With the inauguration of US President-Elect Barack Obama later today – we thought we’d prepare a brief list of things he can do to promote openness in his new role.
1. **Open government data**. Make core government data [open](http://opendefinition.org/) (as in [opendefinition.org](http://opendefinition.org)) – so that it can be re-used in mashups, visually represented, used in semantic web applications and so on! This idea is currently [in 5th place](http://ideas.obamacto.org/pages/general/suggestions/68532-open-government-data-apis-xml-rss-) on the [Obama CTO](http://ideas.obamacto.org/) site with over 5,800 votes.
2. **Open access to publicly funded research**. As suggested by Open Knowledge Foundation [Advisory Board](http://okfn.org/advisory_board/) member, [Peter Suber](http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/fosblog.html): “Require open access to the results of non-classified research funded by taxpayers. Extend the exemplary policy now in place at the NIH to all federal agencies.”. Currently [in 12th place](http://ideas.obamacto.org/pages/general/suggestions/72264-require-open-access-for-publicly-funded-research) on ObamaCTO with over 1,600 votes.
3. **Publish public information in way which makes it easy to re-use**. For example, publish in XML or Text/CSV, not PDF files which data must be extracted from. Allow direct, bulk downloading, rather than access through an API or piecemeal access via a web service. (For more on this see our post [Give Us the Data Raw, and Give it to Us Now](http://blog.okfn.org/2007/11/07/give-us-the-data-raw-and-give-it-to-us-now/).)The [Data Catalogue](http://data.octo.dc.gov/) of [Vivek Kundra’s Office](http://www.octo.dc.gov/) in the District of Columbia is a great example of this.
5. **Make it open by default**. Make public content and data – whether its government data, or publicly funded digitisation of cultural heritage artefacts – [open](http://opendefinition.org/) by default. Though this is not appropriate for everything, consider allowing as much as possible to be re-used. Think of the ‘Principle of Many Minds’ – there are lots of interesting things that can be done with a given document or dataset that you may not have thought of!