What Is Open Data?
is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone -
subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.
(From the Open Data Handbook)
The Open Data movement began with efforts to improve access to government data (see data.gov). This page focuses on open scientific data: the primary research data published within or alongside research papers.
Why Share Research Data?
- Allows data to be audited
- Data can be reused or recombined in unexpected ways
- Data can be used to plan new studies
- New markets for services related to curation, preservation, analysis, visualization
- Focus resources and efforts appropriately
- Avoid repeating studies
- Avoid repeating mistakes
- Work smarter and more quickly
- Prevent loss of data - A Canadian study reported that 80% of scientific data are lost within two decades: The Availability of Research Data Declines Rapidly with Article Age (Current Biology, 19 December 2013)
- Studies show that papers with publicly available datasets receive a higher number of citations: Data reuse and the open data citation advantage (PeerJ, 1 October 2013)
- From the NCBI Insights blog, 16 September 2013: "NCBI’s Open Data – A Source of Experimental Data for Important Discoveries".
This post summarizes 3 recent cases where researchers used data from
GEO, PubChem, and dbGaP to make significant discoveries.
- "Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimers", by Gina Kolata, New York Times, 12 August 2010
Open Data Resources
Data Repositories for the Biological Sciences
sharing data sets as a condition of publication, including
government-sponsored repositories, disciplinary repositories,
third-party repositories, and the UMMS institutional repository, eScholarship@UMMS.
Registries and Lists
Publicly Available Health and Social Science Data Collections
Other Sources for Data
Open Data & Data Sharing - Open Access - LibGuides at University of Massachusetts Medical School