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    Book Review: Open Data and the Knowledge Society by Bridgette Wessels, Kush Wadhwa, Rachel L. Finn and Thordis Sveinsdottir

Book Review: Open Data and the Knowledge Society by Bridgette Wessels, Kush Wadhwa, Rachel L. Finn and Thordis Sveinsdottir

In Open Data and the Knowledge Society, authors Bridgette Wessels, Kush Wadhwa, Rachel L. Finn and Thordis Sveinsdottir place the management of open data ecosystems at the heart of the transformation into a “knowledge society”, presenting five case studies through which to consider various ways of dealing with different types of data. Miranda Nell welcomes this book for showing how open data […]

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    Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

The case for open data is increasingly inarguable. Improved data practice can help to address concerns about reproducibility and research integrity, reducing fraud and improving patient outcomes, for example. Research also shows good data practice can lead to improved productivity and increased citations. However, as Grace Baynes reports, recent survey data shows that while the research community recognises the […]

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    Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

In We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves, John Cheney-Lippold examines how algorithms increasingly interpret and influence our behaviour. With the author concluding with some pragmatic suggestions for challenging the digital status quo, Daniel Zwi welcomes the book for both capably elucidating the problem of algorithmic regulation and forearming us to tackle this issue.
This review originally appeared on LSE Review of […]

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    Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

There is currently little incentive for researchers to share their data. But what if it was enough for journals to simply ask authors to make their data available? Michèle B. Nuijten reports on a recent study that found journal policies that encourage data sharing to be extremely effective, with a steep increase in the percentage of articles with open […]

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Starter tips on sharing data and analysis scripts

Researchers are increasingly encouraged to make their data openly accessible and usable for others. To early-career researchers in particular, this can seem daunting, with different considerations when posting data publicly rather than retaining it solely for internal use. Katherine Wood has compiled a short open data starter guide to make the process less overwhelming and help researchers do their bit […]

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    The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

The number and proportion of freely available articles is growing; reaching 45% of the literature published in 2015

Using open data and open services, a large-scale study of the state of open and free access has found both the number and proportion of articles freely available to the public is growing, having reached 45% of the literature published in 2015. Juan Pablo Alperin reveals more about this study and suggests we are at the beginning of a […]

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    Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for […]

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    Without a critical approach to big data it risks becoming an increasingly sophisticated paradigm for coercion

Without a critical approach to big data it risks becoming an increasingly sophisticated paradigm for coercion

We are in the midst of a data revolution, one reliant on the capture, analysis, and visual representation of enlarged quantitative data, in increasingly digital formats. Hamish Robertson and Joanne Travaglia argue that big data quantification is now not only a mechanism for extracting information but has become an idea with social and political power in its own right. […]

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    Research should not allow the loud voice of online content production to drown out the quiet majority of internet users

Research should not allow the loud voice of online content production to drown out the quiet majority of internet users

Social science research aims to record, analyse, and make sense of social mess; to observe and account for everything in a given setting. Why, then, does so much of the research carried out online refuse to do this? Harry Dyer argues that in order to understand the social uses of the internet, it is crucial that research is not […]

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    In order to fully realise the value of open data researchers must first address the quality of the datasets

In order to fully realise the value of open data researchers must first address the quality of the datasets

There has been a phenomenal increase in the availability of data over the last decade. Open data is provided as a means of empowering users with information and in the hope of sparking innovation and increased efficiency in governments and businesses. However, in spite of the many success stories based on the open data paradigm, concerns remain over the […]

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    Engaging with sensor-based methods for social sciences research is necessary, overdue and potentially rewarding

Engaging with sensor-based methods for social sciences research is necessary, overdue and potentially rewarding

Sensors are an important source of big data. Developments at the heart of “smart cities” or the exploding “quantified self” movement are all reliant on sensors. However, attempts by social scientists to engage with sensors from a methodological perspective have been rare. Jörg Müller argues that such engagement is not only necessary and overdue, but also potentially rewarding. It’s […]

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    Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

Patient experience feedback: we need to engage with the issues of using Big Data methods to capture the human voice

The NHS regularly asks its patients to complete surveys reporting on the quality of care they have received. These surveys include opportunities for patients to submit feedback in their own words. Carol Rivas describes how computational and digital methods can be used to analyse and report patient feedback in an efficient and timely manner. However, it is important to […]

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    When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

When data science meets social sciences: the benefits of the data revolution are clear but careful reflection is needed

Contemporary social sciences unquestionably benefit from the growing accessibility and availability of data sources, and the impressive developments in computational tools for data collection and analysis. However, Marta Stelmaszak and Philipp Hukal emphasise the importance of continued careful reflection when using new forms of data and methods. Any analysis of data requires reflection on the agency that went into […]

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    Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

Excel is threatening the quality of research data — Data Packages are here to help

This week the Frictionless Data team at Open Knowledge International will be speaking about making research data quality visible at the International Digital Curation Conference (#idcc17). Dan Fowler looks at why the popular file format Excel is problematic for research and what steps can be taken to ensure data quality is maintained throughout the research process.

Our Frictionless Data project aims […]

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February 22nd, 2017|Big data, Data science|3 Comments|

2016 in review: round-up of our top posts on big data

The Next Decade of Data Science: Rethinking key challenges faced by big data researchers
The vast availability of digital traces of unprecedented form and scale has led many to believe that we are entering a new data revolution. Will these new data sources and tools allow us to improve business processes in transformative ways? Vyacheslav Polonski argues that the more […]

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December 28th, 2016|Annual review, Big data|0 Comments|
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    Measuring and engineering influence on social media: what does this mean for political power?

Measuring and engineering influence on social media: what does this mean for political power?

In 2016, the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump resolutely demonstrated the political power of social media. David Beer asks how we might better understand ‘influence’ in the machinations of social media, and how this influence might be harnessed by those in, or seeking, office.
One of the most interesting features of the new types of social media analytics […]

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December 19th, 2016|Big data, Social media|1 Comment|
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    Git for Data Analysis – why version control is essential for collaboration and for gaining public trust

Git for Data Analysis – why version control is essential for collaboration and for gaining public trust

Openness and collaboration go hand in hand. Samuel Payne describes how scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working with the Frictionless Data team at Open Knowledge International to ensure collaboration on data analysis is seamless and their data integrity is maintained.

I’m a computational biologist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where I work on environmental and biomedical […]

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    What does Big Data mean to public affairs research? Understanding the methodological and analytical challenges

What does Big Data mean to public affairs research? Understanding the methodological and analytical challenges

The term ‘Big Data’ is often misunderstood or poorly defined, especially in the public sector. Ines Mergel, R. Karl Rethemeyer, and Kimberley R. Isett provide a definition that adequately encompasses the scale, collection processes, and sources of Big Data. However, while recognising its immense potential it is also important to consider the limitations when using Big Data as a […]

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December 8th, 2016|Big data, Policymaking|1 Comment|
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    Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

The Digital Economy Bill, currently passing through Parliament, includes proposals for HMRC information on benefits recipients to be shared with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in order to identify citizens living in fuel poverty. Sharing data between government departments for policy purposes is not so straightforward, explains Edgar Whitley, outlining some of the key issues that must be […]

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