For those of you who have been watching the blog of late you will be aware of the recent discussions about Open Data (1,2). We have offered the possibility to submitters of spectral data to declare their data either Open or Closed. Noel posted a comment on the blog asking the question “Why is the default Closed? Why even offer the option of Closed?”

So..my response to “Why not offer the option of Closed?” My opinion is that this is the submitters decision. It’s not our role to force “Openness” of data onto users. We are working to create an environment that provides value to ChemSpider users rather than one that forces them into a policy regarding openness. Personally, I would prefer to have access to data to help answer a question, even if they are NOT Open Data, than to not have access to those data. I have asked all of the people who have submitted data or had me submit data to ChemSpider whether they would like to have their data moved to open. 3 said yes 2 said no. I do NOT intend to force people to adhere to making their data Open. That is their choice, not mine. We are creating a community for collaboration. There is value in having access to data whether it is Open or not. if you look at the recent conversations about RSC and their Free Access versus Open Access we must agree that there IS value to Free Access to their articles despite the fact that they are not Open Access.

My friend Gary Martin has allowed us to deposit some of his data onto ChemSpider. He has commented twice (1,2) and I refer you to those blog postings for his opinions. They are interesting to read.

The reality is tha our policies, even as they are, appear to be appropriate to have people deposit their data. We already have over 100 spectra deposited on ChemSpider and more to come based on recent conversations. Some of these ARE Open Data and the depositors are acknowledged for this. They are sharing their data with you through us. That’s the benefit of building a community for chemists.

Stumble it!

4 Responses to “Who Gets to Choose Whether Data is Open or Not?”

  1. Joerg Kurt Wegner says:

    Antony, I was wondering if an additional token system (virtual money) and additional supplier ‘trustworthy user’ licenses for some data might help getting data access. Anyway, in all cases could ChemSpider be the platform for organising this? Just imagine people want different data types from multiple suppliers? Have users then really to negotiate all the single bits and pieces? Would it not be easier, if ChemSpider creates the platform and mechanisms for making this easier?

    I commented also here
    http://miningdrugs.blogspot.com/2007/10/open-data-closed-data-or-question-about.html

  2. Joerg Kurt Wegner says:

    I was again thinking about the token system … data curators or data contributors could e.g. gain tokens by adding value?

    And there could be also different user belt’s: white, yellow, orange, … blue, blue-red, red, red-brown, … black, b2,b3 …

    Independently from that a data-centric access system for trustworthy users, which might change from data supplier to data supplier, or even from data to data?

  3. Antony Williams says:

    Interesting thoughts. We can discuss in more detail in the future if and when we have available bandwidth to support ‘virtual banking”. Right now there are a lot of higher priorities to work on. Keep the ideas coming though…

  4. Joerg Kurt Wegner says:

    Right, keep ideas and prioritize ! ;-) Gotta go for rechecking my looooooong TODO list :-]]]]

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