RIO: new examples of open sharing research data

As a practical contribution to the scholarly discourse on new modes of communicating knowledge, Prof. Cameron Neylon, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University, Australia, and collaborators are to publish a series of outputs and outcomes resulting from their ongoing data sharing pilot project in the open access journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO).

Starting with their Grant Proposal, submitted and accepted for funding by the CanadianInternational Development Research Centre (IDRC), over the course of sixteen months, ending in December 2016, they are to openly publish the project outputs starting with the grant proposal.

The project will collaborate with 8 volunteering IDRC grantees to develop Data Management Plans, and then support and track their development. The project expects to submit literature reviews, Data Management Plans, case studies and a final research article with RIO. These will report and reflect on the lessons they will have learnt concerning open data policies in the specific context of development research. Thus, the project is to provide advice on refining the open research data policy guidelines.

I only just saw this when the project published it’s research proposal (presumably the first of many coming releases of research materials this year). The project looks interesting enough, but I’m  mostly excited to see the norm of sharing raw research data, and to do so thoughtfully (#responsibledata issues duly noted).

This is a step beyond the sharing of research results, and is pretty uncharted territory. Like development researchers sharing draft books on google docs before publishing, I’m tempted to read this as early signs of a sea change, the first green spires poking out of a cow shit-spotted field (the academic publishing industry).

I’m also keen to see how RIO will work in practice, and what the Research Ideas and Outcomes initiative is poised to do more generally. From the RIO about page it reads like a clearing house for research methods and data, which raises the perennial question about whether they can get a critical mass of users. Eyes peeled…

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