When research data and any code associated with the data is made open by applying an open license and depositing it into a data repository, it allows others to easily access, share, and/or re-use the data.
- Reproducibility: At the most basic level of access and use, your code can be re-run to reproduce your results thus validating your research findings.
- Public Service Improvement: Open Data provides citizens with data they can use to engage their governments and improve public services. Open data in British Columbia allows individuals to reference any BC Legislation as a data-point.
- Accelerates the pace of discovery: When datasets are openly available, they can be easily accessed and used to create a fuller picture of a given area of inquiry, or analyzed by data mining software that can uncover connections not apparent to those who produced the original data.
- Research Transparency: Research transparency is required and recommended from funding agencies who request that authors make copies of their research outputs open access and, more recently, increasingly request that the associated data be made open whenever possible and appropriate.
- Impact: The impact of others using your data can increase the number of times you are cited, raise your research profile and improve your chance or future funding
- Data Management Practices: Opening data encourages and requires good data management practices by establishing a workflow for each stage of the data life cycle so that you can find and interpret that data months and years after having collected it.
- Data Control: Data deposited into an open repository in non-proprietary formats allows you to control how the data is shared and reused
Now that you have looked of the ways for that open data can be valuable, watch the following video TedX talk of Kristin Briney, a Data Services Librarian at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In this video Briney discusses some of the reasons open data can be so valuable in research and society.
With the emergence of the COVID pandemic in 2019, a growing number of organizations have beeing advocating for open data sharing to harmonize global efforts to combat the virus. Read Why open science is critical to combatting COVID-19 by the OECD to learn more about the importance of open data and open science to improve global pandemic response.