Thursday, June 22, 2017

Open data

Like open access journals, open data is another type of open access resource.

According to definition given by open data hand book Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.

Like institutional repositories, open data repositories are also getting popular.

The Harvard Dataverse ( is one such data repository which is open to all scientific data from all disciplines worldwide.  It has different categories of data such as Research Project, Researcher, Organization or Institution, Journal, Research Group,Teaching Course and Laboratory. Various file formats such as  Stata, SPSS, R, Excel (xlsx) and CSV files etc can be uploaded. Tabular data files can be further explored and manipulated with TwoRavens - a statistical data exploration application integrated with Dataverse.

There are different types of software available for hosting open data repositories such as open source, commercial and self hosting

Many experts have predicted that managing data will be one of the main job of librarians in near future. Hence it is important that librarians should be aware about the latest developments taking place in this area and get required skill sets also for managing such data and providing related services.

Due to vast benefits associated with making data available online, worldwide Governments in many countries have already adopted open access policies. In India also, Government has published National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP), March 2012 through which the Government of India has mandated opening up data by all publicly funded institutes and organizations.  

Accordingly data is made available at at national level. Similarly such data is also made available at state (e.g. for Maharashtra state and local i.e. district level (For e.g. Pune for transparency purpose.

Open data Search engines:

There are search engines specifically for searching open data. Few of them are:

There are other search engines also including some paid services with specialized data search.

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