Posts Tagged ‘OKF’

Introducing the Sovereign Credit Risk Open Database

Marc Joffe of the OKF reports, “Throughout the Eurozone, credit rating agencies have been under attack for their lack of transparency and for their pro-cyclical sovereign rating actions. In the humble belief that the crowd can outperform the credit rating oracles, we are introducing an open database of historical sovereign risk data. It is available at where community members can both view and edit the data. Once the quality of this data is sufficient, the data set can be used to create unbiased, transparent models of sovereign credit risk. The database contains central government revenue, expenditure, public debt and interest costs from the 19th century through 2011 – along with crisis indicators taken from Reinhart and Rogoff’s public database.” Read more

News from the First Open Economics International Workshop

Velichka Dimitrova of OKF recently gave a recap of the organization’s first Open Economics International Workshop. Dimitrova writes, “The first Open Economics International Workshop gathered 40 academic economists, data publishers and funders of economics research, researchers and practitioners to a two-day event at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, UK. The aim of the workshop was to build an understanding around the value of open data and open tools for the Economics profession and the obstacles to opening up information, as well as the role of greater openness of the academy. This event was organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law and was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Audio and slides are available at the event’s webpage.” Read more

Boundless Releasing Textbooks Under Creative Commons License

Sam Leon of the Open Knowledge Foundation reports, “Boundless, the open source digital textbook provider, is releasing all of its 18 open source textbooks under a Creative Commons Attribution and Share-Alike license. We covered the progress of this brilliant initiative mid-way through last yearBoundless leverages open content on the web, whether that’s information on Wikipedia or digital copies of public domain artworks, to produce textbooks that are free for everyone to access. Boundless provides an alternative to traditional textbooks that are out of reach to many given their often hefty price tags. We’re really excited to see that the company is now making all its content available under such a permissive license that will maximise re-use of this material but make sure that those who have spent time compiling and writing these resources are attributed.” Read more

Moving Forward with Open Definition

Mike Linksvayer of recently wrote, “Open Definition (OD) is one of the first projects that the Open Knowledge Foundation created. Its purpose has been to provide, promote — and protect — a meaningful Open in Open Data and Open Content. It does this primarily through curating the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD), working with license stewards to ensure new licenses intending to be open are clearly so, and keeping lists of licenses that conform to the OKD, and those that do not — providing any entity intending to create an open project, or mandate ‘open’ in policy, with a clear reference as to which licenses will achieve their aims. Read more How the NHS Could Save Millions of Dollars

Carl Reynolds of the Open Knowledge Foundation reports, “Last week saw the launch of (covered in the Economist and elsewhere). At present it’s ‘just’ a nice data visualisation of some interesting open data that show the NHS could potentially save millions from its drug budget. I say ‘just’ because we’re in discussions with several NHS organizations about providing a richer, tailored, prescribing analytics service to support the best use of NHS drug budgets. Working on the project was a lot of fun, and to my mind the work nicely shows the spectacular value of open data when combined with people and internet.” Read more

Why Governments Should Go Open

Guillermo Moncecchi of the Open Knowledge Foundation recently shared his argument as to why governments have a responsibility to go open. He writes, “The most common argument in favor of open data is that it enhances transparency, and while the link may not always be causal, it is certainly true that both tend to go hand-in-hand. But there is another, more expansive perspective on open government data: that it is part of an effort to build public infrastructure.” Read more

Open Data Bootcamp Heads to Tanzania

Michael Bauer of the Open Knowledge Foundation recently wrote, “I am on the Road in Tanzania and Ghana to spread the data love. Last week Tanzania’s first data journalism event happened. The Data Bootcamp, organized by the World Bank Institute and the African Media Initiative, brought together international experts, journalists, civil society organizations and technologists to work on data related projects. In 2010 Tanzania committed to release open government data as part of the open government partnership. Nevertheless, the Tanzanian government has only released two datasets so far. One goal of the data bootcamp was to spur demand by implementing small data projects.”

He goes on, “The format was tested before in South Africa, Kenya and Moldovia and helped to raise awareness of Open Data. In preparation and during the workshop four more datasets were scraped and liberated. Further data was collected by the participants to work on their specific projects. Of the 40 participants only 7 were able to code – the majority were journalists and activists who never handled data before. Through the three days they received an intensive training in how to use spreadsheets and tools like Google Refine or Fusion Tables to tell stories with data. The data bootcamps not only consist of intense hands-on learning experience, they also are a small competition, where $2000 are awarded to the winner.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy OKF

Martin Weller on the Open Access Swindle

Martin Weller of the Open Knowledge Foundation recently discussed what he refers to as the “great open access swindle.” He writes, “Just to be clear from the outset, I am an advocate for open access, and long ago took a stance to only publish OA and to only review for OA. I’m not suggesting here that open access is itself a swindle, but rather that the current implementation, in particular commercial publishers adopting Gold OA, is problematic. In my digital scholarship book, I made two pleas, the first was for open access publishing, and the second was for scholars to own the process of change. On this second point, the book ends thus:” Read more

Success for Open Data at OKFest

Mark Wainwright of OKF writes, “Last week’s OKFest is finally over, after a hectic week of talks, workshops, films, hackathons, and more. You can read about highlights such as Hans Rosling’s brilliant talk over on the OKFN blog. The biggest challenge for me was being in two places at once on Wednesday afternoon, with both the CKAN workshop and a panel discussion, including me, in the Open Science stream on ‘Immediate access to raw data from experiments’, where I was on the panel, running in nearby buildings at overlapping times. (Happily I more or less pulled it off.)” Read more

Europeana Opens Up Data on 20M Items

Jonathan Gray of OKF reports, “Today Europeana is opening up data about all 20 million of the items it holds under the CC0 rights waiver. This means that anyone can reuse the data for any purpose – whether using it to build applications to bring cultural content to new audiences in new ways, or analysing it to improve our understanding of Europe’s cultural and intellectual history. This is a coup d’etat for advocates of open cultural data. The data is being released after a grueling and unenviable internal negotiation process that has lasted over a year – involving countless meetings, workshops, and white papers presenting arguments and evidence for the benefits of openness.”

He goes on, “Why does this matter? For one thing it will open the door for better discovery mechanisms for cultural content. Read more