Opening up your data
- Authors: Derek Howard
- Lesson topic: A guided discussion on opening up your research data
What is open data?
“Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.”
More specifically, from the open data handbook and opendefinition.org:
- Availability and Access: the data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.
- Re-use and Redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit re-use and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.
- Universal Participation: everyone must be able to use, re-use and redistribute - there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), are not allowed.
- Maintain accountability:
When data is open, the results or findings of that data can be more easily verified, increasing public trust in research institutions and governments.
- Speed discovery:
When data is open, researchers working in parallel on similar problems don’t need to duplicate work and can use each other’s data to advance knowledge across their research area.
- Encourage collaboration across disciplines:
When data is open, researchers can more easily find those outside their subject area doing related or relevant work; these connections and collaborations may lead to new ways of approaching and solving problems.
- Solve a broader range of problems:
When data is open, new users– from academic researchers to citizen scientists to artists– may use it to answer questions, solve problems, or create public understanding in ways that the original data collector may never have imagined.
- Encourage public engagement with research:
When data is open and the findings are shared in a clear and accessible way, it increases public understanding, creates opportunities for public participation, and bolsters public support of research initiatives.
- Ensure that data is preserved:
When data is open and widely shared, the responsibility for the long-term archiving and preservation of that data is distributed across broader group of interested users.
Grant agencies care about open data:
Challenges to open data
How to open your data