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What is Research Data?
The OECD defines research data as “factual records (numerical scores, textual records, images and sounds) used as primary sources for scientific research, and that are commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings.” (OECD, 2007).
Why Open Data?
In a field with limited resources, open data ensures that the maximum value is gained from research. The motivation is to accelerate the rate of scientific discovery. Open data:
Enables researchers to explore questions not envisioned by the original investigators, and to address old questions in new ways, through re-use of data.
Enables meta-analyses and creation of new data sets by combining multiple data sources.
Makes possible the testing of alternative hypotheses, and the use of different methods of analysis; sharing of data encourages diversity of analysis and opinion.
Enables the identification of errors in the research record through the reproduction of research findings by others, thus preventing wasteful allocation of resources exploring false avenues.
Promotes good documentation and stewardship of datafiles. Depositing data in a repository with institutional support will protect against loss, and the knowledge that research data will be made public will encourage researchers to undertake good practices such as preparing a suitable data dictionary and tracking file versions.
Provides readily accessible datasets for training students on data analysis techniques.
How can I support Psi Open Data?
If you are conducting research in parapsychology or psychical research, you can support the repository by contributing your data; to do so please contact us. The best time to prepare data for publication is throughout the process of creating it, and whilst preparing the associated research report for publication.
Contributions towards the cost of running the repository are also welcome. Please contact us.
And of course, spread the word... please tell your colleagues about us.