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Archive for February, 2010

Panton Principles

“For science to effectively function, and for society to reap the full benefits from scientific endeavours, it is crucial that science data be made open.” The just-released Panton Principles propose that “data related to published science should be explicitly placed in the public domain.”

The creators recommend “adopting and acting on the following principles:”

  1. When publishing data make an explicit and robust statement of your wishes.
  2. Use a recognized waiver or license that is appropriate for data.
  3. If you want your data to be effectively used and added to by others it should be open as defined by the Open Knowledge/Data Definition – in particular non-commercial and other restrictive clauses should not be used.
  4. Explicit dedication of data underlying published science into the public domain via PDDL or CCZero is strongly recommended and ensures compliance with both the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data and the Open Knowledge/Data Definition.

These principles were written by Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock and John Wilbanks at the Panton Arms in Cambridge, UK, and then refined by the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Data in Science. There are open data web buttons available, and individuals and organizations can endorse the principles here.

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There are lots of opinions and answers to this question.  For starters, here’s a lively blog post, responding to this editorial last April.  Consider also this blog post.

What do you think are the barriers to data sharing?

Data from: Thompson S, Daniels K. 2010. A porous convection model for small-scale grass patterns. American Naturalist 175: E10-E15. Dryad Digital Repository. http://hdl.handle.net/10255/dryad.857

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The Journal of Evolutionary Biology, the journal of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology, has just published an editorial supporting data archiving. The editorial is now available online:

The need for archiving data in evolutionary biology.  Allen J. Moore, Mark A. McPeek, Mark D. Rausher, Loren Rieseberg, Michael C. Whitlock.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2010.
Published Online: Feb 9 2010
DOI: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01937.x


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The journal Evolution has joined other Dryad partner journals in announcing a new data archiving policy mandating, as a condition of publication, that the data used in a paper be made publicly available.

The editorial says

Data that are properly archived are saved for posterity, and the archives also function to preserve data in a useable form for the original authors. Moreover, if datasets are put into a readily interpretable format while the methods and structure of the data are foremost in the scientists’ minds, that data can be used later more easily by those scientists and others.

When fully in place, the policy will require authors to archive the data required to support the conclusions in their published paper, along with sufficient details that a third party can reasonably interpret those data correctly.

To be implemented next year, the policy is parallel to those already announced by two other prominent journals, also Dryad partners:

  • Whitlock, M. C., M. A. McPeek, M. D. Rausher, L. Rieseberg, and A. J. Moore. 2010. Data Archiving. American Naturalist. 175:145-146, doi:10.1086/650340
  • Rieseberg, L., T. Vines, and N. Kane. Editorial and retrospective 2010. Molecular Ecology. 19:1-22, doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04450.x

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