April 22, 2010

Free the data

T-valuesPractical Ethics: I'm a taxpayer, I want my data! - I blog about the ethics of having researchers release their data to the public. Since I think science is a fundamentally collective activity that really requires independent (and often adversarial) investigation of the same data, I am in favour of having publicly funded data be made publicly available as soon as findings get published. Yes, it might be annoying to researchers and cost some effort and side-income, but I believe the benefits actually outweigh the drawbacks.

The real tricky part is to set the timing: clearly data should be private before publication, but become public soon after. But how soon depends on the speed of publication, which itself is a technical and economical matter that is going to change a lot in the near future. Also, multiple publications from the same dataset are common - should we wait for the slowest one, or the fastest one?

Posted by Anders3 at April 22, 2010 07:59 PM