Open Data

Version française: Données Libres d'Accès 

What is Open Data?

Open Data is data that anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose []. Open data can refer to the accessibility of research data or of government data.

Why is Open Data important?

Data is often gathered using public funds and should therefore be useful to the public and belong in the public domain. When data is freely accessible and useable, it can accelerate research and promote collaboration [John Wilbanks, Creative Commons]. 

Does Canada have any Open Data policies in place?

  • Open Research Data: Yes and no. Researchers funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are required to share their bioinformatics, atomic, and molecular coordinate data upon publication of their research. However, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) or Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)  “encourage” researchers to share their data as “best practice” but make no requirement in their new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy.
  • Open Government Data: The Canadian government launched an open data pilot platform in 2011, and created the “Open Government Portal”. Canada currently ranks 7th in the world for open government data according to the Open Data Barometer, but only 22nd on the Open Data Index because Canada lacks some open datasets including those for government spending  and transportation.

Links to good videos/resources about open data

Links to any upcoming open data conferences?

  • OpenCon Toronto + OpenCon SFU: November 21 2016 in Toronto + Burnaby, Canada.

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