[odc-discuss] odc-discuss "Making Your Data Open: A Guide"

Andrea Wiggins akwiggins at gmail.com
Tue May 19 16:33:29 UTC 2009

This looks like a nice start - I think the guide would benefit from  
more specific how-to steps/examples under "So How Can I Make My Data  
Open?" The text that is currently there provides arguments about why  
to do it rather than examples of how to go about doing it, which would  
probably be more helpful.

E.g., for #1 - What mechanisms can people use to make data publicly  
available? This would be a good place to link to repositories that  
host open data contributions, and information about setting up an API  
or web service, for example. It might also be a good idea to mention  
that people should evaluate the appropriateness of making a given data  
set open (e.g. human subjects data, some types qualitative data) and  
provide links to other venues for sharing restricted-access data. This  
provides a useful support to anyone who wants to share their data but  
for ethical or other reasons cannot make it an open data set.

Also, I think it's important to say that good metadata and data  
documentation are crucial to making open data reusable, since it  
shouldn't be assumed that readers will be familiar with data  
preservation best practices. I would go so far as to say that if there  
are no usable metadata or documentation, then the data are hardly open  
at all; from my experience, a data set without metadata is practically  
useless for reuse. Pointers to models or resources for how to document  
a data set would be very helpful.

For #2 - It might be handy to add info about providing citation  
information along with the license for those licenses which require  
attribution. If you want attribution, then making attribution  
information easily available is important.

Hope that helps -


On May 18, 2009, at 7:00 AM, odc-discuss-request at lists.okfn.org wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 11:19:05 +0100
> From: Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>
> Subject: [odc-discuss] "Making Your Data Open: A Guide"
> To: "odc-discuss at lists.okfn.org" <odc-discuss at lists.okfn.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<b68e90820905180319t1184dbccu1df6d04ab011141c at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> We've started work on an ultra simple guide to assist people who want
> to make their data open:
> <http://www.opendatacommons.org/guide/>
> A simple HOWTO has been one of the top requests and this is an attempt
> to address this.
> It's a first draft and we'd really like to hear any feedback people  
> have.
> Rufus
> ------------------------------
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> odc-discuss at lists.okfn.org
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> End of odc-discuss Digest, Vol 5, Issue 8
> *****************************************

Andrea Wiggins
PhD Student, School of Information Studies
Syracuse University

337 Hinds Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
awiggins at syr.edu

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