The Case for Open Data

Last week, Becker Library premiered a new video, “The Case for Open Data,” during Open Access Week. The video features three researchers discussing the value and benefit of open science, open data and open access on their work.

Scientists may be more or less familiar with these “open” concepts depending on their specialty as well as a variety of other factors. According to the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Data Handbook, “open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.” Practically speaking, open data accelerates discovery, decreases costs, and reduces duplication of effort by allowing researchers to bypass the labor-intensive step of forming their own datasets and get straight to developing new models on existing data.

Open data also creates more training opportunities for aspiring clinical and data scientists by giving them easier access to investigate conditions they would not otherwise be able to at their institutions and to gain valuable research experience at a lower cost. Additionally, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that more Americans trust research findings when associated datasets are made open to the public compared to all other factors surveyed1.

Researchers wanting to know more about finding open data sets or finding a repository in which to share data may contact Chris Sorensen at

  1. Funk C, Hefferon M, Kennedy B, Johnson C. Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts.; 2019.