Facilitating open exchange of data and information: New article published
A new article entitled “Facilitating open exchange of data and information” published in the January 2015 issue of Springer’s Earth Science Informatics journal has strong ties to the discussions we have had on this blog and in our book, namely to developments in and implications of open data. In the article, authors James Gallagher, John Orcutt, Pauline Simpson, Dawn Wright, Jay Pearlman, and Lisa Raymond are clear that while open data offers great value, there are “a number of complex, and sometimes contentious, issues that the science community must address.”
In the article, the authors examine the current state of the core issues of Open Data, including interoperability; discovery and access; quality and fitness for purpose; and sustainability. The authors also address topics of governance and data publication. I very much like the approach that the authors take–they don’t sugar coat these issues, but acknowledge that “each of the areas covered are, by themselves, complex and the approaches to the issues under consideration are often at odds with each other.” Indeed, “any comprehensive policy on Open Data will require compromises that are best resolved by broad community input.”
The authors’ research stemmed from the activities of an Open Data Working Group as part of the NSF-funded OceanObs Research Coordination Network, and hence has an ocean and atmosphere focus. On a related note, in this blog, we recently wrote about crowd sourcing coastal water navigational data. However, the open data implications that the authors describe span all disciplines that care about location.
The authors cover many topics germane to the purpose of our book and blog, and cover it so well, from their treatment of copyright and creative commons to their down-to-earth realistic recommendations that the community must do to move forward, that I consider this article “required reading” for anyone interested in open geospatial data.