Report of the Research Coordination Network RCN : OceanObsNetwork, facilitating open exchange of data and information
Orcutt, John A.
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The OceanObsNetwork goals and objectives are to foster a broad, multi-disciplinary dialogue, enabling more effective use of sustained ocean observatories and observing systems. To achieve these, the activities for the RCN include a working group titled “Facilitating Open Exchange of Data and Information.” Within this area 3 task teams were created dealing with elements that impact on open exchange of data and information. This report examines the foundation of Open Data and its importance to the international community, science, innovation and jobs. While the goal may be similar, the paths to Open Data are varied and drawing together a pervasive approach will take time. There are however, near term steps, technical and social, that could have significant impacts. Stimulating interdisciplinary collaboration occurs through adoption of common standards for data exchange, creation of information brokering for improved discovery and access and working toward common or defined vocabularies. Simply finding other scientists’ data has been noted as a major barrier for research. Open Data impinges on existing reward systems and social interactions. Areas that need to be addressed are the academic reward system (in terms of promotion and resources), the peer review panels and grant selection processes (in terms of acknowledging the importance and challenge of data collection) and the needs for acceptable citation mechanisms. Intellectual property should not be abandoned in an Open Data environment and managing IPR is necessary. A sustainable Open Data Policy is essential and sustainability is a matter for all parties, government, private sector, academia and non-profit organizations. As full implementation of Open Data will involve a change in practices in a number of research and publication activities, an end-to-end perspective and strategy would most likely allow a long-term sustainable path to be pursued. Various business models are discussed in the paper that would not have been considered a decade ago. These range from cloud storage to publication of data with Digital Object Identifiers. These set a possible foundation for the future.
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