Data is a valuable national resource and a strategic asset to the U.S. Government, its partners, and the public. Managing this data as an asset and making it available, discoverable, and usable – in a word, open– not only strengthens our democracy and promotes efficiency and effectiveness in government, but also has the potential to create economic opportunity and improve citizens’ quality of life.
For example, when the U.S. Government released weather and GPS data to the public, it fueled an industry that today is valued at tens of billions of dollars per year. Now, weather and mapping tools are ubiquitous and help everyday Americans navigate their lives.
The ultimate value of data can often not be predicted. That’s why the U.S. Government released a policy that instructs agencies to manage their data, and information more generally, as an asset from the start and, wherever possible, release it to the public in a way that makes it open, discoverable, and usable.
The White House developed Project Open Data – this collection of code, tools, and case studies – to help agencies adopt the Open Data Policy and unlock the potential of government data. Project Open Data will evolve over time as a community resource to facilitate broader adoption of open data practices in government. Anyone – government employees, contractors, developers, the general public – can view and contribute. So dive right in and help to build a better world through the power of open data.
Driven by member and author feedback, technical professional association IEEE has announced that all of its peer-reviewed journals — more than 100 — now offer open-access publishing options.
The growth of open-access scholarly research publishing enables technologists and the general public to read articles online for free, as opposed to the traditional model of paying for a subscription. Removing access barriers can advance research and scientific applications by exposing new concepts to a broader audience. Studies have shown that this approach may increase article citations.
As of June 2012, more than 7600 open-access journals were being published in 117 countries, according to a report from the UK-based Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings.
Robert Ghrist, a professor of mathematics and electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, knows that wielding vast networks on behalf of nonuniversity benefactors can be tricky business.
Mr. Ghrist specializes in applied topology, an abstract math field. In practice, topological math can help someone harness huge collections of sensory inputs—like those collected by cellphones, for example—to model large environments and solve problems.
The Department of Defense has enlisted Mr. Ghrist to do research along those lines. The Penn professor knows he has little power over how the Pentagon might use his insights. But he says that no longer bothers him.
In recent years advances in technology, particularly the internet have precipitated a move towards a model of open access in scholarly publishing with the aim of removing barriers to access, particularly cost.
Increasing numbers of peer-reviewed journals are being made available online on an open access basis and there has also been an associated move towards the practice of self-archiving by the academic community whereby scholars place their research output in a publicly available online archive.
The Institutional Repository has become the established technology deployed at universities and other institutions to enable scholars to self-archive and has the potential to meet a number of institutional needs:
an open access research repositoryan assessment, learning and teaching repository for learning objects, assessment objectsa showcase for students workdigital images of heritage collectionsa managed environment for the deposit of internal documents
On May 9, 2013, President Barack Obama sign an executive order making the default for government data “open and machine readable“. Stating that open access to government data will “fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific discovery that improves Americans’ lives and contributes significantly to job creation”, the order mandates that “wherever possible and legally permissible, to ensure that data are released to the public in ways that make the data easy to find, accessible, and usable.”
Released on the same day is the White House’s Open Data Policy. The open data policy sets up the principles that data should be easily discoverable, usable, complete, timely, and described.
As David Cameron prepares for the UK’s presidency of the G8, the issue of supply chain transparency is already gaining considerable momentum, driven largely by high profile supply chain disasters and scandals. Even UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called for companies to take responsibility for their supply chains in a comment reacting to the recent Bangladeshi garment factory collapse.
It is interesting to note that there are some businesses that claim to have product traceability in their supply chains but more often than not this tends to be about electronic label tracking rather than actual understanding of supplier sustainability. More businesses need to take this issue seriously.
However, understanding suppliers, their ability to be consistently responsible and to ensure they are running their businesses efficiently and not passing on unnecessary cost and risk to customers can be a difficult and costly process. So what role can open data have in helping businesses get to grips with suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers?
The final draft of the Data Catalogue Vocabulary Application Profile for data portals in Europe(DCAT-AP) is open for public review until 10 June 2013.
DCAT-AP is a specification based on DCAT for describing public sector datasets in Europe. Its basic use case is to enable a cross-data portal search for data sets and make public sector data better searchable across borders and sectors. This can be achieved by the exchange of descriptions of data sets among data portals.
You can find the draft and leave your comments (register and log-in) on the following page:https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/node/66194. All issues will be discussed by the DCAT Application Profile Working Group, in the Virtual Meeting which will take place on 12 June 2013.
Governments are used to being the authoritative source of data and access to the data is typically (heavily) regulated. When one starts to talk about opening up data with governments, many alarms go off: privacy, security, confidentiality, loss of control, and quality among others. I find there are a strong sense of ownership and a fear of opening up - probably due to all these concerns.
Furthermore, it is often not within the formal mission of a government ministry, agency or department to provide access to data. That is why open data can often be seen as a distant, not interesting and not easily understandable problem.
Breaking down such resistance can be done via top-down mandate (as has happened in several cases) but, whilst top-down support is clearly useful, it is not enough. A successful shift in culture needs to be built at all levels of government, and this needs time, sensitivity, respect and, frankly savoir faire.
Governments must understand that placing information on the Web solely as an informative resource, although important and required by policies in many cases, is not enough anymore. Citizens and civil societies are asking for access to the raw data so that they can use it in new and valuable ways.
“Inevitably, there will be questions about what we are each prepared to sign up to,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron in January, in his letter to his fellow G8 leaders. For months later, Russia has made clear it clear what it wasn’t willing to sign onto: the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The most recent update on Russia is that the Kremlin will be pursuing “open government” on its own terms. Russia has withdrawn the letter of intent that it submitted on April 2012 in Brazil, at the first annual meeting of the Open Government Partnership.
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.
Each day, the Charts of Note series from the Economic Research Service (ERS) delivers an innovative, visual display of research findings. Wouldn’t it be great if these charts could be easily grabbed for use on your own website or blog? Well, now they can.
The new Federal Open Data Policy asks agencies to use machine-readable formats when they build and disseminate information. At ERS, we are already traveling down that track…for Charts of Note and more. Our goal is to improve the reach, accessibility, and utility of important research findings.
This report tracks the development of 'massive open online courses' (MOOCs) from a small selection of specialist courses to major online platforms, offering hundreds of courses with millions of users.
The report explores MOOCs' surge in popularity and discusses whether this signals the beginning of a significant transformation in higher education, similar to those seen in other sectors, such as the newspaper industry. It pulls together the recent trends in online education delivery and looks at how universities can respond to the changing online environment.
The core task for Danny Werfel, the new acting commissioner of the IRS, is to repair the agency’s tarnished reputation and achieve greater efficacy and fairness in IRS investigations. Mr. Werfel can show true leadership by restructuring how the IRS handles its tax-exempt enforcement processes.
One of Mr. Werfel’s first actions on the job should be the immediate implementation of the groundbreaking Presidential Executive Order and Open Data policy, released last week, that requires data captured and generated by the government be made available in open, machine-readable formats. Doing so will make the IRS a beacon to other agencies in how to use open data to screen any wrongdoing and strengthen law enforcement.
Last Friday, Barry Eichengreen, professor of Economics and Political Science at Berkeley, wrote about “Open Access Economics” at the prestigious commentary, analysis and opinion page Project Syndicate, where influential professionals, politicians, economists, business leaders and Nobel laureates share opinions about current economic and political issues.
He reaffirmed that indeed the results of the Reinhart and Rogoff study were used by some politicians to justify austerity measures taken by governments around the world with stifling public debt.
Our next Open Humanities Hangout will take place next Tuesday, 28th May. This is the latest in the series of regular hangouts we've been organizing over the past few months with people interested in tapping in to the growing amount of open cultural data and content.
What: Open Humanities Hangout looking at opening up historical correspondence and mapping the "letter net" – e.g. did Dickens write to George Eliot and did she write back? Come help us find out! Read more belowWhen: Tuesday 28th May 2013 at 1700 BST, 12:00 EDT, 1800 CETWhere: Online via Google Hangout and IRC – we'll publish the hangout url nearer the timeWho: anyone who loves the humanities and wants to see the great works of our past accessible and re-usable by anyone regardless of background or location.Signup: please sign up here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Note you can always just drop in on the day but it helps us if we have a sense of numbers!
Twitter network. Their teacher is School of Data “data wrangler” Michael Bauer, whose organization teaches journalists and non-profits basic data skills. At the recent International Journalism Festival, Bauer showed journalists how to analyze Twitter networksusing OpenRefine, Gephi, and the Twitter API.
Bauer's route into teaching hacks how to hack data was a circuitous one. He studied medicine and did postdoctoral research on the cardiovascular system, where he discovered his flair for data. Disillusioned with health care, Bauer dropped out to become an activist and hacker and eventually found his way to the School of Data. I asked him about the potential and pitfalls of data analysis for everyone.
At rOpenSci we are creating packages that allow access to data repositories through the R statistical programming environment that is already a familiar part of the workflow of many scientists. We hope that our tools will not only facilitate drawing data into an environment where it can readily be manipulated, but also one in which those analyses and methods can be easily shared, replicated, and extended by other researchers. While all the pieces for connecting researchers with these data sources exist as disparate entities, our efforts will provide a unified framework that will be quickly connect researchers to open data.
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.
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.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
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Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.