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All around Open Knowledge: Open Data, Open Government, Open Access, Open Science, Open Education, etc
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You, Patent Pending: What a rare open data case study shows about open and closed genetic research

You, Patent Pending: What a rare open data case study shows about open and closed genetic research | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The bane of bad patents is well known throughout the software world, but a new study from MIT’s Heidi L. William looks at the cost of patents on genomic data, using the race t0 map the human genome as a rare case study.

Carolyn Y. Johnson has a great write-up of the study, and raises the regular argument: That biomedical research needs long patent lives to get funded, and that public research removes the financial motivation, decreasing breakthroughs.

The study found almost the opposite, however, when it came to research done on two sets of genetic data: The first set was done by a publicly-funded team that released all of its data freely, while the second set was created by private company Celera, which allowed academic use but required licensing agreements for wider distribution and product development.

Interestingly, the study had the opportunity to look at the long-term impact patents had even when the information’s patent eventually lapsed, and the results were surprising.

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A New Yorker Interactive

New York City has a problem with income inequality. And it’s getting worse—the top of the spectrum is gaining and the bottom is losing. Along individual subway lines, earnings range from poverty to considerable wealth. The interactive infographic here charts these shifts, using data on median household income, from the U.S. Census Bureau, for census tracts with subway stations.

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The new PSI Directive – as good as it seems? | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

The new PSI Directive – as good as it seems? | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

On 10 April, the European Commission’s Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe, announced that the European Union (EU) Member States have approved a text for the new PSI Directive. The PSI Directive governs the re-use of public sector information, otherwise known as as Open Government Data.

In this posting we take a closer look at the progress the EC press release claims, and make a comparison with the current PSI Directive. We base this comparison on the text (not officially published) of the output of the final trialogue of 25 March and apparently accepted by the Member States last week.

The final step now, after this acceptance by Member States, is the adoption of the same text by the European Parliament, who have been part of the trialogue and thus are likely to be in agreement. The vote in the ITRE Committee is planned on 25 April, and the plenary Parliament vote on 11 June. Member States will then have 24 months to transpose the new directive into national law, which means it should be in force towards the end of 2015 across the EU.

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MOOCs, Courseware, and the Course as an Artifact -

MOOCs, Courseware, and the Course as an Artifact - | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

In some ways, the xMOOC in its current form is this trend to turn the course into an artifact taken to its logical conclusion (possibly ad absurdum). Course lectures are now artifacts in the form of videos. Assignment and assessment functions are packaged into machine-graded tools. Certification of knowledge is provided by the machines as well. Yes, there are still class discussions, and yes, the course instructors do participate sometimes, but they appear to be rather secondary in most of the xMOOC course designs I have looked at. In general, xMOOCs tend to explore the degree to which the pedagogical function can be fulfilled by artifacts.

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Open Access Aids Science Research - Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner

Open Access Aids Science Research - Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

No one likes paying for the same thing twice. This holds true for federally funded scientific research. For years, scholarly journals have relied on taxpayers paying for research on the front end and access to the results on the back. It is past time to embrace an open access policy for scientific research.

In fiscal year 2012, Washington spent nearly $139 billion of taxpayer money on federal research and development activities — a significant investment in the age of record deficits, growing debt and an ill-advised sequester. But despite substantial spending on research, American taxpayers do not have adequate access to the results of their investment.

Open access to this research has been debated for several years. Advocates have argued that the ability to freely access government-funded information is not only fair but also enables innovation otherwise stymied by pay walls and restrictive websites.

Scientific advances are collaborative. Innovation sparks further innovation as researchers exchange ideas. Through open access, we will see less duplicative research and an increase in scientific breakthroughs — sometimes from unexpected places.

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EU Proposal for (Nearly) Open Data [Update]

EU Proposal for (Nearly) Open Data [Update] | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Maël Brunet has pointed out that the press release I linked to below is from 2011; what was actually announced yesterday was that the EU Council's 'Coreper' committee (EU Committee of Member States' Permanent Representatives) has now endorsed the measures announced there. So, nothing has changed from what I wrote below, but another hurdle has been cleared in making the open data initiative happen. All that remains is for the European Parliament to agree, and the rules will come into force. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that any amendments will be included at this stage, so it looks like we only get "almost" open data....

As expected, the European Commission has announced a major open data initiative:

The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU's economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

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Everyone's postcodes to be privatised in Royal Mail flotation, despite objections from Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Telegraph

Everyone's postcodes to be privatised in Royal Mail flotation, despite objections from Sir Tim Berners-Lee - Telegraph | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The database is called the Postcode Address File, and contains the 24 million address details of everyone in the UK.

Everyone from marketing firms to the emergency services pay a fee to access the file, which is run at arms length by Royal Mail, to ensure addresses are kept up to date.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has been privately battling with Business minister Michael Fallon over whether to include the database, worth between £500million and £900million, in Royal Mail's flotation, which is expected as early as October.

Last month Sir Tim entered the debate on Mr Maude's side, writing to the Prime Minister urging him not to sell it off and instead open it up to more small firms to access. One idea was to spin it off into a John Lewis-style mutual structure.

Mr Maude had argued that the database "actually has much more worth for entrepreneurship and the overall growth, agenda" if it was run as a mutual and owned by people who used it.

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Launch of the PLOS Text Mining Collection

This PLOS Collection arose out of a twitter conversation with Theo Bloom last year, and has come together through the hard work of the authors of the papers in the Collection, the PLOS Collections team (in particular Sam Mooreand Jennifer Horsely), and my co-organizers Larry Hunter and Andrey Rzhetsky. Many thanks to all for seeing this effort to completion.

Because of the large body of work in the area of text mining published in PLOS, we struggled with how best to present all these papers in the collection without diluting the experience for the reader. In the end, we decided only to highlight new work from the last two years and major reviews/tutorials at the time of launch. However, as this is a living collection, new articles will be included in the future, and the aim is to include previously published work as well. We hope to see many more papers in the area of text mining published in the PLOS family of journals in the future.

An overview of the PLOS Text Mining Collection is below (cross-posted at the PLOS EveryONE blog) and a commentary on Collection is available at the Official PLOS Blog entitled “A mine of information – the PLOS Text Mining Collection“.

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Fujitsu, DERI unveil open data search tool

Fujitsu, DERI unveil open data search tool | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

A new system developed in Co Galway could help make it easier to search data that is stored in a number of different places at once.

The new platform, which is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Fujitsu and NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute, offers to quickly sort publicly-available data even if it exists on different websites, in different formats.

As an example of this, Fujitsu said a search for a publicly-listed company would automatically pull in data from financial results, market data and press coverage.

The new platform is to be made freely available to users and developers, who will be able to access it online.

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Workshop Promotes Open Government Relations

Workshop Promotes Open Government Relations | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The Washington Coalition for Open Government invites the public to attend a free workshop on Saturday, May 11 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Aberdeen Timberland Library.

Experts will lead attendees through a process that will enable them to effectively exercise their rights under Washington’s open government laws. The purpose of the workshop is to help people understand their right to know what their state and local governments are doing. Attorney Katherine George, a WCOG board member, will explain Washington’s open public meetings and public records laws. The workshop will feature general guidance rather than specific legal advice.

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Open your data to the world

When Neil Fantom, a manager at the World Bank, sat down with the organization's technology team in 2010 to talk about opening up the bank's data to the world at large, he encountered a bit of unfamiliar terminology. "At that time I didn't even know what 'API' meant," says Fantom.

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The 2013 STI Semantic Summit | STI International

The 2013 STI Semantic Summit | STI International | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Abbreviation: STI Summit 2013Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 to Friday, July 19, 2013City: SuzdalCountry: Russia

 

Every two years STI International will hold a Semantic Summit organized by the STI Fellows for the STI Board and selected Junior STI members. STI Semantic Summits will be intellectually, socially, and geographically stimulating and will address a small number of open scientific and domain or industry challenges of strategic importance to STI and to the Semantic Technology Community. They will be forward looking and will attempt to better understand the challenges and to set directions for STI Members, STI, and the Semantic Technology Community.

The 2013 STI Semantic Summit, is limited to 50 invitation-only participants. It will take place over 3 days starting at noon July 17, 2013 and end at noon July 19, 2013 and will consist of highly interactive sessions that will engage all participants. With the exception of a small number of invited talks, sessions will be dominated by short presentations and animated discussions. The Summit will not be a conference or a presentation of research results.

The STI Executive Board and the STI Fellows have initially selected the following themes:

Creating Value out of Web DataVisualizingAd-hoc data integrationCrowd data curationWeb Data quality, evolution and dynamics

Attendees may submit a position paper on one of the following topics or on a theme about which the submitter is passionate by April 12, 2013:

Strategic perspectivesGrand challengesApplication potential for semantic technologiesSemantic technology trendsSignificant challenges of a pragmatic, practical natureTopics for a 5 year research and development agendaState-of-the-art: Where we are, key issues and challenges
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Open Science, Reproducibility, Credit and Collaboration

Open Science, Reproducibility, Credit and Collaboration | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

I had the pleasure of going up to visit the Limnological Research Center (LRC) at the University of Minnesota this past week. It’s a pretty cool setup, and obviously something that we should all value very highly, both as a resource to help prepare and sample sediment cores, and as a repository for data. The LRC has more than 4000 individual cores, totaling over 13km of lacustrine and marine sediment. A key point here is that much of this sediment is still available to sample, but, this is still data in its rawest, unprocessed form.

I’ve written before about open science and reproducibility. These two things obviously go hand in hand, but we as scientists navigate a tricky world.  The NSF expects that data will be shared “within a reasonable time“, which is fairly open ended.  In practice this exhortation doesn’t always work.  We’ve all heard about researchers who won’t share data (often for good reason), but equally there are stories of researchers who may have used data to which they have no right.  In some cases this is resolved, but in others the results are not so clear cut. The fair use of data overlaps with authorship, good citizenship, fairness and a number of other issues in academia, and one person’s definition of what is fair is unlikely to be another’s.

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12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data

12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals that would open up and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology?"

Amid all of the submissions are some familiar innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities, formerly as nascent ideas now competing for a chance to scale up: our favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here.

But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled. We've put together a list of 12 ideas from the competition that are new to us and that we think would be worth developing (and we've included the applicants' description of their programs). Through Friday, you can comment on (or "applaud") any of the submissions as applicants continue to refine their proposals. On the 29th, Knight plans to announce a set of semifinalists, who will be invited to complete more detailed proposals. The final winners (there's no predetermined number of them) will then be announced in June.


Via Semantic Web Company
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Juan Luis Jimeno's curator insight, April 22, 2013 5:08 AM

12 ideas que podrían ser desarrolladas y ayudarían a transformar el entorno, a partir de la filosofía de la apertura de datos.

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Heather Brooke: My battle to expose government corruption | Video on TED.com

Our leaders need to be held accountable, says journalist Heather Brooke. And she should know: Brooke uncovered the British Parliamentary financial expenses that led to a major political scandal in 2009.


Via Ivan Begtin
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Mans_Digitals's curator insight, January 13, 6:40 AM

¿Qué esonden las cuentas de nuestros governantes? 

 

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The messy reality of open data and politics

The messy reality of open data and politics | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

It is perhaps unsurprising that there is growing awareness of the political nature of open data policies.

 

It is only by ignoring the messy reality of both data and politics that positivists can suggest the release of data will inevitably lead to more 'rational' and evidence-based government.

 

In practice, datasets themselves are political objects, and policies to open up datasets are the product of politics. If you look beyond the binary fight over whether government data should be open or not, then you will find a far more subtle set of political questions over the what and the how of opening data.

 

Datasets are built from the categories and relationships that the database designer (or their political masters) decide are important. In their book, Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star describe how the international classification of disease, the basis for worldwide mortality statistics, has historically under-represented tropical diseases in its code lists. The result is that global health policy has been less able to see, distinguish and target certain conditions.

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An alternative perspective on the meaning of 'open' in Higher Education

An alternative perspective on the meaning of 'open' in Higher Education | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

With the rise of MOOCs there has been much speculation about the meaning of ‘open’, particularly with respect to the Higher Education business model.  It is clear that ‘open’ can be interpreted in a number of different ways.

In relation to MOOCs the term ‘open’ relates principally to open access, i.e. anyone can attend – there are no entry requirements. This could apply to face-to-face courses, as when University lecturers welcome members of the public to attend their lectures, and to online courses, where anyone with an internet connection and the appropriate technology can attend the course.

‘Open’ is also often associated with ‘free’, as in open resources on the web which can be freely downloaded and according to the creative commons license can be ‘customised’ to suit the user’s purposes.

Perhaps most significantly for Higher Education, ‘open’ can be associated with transparency, which involves a way of ‘being’ or a ‘state of mind’. Martin Weller has raised awareness of the need for scholars to be ‘open’ in his book ‘The Digital Scholar’,  and ‘open research’ and ‘open journals’ are steadily gaining momentum as a way of working.

Open access and free courses in which all learners and teachers freely share their expertise is thought by followers of many MOOCs, particularly the original cMOOCs, as the means to democratize education (See Fred Garnett’s blog post for further thoughts about Building Democratic Learning).

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#DIF13 – Open governments can make their nations more entrepreneurial (video)

#DIF13 – Open governments can make their nations more entrepreneurial (video) | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
By embracing open data and providing citizens with fair and equitable access to knowledge, nations can empower a new generation of entrepreneurs, Emer Coleman told this morning’s Digital Ireland Forum in Dublin.
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Open Gov Summit 2013 — Open Standards. Open Source. Open Data. Open Opportunities.

Open Gov Summit 2013 — Open Standards. Open Source. Open Data. Open Opportunities. | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Government is taking a new approach,redesigning the playing field with open source & open standards for Information and records management, making collaboration between their peers and partners a safe and secure reality.

This 2nd annual Open Gov Summit, hosted by G-Cloud providers Zaizi and Alfresco, brings together Chief Executives, Enterprise Architect, ICT Programme Managers and civil servants who have responsibility for delivering on the government ICT strategy to explore how Bristol City Council are leading the way in adopting open source solutions, engaging with the SME market and building a government community around the solution.

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Open Course on Open Education: Implementing Connectivism

Open Course on Open Education: Implementing Connectivism | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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What We Hope the Digital Public Library of America Will Become | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

What We Hope the Digital Public Library of America Will Become | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Tomorrow is the official launch date for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

If you’ve been following it, you’ll know that it has the long term aim of realising “a large-scale digital public library that will make the cultural and scientific record available to all”.

More specifically, Robert Darnton, Director of the Harvard University Library and one of the DPLA’s leading advocates to date, recently wrote in the New York Review of Books, that the DPLA aims to:

make the holdings of America’s research libraries, archives, and museums available to all Americans—and eventually to everyone in the world—online and free of charge

What will this practically mean? How will the DPLA translate this broad mission into action? And to what extent will they be aligned with other initiatives to encourage cultural heritage institutions to open up their holdings, like our own OpenGLAM or Wikimedia’s GLAM-WIKI?

Here are a few of our thoughts on what we hope the DPLA will become.

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PythonBooks - Learn Python the easy way ! The best free Python resources

PythonBooks showcase the bests free ebooks about the Python programming language. The easiest way to learn Python for free!

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ebookzdownload's curator insight, May 29, 2013 7:01 AM

http://www.ebookzdownload.com/

 provide all education free ebooks tutorial in PDF format ready to download with high speed

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San Francisco commits to open data

San Francisco commits to open data | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

San Francisco is a long-standing technology Mecca, so it’s only fitting that city and county leaders recently committed to boosting its open data movement online.

“Openness and transparency are the fundamental basis for any successful government, particularly in an internet age,” said David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

“We see, in many jurisdictions around the country, that when you release government data, you have an improved relationship between government and citizens. That has led to a lot of success in how you improve government, particularly when you harness the ideas and the talents of the public in how to analyze public data. That can lead us to innovating both government and our communities.”

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Panton Fellowship Concluding Report. Sophie Kershow, March 2013

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Open data highlights from European Data Forum 2013 in Dublin | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

Open data highlights from European Data Forum 2013 in Dublin | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Over 500 data professionals gathered last week at European Data Forum conference in Dublin. This is the annual meeting place for industry, research, policy makers, and community initiatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Big Data in Europe. One of the main sentiments throughout the event was a profound interest inopenly licensed data and developments in the field of linked data.

The Open Knowledge Foundation was represented by Sander van der Waal and myself, and we took part with reference to the LOD2 project (an EU-funded project on Linked Open Data) and the Apps for Europe project (supporting apps competitions around Europe) – as well as to stimulate open data discussions in general. That seemed to have an increasingly fertile ground, as one of the main sentiments throughout the conference was a profound general interest not only in linking data, but also making them legally and technically open.

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Juan Luis Jimeno's curator insight, April 17, 2013 12:06 PM

Post de la OKF con los principales titulares recién llegados del European Data Forum 2013 de Dublín, en el que se reunieron cerca de 500 profesionales del Open Data.