[open-science] Evaluation of open data portals in the academic space

Hendrik Bunke bunke.hendrik at gmail.com
Tue May 20 10:04:17 UTC 2014

--On 2014-05-15 13:19, Adi Eyal wrote:
> I've always wondered whether APIs are important and worth the effort.
> Surely most academics won't be able to consume them? I always think of APIs
> as services for developers to build apps on top of.

APIs are important, not only for the data itself but also for
querying *and* writing metadata. We are working at the moment on
an open data portal in the field of econmics. Our focus is on
publication-related data, meaning especially the data authors of
journal papers have used for their articles. We also want to
provide integration packages for other systems (CMS or special
e-journal software). An API opens up a lot more possibilities for
this purpose. Otherwise the portal is just another 'data-silo',
only used by a few experts. So yes, APIs are also important 
for academics, since, for example, they would allow them to use
their usual software environment for uploading and curating
research data.

We are using CKAN (http://ckan.org) as the underlying portal
software (sorry for the promotion ;-). CKAN has a very extensive
API which allows access to nearly every function of the system
including writing and deleting of datasets. CKAN is not yet used
very widely as research data portal but it is the de-facto standard
in open government data. It can, however, be used as academic
data portal. Some insights from our project can be found here:


Dr. Hendrik Bunke
ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
--Innovative Information Systems and Publishing Technologies--
Tel.: +49 40 42834 454 (Hamburg) OR +49 421 7940430 (homeoffice)

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