Saturday, August 21, 2010

Conference proceedings: Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective

Volume 6267: Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective. First International Conference, EGOVIS 2010, Bilbao, Spain, August 31. September 2, 2010. [NB: Behind paywall]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is Open Gov Data? The Sunlight Foundation: Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information

My earlier entry/rant, It's not Open Data, so stop calling it that... about the non-Open Data nature of a number of Canadian cities' Open Data initiatives is supported by the just released Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information from the Sunlight Foundation. Specifically:

  • 6. Non-discrimination

    "Non-discrimination" refers to who can access data and how they must do so. Barriers to use of data can include registration or membership requirements. Another barrier is the uses of "walled garden," which is when only some applications are allowed access to data. At its broadest, non-discriminatory access to data means that any person can access the data at any time without having to identify him/herself or provide any justification for doing so.

  • 8. Licensing

    The imposition of "Terms of Service," attribution requirements, restrictions on dissemination and so on acts as barriers to public use of data. Maximal openness includes clearly labeling public information as a work of the government and available without restrictions on use as part of the public domain.

  • 9. Permanence

    The capability of finding information over time is referred to as permanence. Information released by the government online should be sticky: It should be available online in archives in perpetuity. Often times, information is updated, changed or removed without any indication that an alteration has been made. Or, it is made available as a stream of data, but not archived anywhere. For best use by the public, information made available online should remain online, with appropriate version-tracking and archiving over time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

ARL Report: E-Science and Data Support Services

The U.S. Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has produced a new report (E-Science and Data Support Services).

Alzheimer's Spinal Fluid Test and Research Data Sharing

The recent reports on being able to predict Alzheimer's (Alzheimer's predicted by spinal-fluid test -- CBC, 2010.08.10) are the direct results due to the data sharing of scores of biomedical researchers (Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s -- New York Times, 2010.08.10). The sharing included both academic researchers and drug company researchers. The data sets are available online:

Companies as well as academic researchers are using the data. There have been more than 3,200 downloads of the entire massive data set and almost a million downloads of the data sets containing images from brain scans.
Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the organization looking after the data, has a very complete policy (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) Data Sharing and Publication Policy) about their data sharing.