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Faculty Toolkit: Scholarly Communication: Open Data

Open Data Repositories & Initiatives

Open Data

Open data facilitates the visibility and re-use of research data without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

 According to the Open Data Handbook, open data has the following characteristics:

  • 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.
  • Reuse and Redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit reuse and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.
  • Universal Participation: everyone must be able to use, reuse 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.

Why open data? Read this article at PLOS Biology for a compelling case to make data freely accessible.

Wondering how to open your own data? The Open Data Handbook provides this guideline.

Open Data: How We Got Here and Where We're Going - Rufus Pollock