Friday, 24 May 2013

Will the advent of open online data publishing lead to advances in science?

Having platforms available for publishing quality scientific data, whatever the discipline is clearly a good first step. But in order to truly advance science, do we need a wealth of multi-disciplinary data, which is easily cross linked and reused.

Three particular open data sources come to my mind, although I am sure there are more. These are DRYAD, figshare and Global Biodiversity Information Platform (GBIF). Each of the three is different, leading to the potential problems of data silos being created and overlapping and splitting of scientists between platforms. However, wherever you choose to publish your data, the principles of quality data remain the same.

What would be useful, if not already available is a super platform which brings together access to all these online datasets, wherever they are. That way data could easily be gathered from cross disciplines and a range of scientists within each discipline.

Do you currently publish data online? If so where, and why? Are there any tools that would help the reuse and finding data?


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