Open Data WG

Open Data Policy is evolving with more countries adopting the approach that all data should be open and reusable with minimal restrictions.  While there are technical issues being addressed for improved data discovery and access, a broad open data policy impacts the social aspects of the science research community in many ways.  Both technical and social aspects are interwoven with policy.  Policy and financial resources are major drivers in advancing Open Data and must be included in a comprehensive strategy and implementation of Open Data.

The Open Data Working Group, in its RCN report, made the following recommendations:

  • In its implementation, Open Data must, among other things, improve the efficiency, the collaborative nature and impacts of scientific research. This will be achieved when Open Data implementation and Policy:

Is sustainable;
Preserves the peer review attributes of science and of publications and expands it to include data;
Assures scientists of recognition for their research;
Maintains data attributes such as provenance, metadata, quality attributes, etc.;
Allows easy discovery and access to data and information, particularly supporting cross discipline research;
Supports Intellectual Property Rights and licensing protocols;
Is compatible with evolving national and international policies;
Motivates participation and contributions;
Minimizes negative impacts on existing disciplinary systems;
Works across physical, social and economic sciences; and
Promotes access and use by the public and policy makers.

  • Metrics should be established to monitor status and progress in the above areas.
  • Adoption of Digital Object Identifiers or equivalent “globally unique persistent identifiers” should be expanded and widely implemented.
  • A peer review methodology for datasets and/or data repositories should be implemented
  • Journal publishers should have a clearly stated data policy regarding supplemental material and related datasets.

Addition recommendations along with the basis for these recommendations are available from the published article of the Working Group:

James Gallagher, John Orcutt, Pauline Simpson, Dawn Wright, Jay Pearlman, Lisa Raymond, “Facilitating open exchange of data and Information”, Earth Science Informatics December 2015, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp. 721-739.

Working Group Members