A Zen of Open Data

From the blog seeing data, Chris McDowall publishes a Zen of Open Data based on the Zen of Python (a programming language):

The Zen of Open Data

Open is better than closed.
Transparent is better than opaque.
Simple is better than complex.
Accessible is better than inaccessible.
Sharing is better than hoarding.
Linked is more useful than isolated.
Fine grained is preferable to aggregated.
(Although there are legitimate privacy and security limitations.)
Optimise for machine readability — they can translate for humans.
Barriers prevent worthwhile things from happening.
“Flawed, but out there” is a million times better than “perfect, but unattainable”.
Opening data up to thousands of eyes makes the data better.
Iterate in response to demand.
There is no one true feed for all eternity — people need to maintain this stuff.

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  • Gretchen

    Interesting that this post about open access information was the first thing I noticed when I came across your website while searching for a copy of “Using automated digital recording systems as effective tools for the monitoring of birds and amphibians” to cite for a paper I am writing about acoustic monitoring in conservation biology.
    I am an ecology undergrad, and I couldn’t find the publication through my university library, nor could I afford to pay the fee for the article, so I was very happy to find it on your webpage. Thank you for making your research available.