Category Archives: Data Repository

Open Data Day 2022: March 5th

Open Data Day will take place on March 5, 2022. The day is organized annually by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote Open Data around the world. It was created as an opportunity to emphasize the benefits of Open Data and encourage the adoption of Open Data policies in government, business and civil society. 

What is Open Data? According to the Open Data Handbook by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Open Data “…is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone – subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike”.  The Canadian government’s definition adds the aspects of structure and machine-readability: “Open data is defined as structured data that is machine-readable, freely shared, used and built on without restrictions.”

Open Data Padlock Lock - Free vector graphic on Pixabay

What are possible benefits of Open Data? First and foremost, the concept of Open Data is an integral part of the Open Scholarship ecosystem. Research data that is openly accessible contributes to innovation, transparency and reproducibility in science. But the benefits of Open Data are not limited to academia. Similarly, public administration information, if made freely accessible in compliance with open standards, is contributing to a more transparent and accountable governance and thus to a potentially more equitable society. And ultimately, it is open data generated in citizen science projects that feeds back into both academic and societal discourse.

What are Indigenous perspectives on Open Data? It must be understood that the ideas behind Open Data are not equally beneficial and relevant for all communities. The needs of Indigenous Peoples for autonomy and control over Indigenous data and data related to Indigenous Knowledges, as reflected in the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance, may be opposed to the principles of Open Data. It is the responsibility of the global Open Scholarship community to respectfully acknowledge that fact and attempt to reconcile these principles in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Data sovereignty advocates. To learn more about the history and principles of Indigenous Data sovereignty, particularly in the lands now known as Canada, see the First Nations Principles of OCAP and chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2 2018) on Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada.

Which sources for Open Data do exist? There are numerous initiatives and resources around Open Data in academic research, citizen science, and public administration. For example, the ongoing COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group is curating an extensive dataset on COVID-19 in Canada. A large amount of geographic data is freely available in OpenStreetMap. A growing number of governing bodies is providing demographic and other statistical data.  And libraries, archives, and museums provide digitizations of their collections as well as metadata and also feed them into projects such as Wikidata, or the Internet Archive, bringing the concept of Linked Open Data to life.

Open Data – what role does it play in the UVic community? A wide range of stakeholders at University of Victoria are contributing to and making use of Open Data. UVic Libraries invites faculty, researchers, and students to deposit their scholarly data into UVic Dataverse, an institutional research data repository. The depositors are encouraged to make the data open, because the repository is an ideal environment for Open Data.
The Libraries also maintain several Libguides that address Open Data discovery, including on research, health and government data, business data, and geospatial data, as well as discipline specific guides.
Research projects like the Ocean Networks Canada are inviting scholars and the public to access their data, while explicitly committing to Canadian Open Data principles.
Other projects at UVic that touch on the topic of Open Data include the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ECTL), which curates an overview on the topic and hosts the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory, that – among others – lists Open Data policies.  

Love Data Week 2022: Feb 14-18

Love Data Week is an international celebration of all things data, scheduled annually in the week of Valentine’s day. Its aim is to engage community and increase awareness with events that highlight the prominence, value, and appropriate handling of data in our lives and research.

For Love Data Week 2022, libraries at SFU, UBC, UNBC, and UVic collaborated to offer a series of talks and workshops. All events will be hosted online via Zoom and registration is open to everyone. 

You can check out all of the Love Data Week events and workshops through the UBC Library Research Commons. All events are online and completely open.

This year’s keynote presentation is by Sonia Barbosa, the Manager of Data Curation for Harvard Dataverse. The presentation is titled Lessons learned: 20 years of data acquisition and management services  and will be held on Monday, February 14th from 10am-11am, You can register for this talk here.

International collaborations support UVic research impact across academic fields

May 21, 2019 | UVic News

‘This year, the Leiden Rankings added a new category for Open Access publications as well—showcasing UVic’s strength in making science and scholarship’s findings accessible and affordable. Nearly half of all UVic publications (46.7 per cent) circulate legally and sustainably in open access journals and repositories—putting UVic just behind McGill and ahead of the University of Toronto in this emerging domain.’

The Copyright and Scholarly Communications Office would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of the UVic authors who have contributed to the growth of UVic’s institutional repository and the subsequent recognition with the CWTS Leiden Rankings this year. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all UVic-based researchers who contributed to UVic’s rankings within the Leiden Rankings and wish them all continued growth and success.

For more information on how you can contribute the University of Victoria’s institutional repository UVicSpace, please visit the  Copyright and Scholarly Communications Office webpage Mobilize Your Research.

New health data added to DataVerse at UVic

Canada Health Infoway works closely with its partners to assess the landscape of digital health and its value to Canadians and the healthcare system. They have produced some unique data that may be valuable doing research in the area across the country. In August 2016, Infoway contributed 2 initial datasets to UVic’s Dataverse Network:

UVic’s Dataverse Network is a highly visible tool used by researchers and is intended to help universities share publicly funded research data with Canadians and researchers worldwide. The Dataverse Network is an open source application for publishing, referencing, extracting and analyzing research data.

University of California Faculty Senate Passes Open Access Policy


Professor Christopher Kelty, UCLA

Professor Richard Schneider, UC San Francisco

Professor Robert Powell, Chair, Academic Council

The Academic Senate of the University of California has passed an Open Access Policy, ensuring that future research articles authored by faculty at all 10 campuses of UC will be made available to the public at no charge. "The Academic Council's adoption of this policy on July 24, 2013, came after a six-year process culminating in two years of formal review and revision," said Robert Powell, chair of the Academic Council. "Council's intent is to make these articles widely-and freely- available in order to advance research everywhere." Articles will be available to the public without charge via eScholarship (UC's open access repository) in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals. Open access benefits researchers, educational institutions, businesses, research funders and the public by accelerating the pace of research, discovery and innovation and contributing to the mission of advancing knowledge and encouraging new ideas and services.

Chris Kelty, Associate Professor of Information Studies, UCLA, and chair of the UC University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (UCOLASC), explains, "This policy will cover more faculty and more research than ever before, and it sends a powerful message that faculty want open access and they want it on terms that benefit the public and the future of research."

The policy covers more than 8,000 UC faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California, and as many as 40,000 publications a year. It follows more than 175 other universities who have adopted similar so-called "green" open access policies. By granting a license to the University of California prior to any contractual arrangement with publishers, faculty members can now make their research widely and publicly available, re-use it for various purposes, or modify it for future research publications. Previously, publishers had sole control of the distribution of these articles. All research publications covered by the policy will continue to be subjected to rigorous peer review; they will still appear in the most prestigious journals across all fields; and they will continue to meet UC's standards of high quality. Learn more about the policy and its implementation here:

UC is the largest public research university in the world and its faculty members receive roughly 8% of all research funding in the U.S. With this policy UC Faculty make a commitment to the public accessibility of research, especially, but not only, research paid for with public funding by the people of California and the United States. This initiative is in line with the recently announced White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive requiring "each Federal Agency with over $100 million in annual conduct of research and development expenditures to develop a plan to support increased public access to results of the research funded by the Federal Government." The new UC Policy also follows a similar policy passed in 2012 by the Academic Senate at the University of California, San Francisco, which is a health sciences campus.

“The UC System wide adoption of an Open Access (OA) Policy represents a major leap forward for the global OA movement and a well-deserved return to taxpayers who will now finally be able to see first-hand the published byproducts of their deeply appreciated investments in research" said Richard A. Schneider, Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication at UCSF. "The ten UC campuses generate around 2-3% of all the peer-reviewed articles published in the world every year, and this policy will make many of those articles freely available to anyone who is interested anywhere, whether they are colleagues, students, or members of the general public”

The adoption of this policy across the UC system also signals to scholarly publishers that open access, in terms defined by faculty and not by publishers, must be part of any future scholarly publishing system. The faculty remains committed to working with publishers to transform the publishing landscape in ways that are sustainable and beneficial to both the University and the public.

Data-sharing: Everything on display

Nature 500, 243-245, (2013) doi:10.1038/nj7461-243a
August 7, 2013

Richard Van Noorden

This article was originally published in the journal Nature
Researchers can get visibility and connections by putting their data online ? if they go about it in the right way.

Celebrating Open Access Week – October 18-24, 2010

Please feel free to forward to faculty who may be interested.
All event details are available at:

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries, in partnership with McGill University Library produced an advocacy video on the issues of open access.

The roughly one minute animated video explains the concept of open access to students and faculty in a simple and fun format. The video is available in both French and English, can be placed on websites, displayed on monitors in libraries during open access week, and is available for free and is licenselicensed under a Creative Commons license. It can be viewed at

Funding Agency Panel: Opening up Access

Free webcast sponsored by OISE library, U of Toronto on Monday, October 18th, 2010 from 12:00 – 1:30pm EST

Canada’s granting agencies have undertaken varying strategies toaddress open access. Panelists from CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC willshare their agencies’ approaches to open access. Agencies with anopen access mandate will describe their process and address issues thatthey encountered along the way. Those without a mandate will sharehow their agency views open access and describe initiatives that have beenundertaken to support open access

A Critical Theory of the Open: A Dialogue Between John Willinsky and Andrew Feenberg

Free webcast sponsored by the Simon Fraser University Library and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Thursday October 21, 2010, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Pacific Time. This event will be webcasted live at

The theme of this event is A Critical Theory of Open in the Digital Era: Sous les pavés, la plage. Stepping for a moment beyond the open access question of the right to free online journal articles, Andrew Feenberg and John Willinsky will explore, in dialogue, issues surrounding the larger concept and spirit of open, as it tends to infuse seemingly utopian Internet developments, while drawing on their shared interest in the Critical Theory traditions of the last century.

The Case for Open Data and eScience – Establishing a University Data Management Program at John Hopkins

Free webcast sponsored by BC Research Libraries Group on Friday, October 22, 9:30-11am at UVic, Harry Hickman Building, Room 116. RSVP:

Faculty at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) associated with community-wide eScience projects identified data curation as one of the most important repository-related services. In response, Johns Hopkins University established a university data management program and a service model to support data curation as part of an evolving cyberinfrastructure featuring open, modular components.

Let me know if you have any questions.

DataSpace: A Funding and Operational Model for Long-Term Preservation and Sharing of Research Data

EDUCAUSE webinar | Serge J. Goldstein (Princeton University)

t the May 5 meeting of the National Research Board, the NSF announced that, as of October 2010, it will require that all grant proposals include a data management plan. This announcement represents the next step in what has been a growing trend on the part of government agencies to require researchers to plan for the preservation and sharing of the data produced by publicly funded research. How can universities help their researchers meet these emerging requirements? Princeton has developed a business and organizational model, named DataSpace, which is designed to meet these requirements in a cost- and staff-sustainable way.