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Open Data Lab

Open Data is data that anyone can access, use and share. Governments, businesses and individuals can use open data to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits.

What is Open Data?

“By Open Data in science we mean data that are freely available on the public internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyze, re-process, or use these for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself” (Panton Principles, 2019).

Discovering Open Data in three minutes

Why is Open Data important?

Borgman (2015) identified four rationales for sharing research data: to reproduce research, to make those data that can be considered public assets, available to the public, to leverage investments in research, and to advance research and innovation. Several studies have furthermore reported that scientific papers accompanied by publicly available data are on average cited more often, and are moreover characterized by fewer statistical errors and a greater degree of robustness.

[Taken from Masuzzo and Martens, 2017]

What should I consider when I want Open Data?

  1. Releasing your data is not enough by itself.
    It is also important that other researchers can easily use the data for their own research. To that end, it is good practice to make your data conform to the FAIR principles (i.e., they should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-usable).
  2. Be aware of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) principles.
    The GDPR is an EU regulation created to protect the privacy of European citizens. The main principle of the GDPR is that personal data (any information that relates to an identified or identifiable living individual) cannot be used or distributed unless the relevant individual has given specific consent to do so. If necessary, you should therefore be sure to anonymize your data such that the subjects in your data sets are no longer identifiable.

Where should I release my data?

Masuzzo and Martens (2017) provide a comprehensive overview of data repositories, but you can also browse research data repositories by subject, content type or country on

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