Data is the underpinning for much of our scientific development. It’s a valuable resource, often taking significant time to collect, curate, and analyze. It can be used to alleviate simple issues – like improving traffic patterns and reducing gridlock – to more complex ones – like developing a cure for cancer.
Despite this, most non-personal data is needlessly inaccessible to the public, whether it’s forgotten on a graduate student’s computer, or locked down by legal restrictions. Making this data more open would spur innovation, create new industry, and reduce inefficiency in the scientific community.
Open Data is defined data that is:
- Is freely available on the internet;
- Permits any user to download, copy, analyze, re-process, pass to software or use for any other purpose; and
- Is without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself.
Already, a large community of organizations and projects have committed to sharing their data openly – from the Human Genome Project to towns and cities across the country. This has encouraged researchers to build upon their projects, use the data in new and inventive ways, and mine it for deeper conclusions – none of which would be possible with closed data.
At Creative Commons USA, we support efforts to unlock more data under the CC0 Dedication, either as standalone resources or in tandem with research articles.
For more information about open data, the case for it, and some interesting applications, go to: