[open-science] Launch of the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science + Is It Open Data?

John Wilbanks wilbanks at creativecommons.org
Fri Feb 19 19:49:04 UTC 2010

Blogged. As will not surprise folks, I focused on the importance of CC and
OKF coming to agreement :-)



Today marked the public announcement of a set of principles on how to treat
data, from a legal context, in the sciences. Called the Panton
they were negotiated over the summer between myself, Rufus
, Cameron Neylon <http://blog.openwetware.org/scienceintheopen/>, and Peter
Murray-Rust <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Murray-Rust>. If you're too
busy to read them directly, here's the gist: publicly funded science data
should be in the public domain, full stop.

If you know me and my work, this is nothing new. We have been saying
this<http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7917> since
late 2007. I've already gotten a dozen emails asking me why this is
newsworthy, when it's actually a less normative version of the Science
Commons protocol for open access to
used words like "must" and "must not" instead of the "should" and "should
not" of the principles).

It's newsworthy to me because it represents a ratification of the ideals
embodied in the protocol by two key groups of stakeholders. First, real
scientists - Cameron and Peter are two of the most important working
scientists in the open science movement. Getting real scientists into the
fold, endorsing the importance of the public domain, is essential. They're
also working in the UK, which has some copyright issues around data that can
complicate things in a way we forget about here in the post-colonial

Second, it's newsworthy because Rufus and I both signed it. Rufus helped to
start the Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/>, and he's an
important scholar of the public domain. We're in many ways in the same
fraternity - we care about "open" deeply, and we want the commons to scale
and grow, because we believe in its role in innovation and
creation...indeed, in its role in humanity.

But we're on different sides of a passionate debate about data and licenses.
I'm not going to recapitulate it here, you can find it in the googles if you
want. Suffice to say we have argued about the role of the public domain as a
first principle in general for data, as opposed to the specifics of data in
public funded science. But for both of us to sign onto something like this
means that even in the midst of heated argument we can find common ground -
public money should mean public science, no licenses, no controls on
innovation and reuse, globally.

It's important for the science part. It's also a good lesson, I hope, that
even those of us who find themselves on opposite sides of arguments inside
open are usually fighting for the same overall goals. I'll keep arguing for
my points, and Rufus will keep arguing for his, but that should never keep
us from remembering the truly common goals we share inside the movement. I'm
proud to be a part of it.

On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 5:59 AM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>wrote:

> Hi all,
> We're pleased to announce the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science:
> http://blog.okfn.org/2010/02/19/launch-of-the-panton-principles-for-open-data-in-science/
>  http://www.pantonprinciples.org/
> The Panton Principles were authored by Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron
> Neylon, Rufus Pollock and John Wilbanks at the Panton Arms on Panton
> Street in Cambridge, UK - with input from the Working Group on Open
> Data in Science.
> You can endorse the principles at:
>  http://www.pantonprinciples.org/endorse
> We'd be most grateful for any help disseminating the principles - by
> blogging, microblogging, forwarding to relevant colleagues and so
> forth.
> The 'Is It Open Data?' service, which allows anyone to make and
> publicly record enquiries about the openness of (scientific) datasets,
> is also now live at:
>  http://www.isitopendata.org/
> All the best,
> --
> Jonathan Gray
> Community Coordinator
> The Open Knowledge Foundation
> http://blog.okfn.org
> http://twitter.com/jwyg
> http://identi.ca/jwyg
> _______________________________________________
> open-science mailing list
> open-science at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-science
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