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

Paola Di Maio paola.dimaio at gmail.com
Thu Aug 4 19:28:36 UTC 2011

Thank you Chris

>  Key Perspectives are independent  consultants, so not subject to FoI >except where they hold data on behalf of others, including JISC who >commissioned this work. I have some sympathy for their practice; >qualitative data are often this kind of one to one interview data and >potentially very sensitive.

I suggested that the data could be anonymized instead of being
destroyed  - so that I would not have to know the name of the person,
but still have an idea of their demographics, for example - job title,
institution,department, city, town etc. I would really like to analyse
such data according to different segmentation in relation to
geographical differences for example, would there be differences
between north and south, or between different institutions, and
disciplines, as this could serve the public good and provide
additional science for the same buck.

I am currently carrying out similar research, and I have nowhere near
the budget that JISC provides for this kind of reports to be
researched and published, and I have to rely with much more notional
datasets (smaller samples) . I even hitchike and camp outdoors to be
able to collect my data within my budget

so yes, privacy of interviewees should be protected, but the data
should be kept in anonymised form for both validation/replication, as
well as for further manipulation

the two do not have to be mutually exclusive, if the management of
science is properly handled,

to have no record at all is also not good practice, for the reasons
stated in the due diligence article Tim posted

>  I don't think JISC has a formal policy on retention of underlying data; >it does have policies on openness, and on retention of outputs. It >might be worth pressing them.

It is going to be my pleasure  :-)

>Even so, the privacy issues in qualitative data would need to be taken >into account.
Sure thing

Paola (she :-)

> --
> Chris Rusbridge
> Mobile: +44 791 7423828
> Email: c.rusbridge at gmail.com
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> On 2 Aug 2011, at 13:57, Paola Di Maio wrote:
>> 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
>> 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
>> differently
>> 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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>>> open-science at lists.okfn.org
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