Why Open Data?

Publication Year: 08. 04. 2017    Date of last inspection: 08. 04. 2017

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« The field of research is undergoing major transformations. We are entering the era of open science, which is about a systemic change in the way science is performed and with more focus on data-driven research.«

Ron Dekker, Director of CESSDA

 

Research data represent the basis of scientific research and through analysis enable making theoretical and applicable conclusions.

Open access to research data means basically the same conditions of access in the framework of individual categories of interested users, such as researchers, teachers, students and regular citizens. Open access data need to be prepared in a form that will enable users to use them for various other purposes. 

When there are justified ethical or legal reasons for the protection of data, such sensitive data may be accessible under limited conditions. The ADP offers several such options:

  • data files with different levels of protection, prepared for different users (PUF - public use file, SUF - scientific use file, ScUF - Secure use file, CUF - campus use file),
  • different types of users, based on their purpose of use: scientific, public, educational, commercial,
  • regimes of access: standard access, access under special conditions, access in a safe room.

Regardless of the access mode, all users of data at the ADP are obliged to respect ethical principles and national legislation from the field of the protection of personal data and limitations of the possibility of identifying individuals. If users violate these provisions, they are held criminally responsible.

 


Introduction to Open Science, Open Access and Open Data

Janez Štebe, ADP course for doctoral students, Ljubljana 2015

 

Open access brings:

  • transparency of research,
  • higher visibility and citation of scientific publications,
  • encourages open scientific debate,
  • serves as an important source for education and further research,
  • enables the study of research methods,
  • encourages the potential new use of data, a combination of data from different sources and reduces cost, since there is no need to collect similar data.

 

 

The benefits of open access to research data can be divided into benefits for data creators, benefits for the scientific community and public benefits.

 

Benefits for data creators:

  • Future reuse of data by data creators themselves is made easier if data are properly documented and preserved.
  • Indirect benefits for data creator’s academic reputation and career development include increased citation counts and wider dissemination of their research findings; data may be formally assessed for scientific excellence and form part of researcher’s bibliography thus adding points to the score of scientific excellence.

 

Benefits for the scientific community:

  • New research findings which can only be achieved by using and combining available data from multiple sources, e.g. studies of trends or international comparative research, studies of rare or small populations, meta-analysis.
  • More robust research findings can be derived as a result of validating and through further analysis based on data related to publication.
  • Increasing the number of findings by enhancing the number of users of the same data, with efficiencies gained through the removal of duplication of effort and/or the need to repeat raw data collection due to a shortage of funds and time.
  • Training of future scientists, using research data for teaching purposes.

 

Public benefits:

  • Research findings based on existing data on certain topics can improve the quality of life; in Social Sciences gaining a better understanding of the community is important, including building a collective identity and eliminating prejudice, discrimination, inequality etc.
  • Open access to data also introduces savings relating to public spending on research and education.

 

An increasing number of research funders, representatives of the scientific community, and the public recognize the importance and benefits of open access to data. They have in common the principle that research data produced by publicly-funded research are a public good.

 

  How to cite this page?

Social Science Data Archives. YEAR. Why Open Data?. Accessed: http://adp.fdv.uni-lj.si/eng/usposobi/odprti_podatki/ (DD. month year).

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ADP is part of the Social Sciences Research Institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Slovenian Research Agency provides funding of the ADP within the infrastructure program "Network of Research and Infrastructural Centres" The ADP is a member of the umbrella organization of the European Social Science Data Archives CESSDA ERIC. © ADP (ISSN 2385-9415) | 1997 - 2017 | arhiv.podatkov@fdv.uni-lj.si