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Jason Hibbets attends Code for America Summit 2012 and asks attendees what open government means to them.
What is Open Government?
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Today we are very happy and excited to announce the final release of CKAN 2.0. This is the most significant piece of CKAN news since the project began, and represents months of hectic work by the team and other contributors since before the release of version 1.8 last October, and of the 2.0 beta in February. Thank you to the many CKAN users for your patience – we think you’ll agree it’s been worth the wait.
Marketers today have access to more data on website visitors, e-mail subscribers, leads and social media fans than ever before.
It's never been a more exciting time to be a learner. The Edupunks' Guide was written to be a first-of-its kind resource for the future of education: a comprehensive guide to learning online and charting a personalized path to an affordable credential using the latest innovative tools and organizations. This guide is full of people, programs, and ideas that are part of the future of learning. I've spoken to over 100 learners from programs and sites around the country and around the world that offer new methods of content delivery, new platforms for socialization, and new forms of accreditation. Most of them take advantage of the technology now at our disposal— they're either all-online programs that complement the experiences you're already having; or hybrid programs, combining in-person and online experiences. Nearly all of them are cheaper than your average state university. Many are even free! And I've given you the tools to go out and find even more options, and to create them for yourself.
Real-life stories and hands-on advice for today's students, whether you're going back to school, working, transferring colleges, or pursuing lifelong learning goals.
The University of Chicago launched the first secure cloud-based computing system that enables researchers to access and analyze human genomic cancer information without the costly and cumbersome infrastructure normally needed to download and store massive amounts of data.
The Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud, as it is called, enables researchers who are authorized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to access and analyze data in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) without having to set up secure, compliant computing environments capable of managing and analyzing terabytes of data, download the data--which can take weeks--and then install the appropriate tools needed to perform the desired analyses.
Using technology that was developed in part by the Open Science Data Cloud, a National Science Foundation-supported project that is developing cloud infrastructure for large scientific datasets, the Bionimbus Protected Data Cloud provides researchers with a more cost- and time-effective mechanism to extract knowledge from massive amounts of data. Drawing insights from big data is imperative for addressing some of today's most vexing environmental, health and safety challenges.
Open Government Data is an effective solution which can ease the problem of a lack of accessible information about existing schools in a particular country or location. By adopting the Open Government Data policy in the educational field, governments release data about grades, funding, student and teacher numbers, data generated throughout time by schools, colleges, universities and other educational settings.
Aplicaciones claras, y para el día a día, del OGD.
En este caso, la apertura de datos públicos de educación como soporte para ayudar a las familias a encontrar el mejor colegio para sus hijos e hijas.
In a comparison that includes the top 10 R&D-spending nations in the world, the Netherlands ranks No. 1 in publication impact per research article*, No. 1 in citations generated per unit of research and development spending, No. 2 in publications generated per unit of R&D spending and No. 1 by level of international collaboration.
Surprising? Yes and no. The Dutch like to see their country as a “knowledge economy,” so they might say they saw this coming. But a top position among R&D heavyweights in key research performance areas? Revealing, to say the least.Elsevier has built up quite a portfolio of comparative research performance studies over the past few years. The SciVal suite of products, based on Scopus data, has allowed us to create overviews of how well countries such as Japan, Italy, India, the UK and the US are doing in terms of research output, research quality and collaboration. Given the Dutch heritage of our company, however, the obvious question remained: where does this leave the Netherlands?
As part of the progressive erosion of RCUK’s initially excellent open-access policy, barrier-based publishers somehow got them to accept their “open-access decision tree“, which you can now find on page 7 of the toothless current version of the policy. The purpose of this manoeuvre by the Publishers Association is to lend an air of legitimacy to continuing to deny citizens access to the research they funded for up to 24 months after publication. It’s to the House of Lords’ enduring shamethat they swallowed this, when they must know that there is no justification for embargoes of any length.
More recently, as commentary on the Australian Research Council’s open access policy, the Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) published its own rather better decision tree.
But it still doesn’t go nearly far enough. So here is the SV-POW! decision tree, which we encourage you to print out and hang on your office door.
Open online courses are changing higher education. Traditional colleges face dangers—and opportunities. A McKinsey & Company article.
The Global Roads Open Access Data Set, Version 1 (gROADSv1) was developed under the auspices of the CODATA Global Roads Data Development Task Group. The data set combines the best available roads data by country into a global roads coverage, using the UN Spatial Data Infrastructure Transport (UNSDI-T) version 2 as a common data model. All country road networks have been joined topologically at the borders, and many countries have been edited for internal topology. Source data for each country are provided in the documentation, and users are encouraged to refer to the readme file for use constraints that apply to a small number of countries. Because the data are compiled from multiple sources, the date range for road network representations ranges from the 1980s to 2010 depending on the country (most countries have no confirmed date), and spatial accuracy varies. The baseline global data set was compiled by the Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) of the University of Georgia. Updated data for 27 countries and 6 smaller geographic entities were assembled by Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), with a focus largely on developing countries with the poorest data coverage.
Today, in conjunction with a series of landmark steps announced by the Obama Administration to unleash troves of useful data from the vaults of government, the interagency US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) launched a new online tool that promises to accelerate research relating to climate change and human health—the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health, or “MATCH.”
The Administration announcements made today include an Executive Order signed by the President declaring that information is a valuable national resource and strategic asset, and a new government-wide Open Data Policy requiring that, going forward, data generated by the government shall be made available in open, machine-readable formats. The move will make troves of previously inaccessible or unmanageable data more readily available to entrepreneurs, researchers, and others who can use open data as fuel for innovation, businesses and new services and tools.
MATCH is one such tool, driven by open data, which could open the door for new scientific insights in the public health and climate science communities. It is a publicly accessible digital platform for searching and integrating metadata—standardized contextual information—extracted from more than 9,000 health, environment, and climate-science datasets held by six Federal agencies.
Have you ever looked at an article on Wikipedia and thought, “this could really use some work”? With the free online course “Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond,” offered through the School of Open, you have the opportunity to take the next step.
In the course, you will learn about both the technical and social underpinnings of this worldwide, volunteer-built resource, and how you can most effectively contribute to its vision to freely share knowledge. The six-week course will start its second round on 14 May (for those in the Americas) or 15 May (Asia/Australia).
Last week, the World Bank launched a much-improved version of its Open Data Catalog. We first discussed our plans for the new catalog in a blog post a few months ago, as the next step in the open data principles that we outlined last year.
What's new in the data catalog? Some of the changes are obvious. For starters, the catalog is more user-friendly. All the essential information is available in a one-page list, which you can sort by name, popularity, or date. You can access bulk downloads, APIs or query tools from the same page with a single click. And you can see all the available metadata without having to visit separate pages on various sites.
At Tacoma Community College (TCC) in Washington, faculty and staff noticed a trend: fewer students were purchasing the required textbooks for classes.
Instead, students were checking out related materials from the library and trying to recreate information on their own. The students couldn’t afford the hefty textbook costs, and it was affecting classroom performance.
“It hurts their engagement in the classroom, it hurts their ability to stay in school and it leaves them at a bigger disadvantage than they are at already,” said Quill West, open educational resources (OER) project director at TCC.
The college, with the cooperation of faculty and students, made a move toward using OERs. The two-year project began in April 2012 and is supported by student technology fees. The goal was to embed OERs into the 10 classes with the highest enrollments and to save students $250,000.
A year later, 39 sections of 19 individual classes—from biology, to English, to computer courses—use digital materials rather than traditional textbooks. Faculty isn’t required to participate, but the number of teachers using OERs is growing. To date, the college has saved students $266,000.
Open Science is a movement that aims to make research results more rapidly accessible, reusable and transparent for everybody all around the world. Based on the new information and communication technologies, Open Science conduces researchers to work in a collaborative environment to speed scientific discoveries.
JournalTOCs is the biggest searchable collection of scholarly journal Tables of Contents (TOCs). It contains articles' metadata of TOCs for over 22,099 journals directly collected from over 1793 publishers.
JournalTOCs has taken special care to include all the highest rated journals in their fields, guaranteeing quality results. See Selection Criteria.
JournalTOCs pulls together a database of Table of Contents (TOCs) from scholarly journals and provides a convenient single "one stop shop" interface to these TOCs.
JournalTOCs is an initiative of the ICBL at Heriot-Watt University. It was created in 2009 with funding from the JISC Rapid Innovation Grants.
Open Access (OA) is free, immediate, permanent online access to the full text of research articles for anyone, webwide.
There are two roads to OA:
(1) the "golden road" of OA journal-publishing , where journals provide OA to their articles (either by charging the author-institution for refereeing/publishing outgoing articles instead of charging the user-institution for accessing incoming articles, or by simply making their online edition free for all); (2) the "green road" of OA self-archiving, where authors provide OA to their own published articles, by making their own eprints free for all.
The two roads to OA should not be confused or conflated; they are complementary. (This site is focussed largely on the green road, because it is the fastest and surest way to reach immediate 100% OA; but the green road might eventually lead to gold too.)
OA self-archiving is not self-publishing; nor is it about online publishing without quality control (peer review); nor is it intended for writings for which the author wishes to be paid, such as books or magazine/newspaper articles. OA self-archiving is for peer-reviewed research, written solely for research impact rather than royalty revenue.
Yesterday, May 9, 2013, the U.S. government issued an executive order and an open data policy mandating that federal agencies collect and publish new datasets in open, machine-readable, and, whenever possible, non-proprietary formats. The new policy gives agencies six months to create an inventory of all the government-produced datasets they collect and maintain; a list of datasets that are publicly accessible; and an online system to collect feedback from the public as to how they would like to use the data. The goals are twofold — greater access to government data for the public, and the availability of data in forms that businesses and researchers can better use. This builds on the earlier White House Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.
These documents were accompanied by a link to something that actually caught my fancy even more – a greatly expanded Project Open Data Github repository for guidelines, use cases and tools. This, alongside the ever-growing (and soon to be extensively updated) data.gov, are evidence of real efforts to release more data and make it truly useful and usable.
Scientists’ work follows a consistent pattern. They apply for grants, perform their research, and publish the results in a journal. The process is so routine it almost seems inevitable. But what if it’s not the best way to do science?
Although the act of publishing seems to entail sharing your research with the world, most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities. Subscription costs have risen dramatically over the past generation. According to critics of the publishers, those increases are the result of the consolidation of journals by private companies who unduly profit off their market share of scientific knowledge.
When we investigated these alleged scrooges of the science world, we discovered that, for their opponents, the battle against this parasitic profiting is only one part of the scientific process that needs to be fixed.
Advocates of “open science” argue that the current model of science, developed in the 1600s, needs to change and take full advantage of the Internet to share research and collaborate in the discovery making process. When the entire scientific community can connect instantly online, they argue, there is simply no reason for research teams to work in silos and share their findings according to the publishing schedules of journals.
Subscriptions limit access to scientific knowledge. And when careers are made and tenures earned by publishing in prestigious journals, then sharing datasets, collaborating with other scientists, and crowdsourcing difficult problems are all disincentivized. Following 17th century practices, open science advocates insist, limits the progress of science in the 21st.
The supply chain is not the sexiest subject when it comes to important technologies, but like many industries the less sexy the business the more important its relevance.
Speaking of less sexy, David Cameron alluded to the supply chain when he revealed at Davos that the UK presidency of G8 will focus on greater business transparency and the way that open data can boost the UK economy.
Big data and open data are subjects that people take very seriously and many see them as a perfect storm where they are conjoined to create a perfect storm of driving transparency and savings throughout the supply chain.
By connecting data, businesses can see a tangible benefit - reduced costs through energy savings passed down through the supply chain, reduced reputational risk and improved relations due to confidence in business continuity.
At the recent Teradata University conference in Copenhagen, a stream of presenters from Google, eBay, Tesco, Chelsea Football Club, Groupon, LinkedIn and many others outlined this in great detail.
In recent years, data visualizations and infographics have become a common way to relay news and information - an addition or sometimes a replacement for the traditional written narrative.
The folks at The New School's PETLab, though, want to take storytelling a step further, by creating a new approach to expressing the news.
Enter Data Toys, a Knight-funded prototype, which allow people to play with information as a way to reveal the complex systems underlying news and trends. The toys also offer ways to help readers make sense of large data sets or changes in data over time.
We recently asked the Data Toys team, Colleen Macklin, John Sharp and Heather Chaplin, what kinds of toys they’re building and what the implications are for how people consume news and information.
Many states are wrestling with how to achieve the twin goals of making higher education both more affordable and accessible to their citizens. California and, more recently, Florida have been in the news as they struggle to find ways of taming the new elephant in the room…MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). Political leaders, in apparent frustration with what they see as an intransigent academic community unwilling to control costs, see this new application of technology as the solution to concerns of access and cost. Others, including many academics, see MOOCs as an inferior intrusion into the education process that is fraught with questions of quality and effectiveness.
We have three issues here: cost, access and learning.
A bill which would require California-funded research to be deposited in open access repositories passed the state’s Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on May 1.
Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) introduced the bill, which was the brainchild of California Council on Science & Tech Fellow Annabelle Kleist, who works in Nestande’s office. Kleist said she contacted Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), who put her in contact with people who could help shape the proposal.
“California’s taxpayers fund this research and they have a right to expect that the results are available and accessible. If we want California to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge discoveries and innovations, we must make sure that this information is available to those who can use and build upon this knowledge,” said Nestande. “As taxpayers, we should not have to pay to gain access to vital research that our tax dollars paid for.”
LEARNING BEYOND BORDERS"Delivering Quality Education to Your Fingertips"Collaboration in Open EducationPresentations in this track should focus on demonstrating the impact of OER initiatives on learners, educators and institutions, including highlighting new and innovative OER projects.
Mainstreaming open educational practiceCollaborations and new directions in cross-border sharingWorkplace learning and skills development with OER
Accreditation and Assessment of OER based LearningHow can OCW expand access to education and contribute to professional development? Presentations in this track might address:
Assessment and accreditation methods for learning with OCWTools to support OER-based learningCost effectiveness and open educational practice
Expanding the reach of OER Presentations in this track might address issues in
Showcasing policies that expand the creation and use of OERStandards implementation and quality assuranceEnlarging the educational audience - lifelong learning through OER
Is the future of scientific production and scholarly publishing going to be "gold" or "green"? The choice is between the gold of money, and growth, or the green of environment and sustainability. In the case of scientific and scholarly publishing, the choice is both about mechanisms and about values.
Last year's Finch report endorsed the move towards much more openness in scientific and scholarly publishing, and away from the current regime of hugely expensive journals that ration access. Almost everyone, including most enlightened academic publishers, agreed. After all, the freest possible circulation of research findings is how science makes progress – through critique and interrogation. The freest possible circulation of ideas is also the foundation of an open society.
But how best to achieve this universally desired goal? The gold route would shift the financial burden (because academic publishing has to be paid for somehow) from journal subscribers to the authors of articles. The green route would require all universities to deposit an open-source version of articles in their institutional repositories.