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Open Access Toolkit: Open Data

What is Open Data?

The Open Knowledge Foundation's definition describes the 'openness' of data in the following statement:

"A piece of content or data is open if you are free to use, reuse, and redistribute it - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike."

  How do I find out if data is open?

Firstly, look on the publisher's website for their terms and conditions for data usage. For information on open knowledge licenses which may be applied to data see the Open Knowledge Foundation's page on licenses. If it isn't clear, it will be necessary to contact the publisher of the data.

See the Research Data Management Toolkit for further guidance on using 3rd party research data.

 How do I share my data?

There are a number of important factors to consider when making this decision, particularly in relation to ownership, and the UWA intellectual property policies and guidelines.

See the Research Data Management Toolkit for further guidance on sharing your research data. 

Open Data directories

You can use the following Open Data directories to find data repositories in your area of research.

Open Data repositories

Here are a small selection of Open Data repositories across various research areas. Browse the Open Data directories for data in your research area.

Open Data resources

The Denton Declaration: An Open Data Manifesto

On May 22, 2012 at the University of North Texas (UNT), a group of technologists, librarians, scholars, researchers, university administrators, and other stakeholders gathered to discuss and articulate best practices and emerging trends in research data management. This declaration bridges the converging interests of these stakeholders and promotes collaboration, transparency, and accountability across organizational and disciplinary boundaries. Declarations that emerged included the following:

  • Open access to research data is critical for advancing science, scholarship, and society.
  • Research data, when repurposed, has an accretive value.
  • Publicly funded research should be publicly available for public good.
  • Transparency in research is essential to sustain the public trust.
  • The validation of research data by the peer community is an essential function of the responsible conduct of research.
  • Managing research data is the responsibility of a broad community of stakeholders including researchers, funders, institutions, libraries, archivists, and the public.

For more information on the Denton Declaration, please click here.

Open Access, Open Data. Open Research?

What is Open Government Data?

Opening up access to government data is a growing area globally. See this video by the Open Knowledge International (formerly Open Knowledge Foundation), which explains the reasons for, and benefits of opening access to government data.

Open Data benefits

Arguments in support of open access to data tend to focus on the following benefits for researchers:

Professional archiving

  • Persistent identifiers
  • Established backups and recovery options
  • The application of standards in metadata, conversion, and preservation 

Distribution control and recognition

  • Branding and visibility
  • Data discovery
  • Ease of use
  • Scholarly citation
  • Update control
  • Terms of access and use

Control and recognition for your research

  • Formal data citation
  • Formal credit for your data
  • Branding

Data preservation and archiving

  • Re-formatting
  • Provision of persistent links, standards and exchange protocols

Dryad blog

Dryad logo

Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences. See some recent posts from their blog here:

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