During Open Access Week, I wanted to give a nod to Open Data. You may have an intuitive sense of what “Open Data” means, but here is a definition: Open Data are public, accessible, described, reusable, complete, timely and managed. It sounds like a lot, but if you think about it, to do your research effectively, you already have your data described, reusable, complete and managed. (If you feel the need to brush up on strategies for that, the Data Management Program is here to assist.)
Once your data are in good shape, sharing is easy. Don’t think about it as the scientific equivalent of sharing vacation pictures; think about it as data publication. A 2014 study showed that the majority of researchers who share data do so through supplemental materials, but that means the data are buried in a pdf. Your data are powerful, and their use stretches beyond the publication with which they are currently associated. So, submit your data in their active form, ready to be managed or processed for analysis, to data repositories. You can read more about the impact of sharing data on the UC Curation Center blog.
And because open data aren’t just important, they’re fun, too–here’s that crossword puzzle.