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Tim Davies
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Hello John, This is a really interesting post. There is definitely a need for better mechanisms to capture information on the re-use of public data from sites like Data.gov.uk. I've in the past had to use brute-force searching for links back to data.gov.uk datasets to try and track re-use, and that only picks up a handful of possible re-uses. How feasible would it be to create an extension to the CKAN software that powers data.gov.uk that could easily assign DataCite DOIs to datasets? Importantly would then be to give users suggested citations to use (link snippets as well as citations) recognising the need to track online and offline re-use of data. With the current discussions ongoing about data catalogue federation standards (See http://www.dataprotocols.org/ for e.g.) getting a feed out of sites like Data.gov.uk should be fairly straightforward. When it comes to the criteria that open data should not require registration, I think it's important not to jump straight to the idea that there should be no option at all for optional registration. The latest datahub.io / CKAN platform has recognised that sometimes data users want to get updates about a dataset, and to indicate their interest in it, or use of it - and now registered users of the platform can 'follow' a dataset. In other contexts, giving people an option to give an e-mail address to get updates on when a dataset is updated etc. could complement webometric and bibliometric approaches to ascertaining dataset re-use. Tim
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Nov 20, 2012