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Launch of the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science and ‘Is It Open Data?’ Web Service

We are pleased to announce the Panton Principles for Open Data in Science:

From the preamble:

Science is based on building on, reusing and openly criticising the published body of scientific knowledge. For science to effectively function, and for society to reap the full benefits from scientific endeavours, it is crucial that science data be made open.

By open data in science we mean that it is freely available on the public internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyse, re-process, pass them to software or use them for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. To this end data related to published science should be explicitly placed in the public domain.

The principles themselves state that legal status of scientific datasets should be made explicit and that content licenses are not appropriate for data. They strongly discourage non-commercial licenses and strongly encourage dedication to the public domain. You can endorse the principles at:

We’d greatly appreciate any help in disseminating the principles – including blogging, microblogging and forwarding to relevant people!

The first draft of Panton Principles was written in July 2009 by Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock and John Wilbanks at the Panton Arms on Panton Street in Cambridge, UK, just down from the Chemistry Faculty where Peter works. They were then refined with the help of the members of the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Data in Science.

The Is It Open Data? web service is also now live. This allows anyone to make and publicly record an enquiry into the openness of a given (scientific) dataset. It is also an initiative of the Working Group on Open Data in Science.

Panton Principles

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