Open data are data that can be used by anyone without technical or legal restrictions. The use encompasses both access and reuse.
Open data or open research data refers to data that has been created in the course of academic work, e.g. through digitization, source research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews, and is offered "openly," i.e. freely accessible worldwide via the Internet.
To facilitate the reuse of research data, open repositories and appropriate licences are selected according to the type of data in question.
According to many definitions, open data is a component of open science. Other components include open access, open science evaluation and open science tools. Foster , opens an external URL in a new windowoffers a clear taxonomy on open science, opens an external URL in a new window and the following definition:
"Open science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods."
Open science aims to make the results of publicly-funded research publicly accessible and reusable in digital form, with few or no restrictions. This aim applies to all components of the scientific process and is made possible by the joint efforts of researchers, funding bodies, research institutions and scientific communities. Open science creates new opportunities for using scientific findings in academia, society and business. This increases the social importance of research, promotes transparency, cooperation and innovation, and saves time and money for researchers and research institutions.
Open science will also become increasingly important for funding bodies and the future European Union Framework Programme, Horizon Europe.
For more information on open science, see:
- the OECD publication, Making Open Science a Reality
- the European Commission publication, Open innovation, open science, open to the world - a vision for Europe
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) aims to deploy and consolidate an open, trusted virtual environment to enable circa 2 million European researchers to store, share, process, analyse, and reuse research digital objects including data, publications and software across disciplines and borders. A European co-programmed Partnership approach for EOSC has been proposed for the period 2021-2030 (https://eosc.eu/, opens an external URL in a new window). It will bring together institutional, national and European initiatives and engage all relevant stakeholders to deploy a European Research Data Commons where data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR). This European contribution to a Web of FAIR Data and Related Services for Science will support open science in a deepened European Research Area and provide the basis for the research and innovation data space foreseen in the European Strategy for Data.
The central platform data.gv.at, opens an external URL in a new window is an Austrian portal for open government data (OGD). This refers to non-personal and non-infrastructure-critical data sets which, in the interests of the public, are freely available without any restrictions on use, distribution and reuse.
The Austrian Plattform Registerforschung, opens an external URL in a new window is committed to helping design the appropriate framework for, and facilitating access to, data from public records for scientific research.
At the European level, the EU Open Data Portal, opens an external URL in a new window offers centralised access to data from European Union institutions, agencies and other bodies. The portal is a core component of the EU strategy for open data.