Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Open Data to the Rescue?

People Have Mixed Hopes About Whether Open Data Will Improve ThingsValid data and a belief that government is a public good can be motivators in society. The PEW Research Center 2015 report Americans’ Views on Open Government Data documents the not-quite-tipping-point of the value of open data. It seems the jury is still out!

More data is available everyday:

DATA.GOV – managed and hosted by the U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies

OECD Data – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

World Bank Data – Economic Indicators

DC Open Data – District of Columbia GIS (DC GIS)

Researchers are working toward shared definitions and repositories of data. Data management is an added task that researchers find troublesome.

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities defines data as “materials generated or collected during the course of conducting research” (National Endowment for the Humanities).
  • The National Institutes of Health define research data as “Recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to document and support research findings” (National Institutes of Health).
  • The National Science Foundation’s definition describes data as something “determined by the community of interest through the process of peer review and program management” (National Science Foundation). Examples of data provided by NSF include data, publications, samples, physical collections, software, and models.

Where Should You Keep Your Data? by Karen M. Markin (April 2015)

Many libraries are playing a leadership role in this effort. Data storage and preparation can get complicated quickly for the nonexpert, and it’s useful to have someone knowledgeable who can guide you through the intricacies of naming and formatting data for easier access by others. Federal agencies plan to establish standards for these so-called “metadata.”

Data Repositories

Open Access Directory Registry of Research Data Repositories

Universities & Partnerships

Dataverse – Since 2012, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science has collaborated with Harvard Library and Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) to make the Harvard Dataverse openly available to researchers and data collectors worldwide from all disciplines to deposit data.

ICPSRInstitute for Social Research at the University of Michigan

PURR – Research Data at Purdue University

For more see Research Data Services @ CUA.


— Kimberly Hoffman

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