCID) including best practice on data management, the emerging role of data as a publication and the ways in which data access can be improved in less economically developed countries.