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Fwd: Physics World: Opening data up to scrutiny

From: Stian Soiland-Reyes <soiland-reyes@cs.manchester.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 5 Oct 2013 12:46:27 +0100
Message-ID: <CAPRnXtnrNWKxwdYb1_BUqFnHrJLzdKfRRN07GukQX9EdQUt8wg@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-rosc@w3.org
The latest issue of Physics World (vol 26, issue 10) features a
well-written article (2 pages) about Open Data, by Edwin Cartlidge.

http://physicsworldarchive.iop.org/ (Subscribers only)

The article mentions:

Organizations: Figshare, Dryad, DataCite, Labarchives, Nature
Scientific Data, 2012 Royal Society working group, Force 11

Concepts: Fourth Paradigm of Science, Data Deluge, Executable Paper

People: Geoffrey Boulton, Paul Ginsparg (founder of arXiv), Mark
Hahnel (founder of Figshare), Tony Hey, Alex Wade, Paul Ayris

My excerpt of the article:

  Digital technology means the amount of data is growing
astonishingly. This "data deluge" means that papers do not contain all
of the data needed to underpin their conclusions. The Open Data
movement brings about the idea that scientists make their data
available in online datbases that can be reached from, or at least
referenced by, the papers that they write. This would include raw
measurements, text, images, video, metadata and relevant information
such as lab notes, ideas and project plans.

The 2012 Royal Society working group said it was "unequivocal that
there is an imperative to publish intelligently open data when that
data underlies the arguments of a scientific paper@. US National
Academics of Science argued similarly in 2009, and this February the
US government a set of policy principles for ensuring public access to
research publications and data.

However, many scientists lack the motivation to put their data in the
public domain and to justify the added time investment, as rewards are
possible without uploading data. Today, most of the focus has been to
ensure the papers are Open Access, but arguably Open Data  would
represent a more fundamental change to practice of modern science.
Only with the raw material can other scientists expose fraud and data
manipulation, and fully exploit research to generate new knowledge.

Vast quantities of freely available data could help spur what has been
referred to as the fourth paradigm of science, following Experiment,
Theory and Simulation - this adds the identification of previously
unseen relationships between data thanks to the vast processing power
of modern computers. This inverts Karl Popper's science process,
hypotheses are not imagined and then interrogated through experiments,
but rather induced from pre-existing data.

Contact me privately if you would like a PDF (limited distribution is
allowed by the Physics World copyright rules, but this list is
publicly archived).

Stian Soiland-Reyes, myGrid team
School of Computer Science
The University of Manchester
http://soiland-reyes.com/stian/work/ http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9842-9718
Received on Saturday, 5 October 2013 11:47:18 UTC

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