Open Data can be defined as ‘data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike’ (https://opendatahandbook.org/guide/en/what-is-open-data/).
Nationally and internationally, there is increasing commitment to the principle that data which are publicly funded should be publicly available. Open data is becoming increasingly available throughout the world, released by governments as part of the transparency agenda.
Open data can’t be an afterthought. It’s essential to know at the outset of your research project if you’ll be making your data open, so that you can plan accordingly.
Some of the issues to consider when it comes to making your data available include:
- Ethics and security: where data access must be restricted for ethical or security reasons
- Data protection: where human data cannot be de-identified, so data cannot be shared in order to protect patient/participant privacy
- Large data: where data is too large to be feasibly hosted by a recommended repository
- Third party data: where data has been obtained by a third party, and restrictions apply to the availability of the dataset
Preparing your data for sharing is one of the most time consuming elements of the research lifecycle, but also one of the most important. Firstly, you should consider how to make your data as open as possible, and as closed as necessary. Are there any ethical or security issues around sharing your data? Do you need to anonymise your dataset to protect confidentiality or participant privacy?
The issues that will be considered in the lunchtime webinar Ask a research support expert: Open Data are:
- Why publish data?
- FAIR data
- Data repositories
- Data publishing
You can book your place in DATES.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash