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Metametrik Sprint in London, May 25

Velichka Dimitrova - May 2, 2013 in Announcements, Call for participation, Events, Featured, Metametrik, Sprint

The Open Economics Working Group is inviting to a one-day sprint to create a machine-readable format for the reporting of regression results.

  • When: May 25, Saturday, 10:00-16:00
  • Where: Centre for Creative Collaboration (tbc), 16 Acton Street, London, WC1X 9NG
  • How to participate: please, write to economics [at] okfn.org

The event is meant for graduate students in economics and quantitative social science as well as other scientists and researchers who are working with quantitative data analysis and regressions. We would also welcome developers with some knowledge in XML and other mark-up programming and others interested to contribute to this project.

About Metametrik

Metametrik, as a machine readable format and platform to store econometric results, will offer a universal form for presenting empirical results. Furthermore, the resulting database would present new opportunities for data visualisation and “meta-regressions”, i.e. statistical analysis of all empirical contributions in a certain area.

During the sprint we will create a prototype of a format for saving regression results of empirical economics papers, which would be the basis of meta analysis of relationships in economics. The Metametrik format would include:

  • XML (or another markup language) derived format to describe regression output, capturing what dependent and independent variables were used, type of dataset (e.g. time series, panel), sign and magnitude of the relationship (coefficient and t-statistic), data sources, type of regression (e.g. OLS, 2SLS, structural equations), etc.
  • a database to store the results (possible integration with CKAN) – a user interface to allow for entry of results to be translated and saved in the Metametrik format. Results could be also imported directly from statistical packages
  • Visualisation of results and GUI – enabling queries from the database and displaying basic statistics about the relationships.

Background

Since computing power and data storage have become cheaper and more easily available, the number of empirical papers in economics has increased dramatically. Despite the large numbers of empirical papers, however, there is still no unified and machine readable standard for saving regression results. Researchers are often faced with a large volume of empirical papers, which describe regression results in similar yet differentiated ways.

Like bibliographic machine readable formats (e.g. bibtex), the new standard would facilitate the dissemination and organization of existing results. Ideally, this project would offer an open storage where researchers can submit their regression results (for example in an XML type format). The standard could also be implemented in a wide range of open source econometric packages and projects like R or RePec.

From a practical perspective, this project would greatly help to organize the large pile of existing regressions and facilitate literature reviews: If someone is interested in the relationship between democracy and economic development, for example, s/he need not go through the large pile of current papers but can simply look up the relationship on the open storage: The storage will then produce a list of existing results, along with intuitive visualizations (what % of results are positive/negative, how do the results evolve over time/i.e. is there a convergence in results). From an academic perspective, the project would also facilitate the compilation of meta-regressions that have become increasingly popular. Metametrik will be released under an open license.

If you have further questions, please contact us at economics [at] okfn.org

Open Research Data Handbook – Call for Case Studies

Velichka Dimitrova - April 9, 2013 in Announcements, Call for participation, Featured, Open Data, Open Economics, Open Research

The OKF Open Research Data Handbook – a collaborative and volunteer-led guide to Open Research Data practices – is beginning to take shape and we need you! We’re looking for case studies showing benefits from open research data: either researchers who have personal stories to share or people with relevant expertise willing to write short sections.

Designed to provide an introduction to open research data, we’re looking to develop a resource that will explain what open research data actually is, the benefits of opening up research data, as well as the processes and tools which researchers need to do so, giving examples from different academic disciplines.

Leading on from a couple of sprints, a few of us are in the process of collating the first few chapters, and we’ll be asking for comment on these soon.

In the meantime, please provide us with case studies to include, or let us know if you are willing to contribute areas of expertise to this handbook.

i want you

We now need your help to gather concrete case studies which detail your experiences of working with Open Research Data. Specifically, we are looking for:

  • Stories of the benefits you have seen as a result of open research data practices
  • Challenges you have faced in open research, and how you overcame them
  • Case studies of tools you have used to share research data or to make it openly available
  • Examples of how failing to follow open research practices has hindered the progress of science, economics, social science, etc.
  • … More ideas from you!

Case studies should be around 200-500 words long. They should be concrete, based on real experiences, and should focus on one specific angle of open research data (you can submit more than one study!).

Please fill out the following form in order to submit a case study:

Link to form

If you have any questions, please contact us on researchhandbook [at] okfn.org

Launching the Open Sustainability Working Group

Velichka Dimitrova - November 30, 2012 in Announcements, Call for participation, Environment, Energy and Sustainability, Featured, Open Data, Open Research

This blog post is written by Jorge Zapico, researcher at the Center for Sustainable Communications at KTH The Royal Institute of Technology and Velichka Dimitrova, Project Coordinator for Economics and Energy at the Open Knowledge Foundation and is cross-posted from the main blog.

Sign up to Open Sustainability

Sustainability is one of the most important challenges of our time. We are facing global environmental crises, such as climate change, resource depletion, deforestation, overfishing, eutrophication, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, environmental pollution, etc. We need to move towards a more sustainable and resilient society, that ensures the well-being of current and future generations, that allows us to progress while stewarding the finite resources and the ecosystems we depend on.

Data is needed to monitor the condition of the environment and to measure how we are performing and progressing (or not) towards sustainability. Transparency and feedback is key for good decision-making, for allowing accountability and for tracking and tuning performance. This is true both at an institutional level, such as working with national climate change goals; at a company level, such as deciding the materials for building a product; and at a personal level, deciding between chicken and salmon at the supermarket. However, most of the environmental information is closed, outdated, static, or/and in text documents that are not possible to process.

For instance, unlike gross domestic product (GDP) and other publicly available data, carbon dioxide emissions data is not published frequently and in disaggregated form. While the current international climate negotiations at Doha discuss joint global efforts for the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, climate data is not freely and widely available.

“Demand CO2 data!” urged Hans Rosling at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki last September#, encouraging a data-driven discussion of energy and resources. “We can have climate change beyond our expectations, which we haven’t done anything in time for” said Rosling in outlining the biggest challenges of our time. Activists don’t even demand the data. Many countries, such as Sweden, show up for climate negotiations without having done their CO2 emissions reporting for many months. Our countries should report on climate data in order for us to see the big picture.

Sustainability data should be open and freely available so anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it. This data should be easy to access, both usable for the public but also accessible in standard machine-readable formats for enabling reuse and remix. And by sustainability data we do not mean only CO2 information, but all data that is necessary for measuring the state of, and changes in, the environment, and data which supports progress towards sustainability. This include a diversity of things like: scientific climate data and temperature records, environmental impact assessment of products and services, emissions and pollution information from companies and governments, energy production data or ecosystem health indicators.

To move towards this goal, we are founding a new Working Group on Open Sustainability, which seeks to:

  • advocate and promote the opening up of sustainability information and datasets
  • collect sustainability information and maintain a knowledge base of datasets
  • act as a support environment / hub for the development of community-driven projects
  • provide a neutral platform for working towards standards and harmonization of open sustainability data between different groups and projects.

The Open Sustainability Working Group is open for anyone to join. We hope to form an interdisciplinary network from a range of backgrounds such as academics, business people, civil servants, technologists, campaigners, consultants and those from NGOs and international institutions. Relevant areas of expertise include sustainability, industrial ecology, climate and environmental science, cleanweb development, ecological economics, social science, sustainability, energy, open data and transparency. Join the Open Sustainability Working Group by signing up to the mailing list to share your ideas and to contribute.

Creating a more sustainable society and mitigating climate change are some of the very hardest challenges we face. It will require us to collaborate, to create new knowledge together and new ways of doing things. We need open data about the state of the planet, we need transparency about emissions and the impact of products and industries, we need feedback and we need accountability. We want to leverage all the ideas, technologies and energy we can to prevent catastrophic environmental change.

This initiative was started by the OKFestival Open Knowledge and Sustainability and Green Hackathon team including Jorge Zapico, Hannes Ebner (The Centre for Sustainable Communications at KTH), James Smith (Cleanweb UK), Chris Adams (AMEE), Jack Townsend (Southampton University) and Velichka Dimitrova (Open Knowledge Foundation).

Feasibility Study on Research Data Journal Policies

Velichka Dimitrova - October 31, 2012 in Call for participation, External Projects, Featured

The Quarterly Journal of Economics Volume 1

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has initiated a new research project – Journal Research Data Policy Bank (JoRD) – as part of its Digital Infrastructure Programme running from July until December 2012.

The JoRD proiect is conducting “a feasibility study into the scope and shape of a sustainable service to collate and summarise journal policies on Research Data”. The expected result is a reference point for understanding and complying with Research Data policies to be used by researchers, research data publishers and managers and other relevant stakeholders. The goal is to understand “policies devised by academic publishers to promote linkage between journal articles and underlying research data.”

Project Objectives

* Identify and consult with a wide range of stakeholders and develop a detailed set of stakeholder requirements and service specifications
* Investigate the current state of data sharing policies within journals and shed light on how journals are addressing this crucial question
* Scope and deliver recommendations on the shape of a central service to summarise journal research data policies and provide a ready reference source of easily accessible, standardised, accurate and clear guidance and information relating to the journal policy landscape for research data
* Provide service sustainability models determining how the long term operation of such a service can be sustained

Invitation to researchers to participate in an online survey for JoRD

The JoRD project has released an online survey aimed at researchers as a part of stakeholder consultation, aiming at gathering and assessing “researcher opinions / practices concerning research data, data sharing, the policies of journals, and thoughts on the shape of such a service”. The survey should shed light on researcher’s needs and will give better information on the recommendation the report will make.

To participate in the researcher survey, follow the link bellow:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GZVP5ZS

Fill out the form before Sunday, November 8.

Visit the Project Website

Call for Participation: First Open Economics International Workshop

Velichka Dimitrova - September 17, 2012 in Announcements, Call for participation, Open Access, Open Data, Open Economics, Open Research

OKFN_CIPIL
supported by
Sloan

The Open Economics Working Group is inviting PhD students and academics with relevant experience and research focus to participate in the first Open Economics Workshop, which would take place on December 17-18, 2012 in Cambridge, UK.

The aim of the workshop is to build an understanding of 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 in broadening understanding of and engagement with Economics among the wider community including policy-makers and society.

The workshop is a designed to be a small invite-only event with a round-table format allowing participants to to share and develop ideas together. For more information please see the website.

The event is being organized by the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge and Open Economics Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation and funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. More information about the Working Group can be found online.

To apply for participation, please fill out the application form and send us a CV at [email protected]