Building an Open Data Repository: Lessons and Challenges
20 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 15, 2011
The Internet has transformed scholarly research in many ways. Open access to data and other research output has been touted as a crucial step toward transparency and quality in science. This paper takes a critical look at what it takes to share social science research data, from the perspective of a small data repository at Yale University’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies. The ISPS Data Archive was built to create an open access digital collection of social science experimental data, metadata, and associated files produced by ISPS researchers, for the purpose of replication of research findings, further analysis, and teaching. This paper describes the development of the ISPS Data Archive and discusses the inter-related challenges of replication, integration, and stewardship. It argues that open data requires effort, investment of resources, and planning. By itself, it does not enhance knowledge.
Keywords: open data, data repository, social science research, data curation, replication
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