Open Data: It’s All About the Context

Marta Teperek from University of Cambridge just wrote up a nice blog post about the International Digital Curation Conference that took place at the end of February in Amsterdam.  Of particular interest was a workshop called “A Context-driven Approach to Data Curation for Reuse”.  One of the key takeaways from this workshop was “(i)nsufficient contextual information makes data not useful.”

In an attempt to make it easier for researchers to provide contextual information, the Mozilla Science Lab has developed this ten-point checklist to help you provide context for your data set to make it more reusable.

One does not simply share data without proper documentation.

Document your data.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what’s needed for every type of data set but we think it’s a good generalizable checklist that works well for capturing the:







of your data.

Take a look. Use it. Share it. Fork it. Mix it.  Let us know what you think.  If you’d like to dig in and REALLY document your data for reuse, take a stab at making a Data Reuse Plan.  Remember…

Metadata is a love note to the future.

Image credit: cea+ “Metadata is a love note to the future”. (CC-BY 2.0)