Monday, October 22, 2012

Denton Declaration: Open Data Manifesto

With its prominent role in digital collections firmly established (the Digital Library is still in the top 50 of the Webometrics world ranking of repositories), and growing involvement in the Open Access movement (an early adopter of repository deposit requirement and sponsor of 3 OA symposia), the UNT Libraries is now clearly at the forefront of the Open Data movement.  During the most recent OA Symposium, the participants drafted a statement of goals, principles and intentions to press forward in making research data available and accessible to the research and library community, as well as the public.

This Denton Declaration "bridges the converging interests of these stakeholders and promotes collaboration, transparency, and accountability across organizational and disciplinary boundaries."  The Declarations advocate that "(o)pen access to research data is critical for advancing science, scholarship, and society," that "(p)ublicly funded research should be publicly available for public good," and that "(t)ransparency in research is essential to sustain the public trust."

The Principles established in the Denton Declaration address the benefits of open access to data, as well as the general framework that would enable such access to thrive.  These include funding that supports "reliable long-term access", sufficient metadata to enable the finding and use of the data, the timely release of the data, and an infrastructure that supports long-term preservation.

Finally, the Intentions signal the issues of most importance to the signatories at this time, including developing a "culture of openness in research", building the infrastructure that is extensible and sustainable for archiving and making the data discoverable, developing metadata standards, and recognizing and supporting the intellectual property rights of the researchers.

This document is meant to provide the solid starting-point of the development of Open Access Data standards and technology that, say, the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the Berlin Declaration did for open access to journal articles.

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