Can Open Research Transform the World? | The Reticulum
"Recently, I tripped over something else, a trend that is much less dramatic but which I hope (rather than predict) will transform the world of research: the trend toward the open availability of data. Sure, I knew about open access scholarly articles, but I hadn’t realized how much of the raw (or rawish) research data had become available. I was reading a little book called Introductory R: A Beginner’s Guide to Data Visualization and Analysis Using R by Robert Knell of Queen Mary, University of London. Toward the beginning of the book, he wrote: I’d just like to take this opportunity to point out the fabulous resource that is Dryad digital repository (http://datadryad.org) and encourage anyone who reads this to upload data from their publications to it.And so I went to DataDryad and found it was a 'curated general-purpose repository that makes the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable.' Oh, I know this may not tickle anyone else’s fancy ... It isn’t the subject matter that necessarily lights my fire but the abundant openessof raw research data. You could spend a lifetime analyzing the data, looking for insights the original authors may have missed, linking different data sets together, discovering new methods of analysis, or just learning the details associated with a huge range of research topics. Although I’m a long-time researcher and analyst, I missed this trend because I’ve generally been involved with business and management research, a type of research that, from what I can tell, hasn’t jumped onto the 'open research' bandwagon with the same gusto as many other disciplines, especially those in the natural sciences. Once I’d stumbled on DataDryad, I began looking for similar repositories and uncovered quite a number, many of the sources being listed on the Open Access Directory wiki. Not everything there is equally useful, but it’s a fine place to start if you’re at all interested ..."