Open data: ‘It’s not about giving away data, it’s about giving it back’
To get our science to those who need it, we ensure our data — apart from being free and of high quality — are “FAIR”
Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT
Open data can mean different things to different people. For me and my team, it’s not about giving away data, it’s about giving it back.
Over the last 50 years, CIAT scientists have generated a gamut of data, ranging from crop models to maps of climate change risks. A lot of these are open to everyone.
That’s because as a publicly funded institution, we owe it to the public that they have free access to our data.
But it’s more than just a moral obligation to our donors and the public more broadly.
We can keep our data private and still have an impact — but we could reach many more people, and amplify the reach of our work if we make that data open.
To get our science to those who need it, we ensure our data — apart from being free and of high quality — are “FAIR”:
They are Findable. You can locate them easily.
They are Accessible. They are not behind a password.
They are Interoperable. Humans and machines can read, use and share them.
They are Reusable. Anyone can create or improve products out of our data, depending on their licensing terms.
By freely sharing our data — what we call “democratizing our C-drives” — development agencies, startups and government ministries can take the data to develop innovative solutions. These can help improve the lives and incomes of subsistence producers, adapt to the changing climate and get better access to nutritious food.
Data and Information Manager at CIAT
This article’s original version is posted on the CIAT blog