Open data

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Definition Open data is data available/visible to others & that can be freely used, re-used, shared, re-published and redistributed by anyone.
Explanation Data openness is subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute the source and implies a willingness to, in turn, share the use of this data with other. The idea & value of transparency is sometimes used when discussing open data.

Open data in pursuit of transparency should make it:

  • easier to access public data and
  • encourage data publishers to release data in standardised, open formats ingraining a ‘presumption to publish’ unless there are clear, specific reasons (such as privacy) not to do so.

Open data is part of the Open Science effort. There may be issues of formats that data can appear in that helps to make them open. See also data transparency.

Examples Data available from many government sites and funded efforts such the The Human Genome Project or Dataverse Networks.

For example the Odum Institute Dataverse Network ( or

UC San Diego Dataverse Network (

References The full Open Definition gives precise details as to what this means. See
Scope RDA Data Publishing Workflow Interest Group
Status New