[open-science] Centre for Global Development adopts open data policy for publications

Paola Di Maio paola.dimaio at gmail.com
Tue Aug 2 12:57:53 UTC 2011

Hi Tim

I feel very close the issue. I was hoping to be able to use some of
the raw data for a JISC funded resarch (a report by keyperspectives)
since I would like to analyse their data according to different
criteria, however it turns out that the original data has been
destroyed. (see the exchange below)

This prompted me to learn more of what does the JISC policy mandate in
relation to data preservation, and believe it or not, nobody has been
able to give a straight
answer yet  -  it does not seem to be written anywhere (that I could
find) Another paradox  ?
advice welcome :-)


PDM wrote to Key perspectives
mail, 1 August 2011

it's a pity that the records were not kept in anonymous form, so
thatthey could be further analysed and the data manipulated .queried

Isnt there a  legal requirement that research data record are kept for
a number of years?

it would also be interesting to be able to verify/cross validate your
findings, but without the original data, this will be impossible

I will then use your summary/conclusion as a reference

I must say that my own findings (enclose an overview of my research to
date) confirm your conclusions, however I have so far performedlimited
field work, and was hoping to be able to re-use your data(anonymous
would also be Okay) to spare myself further data collection

- Hide quoted text -

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 2:05 PM,
from keyperspectives to PDM

> Dear Paola,
> Thank you for your interest in the study. The methodology is included in the
> report as an appendix and is also attached here.
> The quantitative data that formed the basis of the work are from the JISC
> survey carried out some 12 months or so before JISC commissioned this study.
> The findings from that are attached.
> The qualitative data were obtained through a mix of in-depth personal
> interviews and focus group sessions. These were recorded as audio files to
> avoid having to have a note-taker at the sessions. The participants were
> made aware of this and their permission confirmed. This is how we always
> carry out such work and we always undertake to erase the files once the
> study is completed. The salient 'messages' were then distilled from the
> recordings to inform the analysis and the files were then erased, as
> promised to the participants/interviewees.
> As a matter of good practice, and to persuade people to participate in these
> exercises, we always promise both anonymity when comments from interview may
> be used in reports and the destruction of any audio recordings once they
> have been used. In special cases, where an individual is asked to make a
> statement to express a view on behalf of an organisation, permission is
> sought to quote them and to identify them, but the need for this is very
> rare. Most of our work of this sort is with groups of academic researchers,
> practitioners or business people, and anonymity is the currency in these
> instances. We are usually after a sense of the prevailing opinion on an
> issue, the majority view on things, and specific examples if people are
> prepared to provide them to illustrate their points.

On Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 11:26 AM, Tim Davies
<tim at practicalparticipation.co.uk> wrote:
> Hey All,
> Just spotted the link below and thought might be of interest to both
> open-development and open-science list members:
> http://blogs.cgdev.org/globaldevelopment/2011/08/cgds-new-data-code-transparency-policy.php
> The Centre for Global Development have adopted a new policy of publishing
> data and code alongside their research outputs, and David's post invites
> comment on the policy and outlines some of the issues they've been exploring
> in developing it. Brief extract from the policy below
> (http://www.cgdev.org/doc/blog/globaldevelopment/CGD%20Data+code%20transparency%20policy.pdf)
> "CGD analyses should be acts of social science. By some definitions, a sine
> qua non of science is replicability. The responsibility for replicability is
> especially great for research that aims to influence policy and ultimately
> affect the lives of the poor. Bruce McCullough and Ross McKitrick put it
> well in their report, Check the Numbers: The Case for Due Diligence in
> Policy Formation:
> When a piece of academic research takes on a public role, such as becoming
> the basis for public policy decisions, practices that obstruct independent
> replication, such as refusal to disclose data, or the concealment of details
> about computational methods, prevent the proper functioning of the
> scientific process and can lead to poor public decision making.
> In fact, transparency has many benefits:
> It makes analysis more credible.
> It makes CGD more credible when it calls on other organizations, such as aid
> agencies, to be transparent.
> Data and code are additional content, appreciated by certain audiences.
> It increases citation of CGD publications—by people using associated data
> sets.
> It curates, saving work that otherwise tends to get lost as the staff turns
> over.
> Preparing code and data for public sharing improves the quality of research:
> researchers find bugs.
> In the short term, CGD’s leadership in transparency will differentiate it
> from its peers. In the long term (one hopes), CGD’s leadership will raise
> standards elsewhere."
> All the best,
> Tim
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