Links between open data

In another move towards more open exploration of university data, Southampton University have recently released a site which allows experiment and mashup with some of their administrative data.¬† This follows Tim Berners-Lee’s ideas on Linked Data and presents RDF structured data. There is an interesting piece from The Register IT-blog on the initiative which links the approach to work with the Ordnance Survey.

This takes its place in a range of current experiments and acts as one pole of an approach using structured data. The other pole is exemplified by the previously reported competition to use the heterogeneous collection of information available through Mendeley. The tension between usage of large sets of information with basic (if any) metadata and far smaller restricted sets with structure that allows wider experiment exists as a basic question in information management. The debate will doubtless continue.



The importance of sharing for HEIs

The University of Hong Kong has recently signed an agreement with Springer regarding a trail of Open Access to materials – as well as signing the Berlin Declaration.

While the detail of this particular agreement can be discussed – and has been raised on the JISC Repositories list – a posting from David Palmer at the University highlighted the strategic thinking that underlies the work that is being done in the area. See the webpage “Promoting Knowledge Exchange and Demonstrating Leadership in Communities Across the Region” on the University’s website.

This is an articulate and concise exploration of why knowledge exchange is important to an HE institution; the interconnectedness of the institution, staff, alumni, local community  and the wider outside world; and the inseperability of knowledge exchange with teaching, learning and research.

PS And, thankfully, such strategic ambitions now do seem to be trumping the old argument of the “free-rider” problem: of commercial companies being able to make money from research being given to them for free, previously raised by publishers, without a hint of irony.