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UK University Researchers Must Make Data Available 352

Posted by timothy
from the time-to-pay-the-public-piper dept.
Sara Chan writes "In a landmark ruling, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office has decided that researchers at a university must make all their data available to the public. The decision follows from a three-year battle by mathematician Douglas J. Keenan, who wants the data to do his own analysis on it. The university researchers have had the data for many years, and have published several papers using the data, but had refused to make the data available. The data in this case pertains to global warming, but the decision is believed to apply to any field: scientists at universities, which are all public in the UK, can now not claim data from publicly-funded research as their private property." There's more at the BBC, at Nature Climate Feedback, and at Keenan's site.
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UK University Researchers Must Make Data Available

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  • by tsm_sf (545316) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @07:52PM (#31934180) Journal
    Wrong. If Group B cannot duplicate Group A's analysis of the data, that proves that Group A did something wrong and probably came to the wrong conclusion.

    Or it could prove what I've been saying all along, that Group B is chock full of mouth-breathing knuckle-walkers who I wouldn't trust to clean glassware let alone run projects.
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @07:59PM (#31934226)

    Creationists regularly mangle papers, taking quotes out of context and all.

    Get ready for an onslaught of mangled data analysis, with data being taken out of context, the results published to some blog, and people making policy decision based on those blog postings.

    Hmm... I think you've brought up another valid point: some researchers might take the data, rehash it and publish it as their own, getting credit for it, much as you have taken my point, restated it with a minor additions, and got all the mod points for it.

    Which is to say, I see what you did there ;)

  • by mkiwi (585287) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:13PM (#31934356)

    A mathematician, an engineer, and a computer scientist are the final candidates for the top tech spot at a major corporation. They are summoned one by one to be interviewed.

    The mathematician goes to the interview. The person interviewing him is the CEO of the company. Only one question is asked: "What is 1+1?"
    The mathematician pulls out a pen and paper, makes a few scribbles, and says "This is proof that 1+1=2!"

    The engineer goes to the interview next. The CEO asks him the same question, "What is 1+1?"
    The engineer promptly grabs a calculator from his pocket, types in 1+1 and presses the equals sign. He shows the result to the CEO: "This calculation proves that 1+1=2!"

    The computer scientist is last. He is nervous, but fairly calm. The CEO asks him the same question.
    The computer scientist pauses, scratches his head for a second, and pulls out his laptop and asks "What do you want it to be?"

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday April 21, 2010 @08:28PM (#31934498)

    I think you've brought up another valid point: some researchers might take the data, rehash it and publish it as their own, getting credit for it, much as you have taken my point, restated it with a minor additions, and got all the mod points for it.

    I stand on the shoulder of giants. ;)

  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Thursday April 22, 2010 @03:49AM (#31936636) Homepage Journal
    If I have been able to see further, it is due to being surrounded by midgets.

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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