[open-science] Open Science Microformats/Pattern languages? was Re: Launch of the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science + Is It Open Data?

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Thu Feb 25 21:37:53 UTC 2010

On 25 February 2010 15:30, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>
> wrote:
>> Perhaps it could be useful to have a brief guide to making data open
>> using existing legal tools on Panton Principles site? I.e. CC0/PDDL?
>> (Which is of course not to say that there aren't other ways of putting
>> things in public domain...)
> I have talked with Rufus and we have converged on attaching a form of words
> with the button which is simple and I think satisfies our various concerns.
> I need something which is almost trivial to implement; others need something
> which is legally acceptable. We've agreed Rufus will post it to make sure
> it's correct.

To follow up on Peter's comment here and earlier discussion:

* A button is a nice and simple way to announce to *human* readers
that the material is open. It is *not* however sufficient since it
isn't a license and you need to explicitly attach a license in some

* This can be done in a whole variety of ways including microformats,
embedding RDFa etc. The simplest, IMO, is to put license or a pointer
to the license in some prominent location relative to the data. (NB: I
am sceptical that you will be able actually to embed the license
information directly into the data in many cases -- realistically the
license is going to be "along-side" the data in some sense, either
because it is recorded in a dedicated set of metadata fields -- as in
an institutional repository -- or in a separate README.txt ).

To be concrete, here's the statement you could use for the Public
Domain Dedication and License (PDDL) -- this is direct from the How to
Apply section of <http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/>:

This DATA(BASE)-NAME is made available under the Public Domain
Dedication and License (PDDL) v1.0 whose full text can be found at:

So to summarize, I think the way to go is:

1. You add a pointer to a license or put the license alongside the
data (e.g. in a LICENSE file)
2.  [Optional but useful] You add an "open data" button

To see this in action (though with a different data license) see:
<http://www.ckan.net/license/> (and the page footer).


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