Speaker Profile: Mark Frank
April 15, 2013
by Lisa Harris
Mark’s paper is co-authored with Tim Davies and is titled ‘There’s no such thing as raw data’. Exploring the socio-technical life of a government dataset”.
Mark worked in IT for most of his life and opted to take a PhD in his retirement.
The paper describes a short investigation into the processes behind the publishing of some research data as part of the UK government Open Data policy. The authors originally intended to use the data for their own research but when they inspected it they found, that although it merited 3 out of 5 stars of Open Data, it was actually very difficult to reuse. They decided to try and uncover the story of how the research data was produced. The resulting narrative illustrates how social and technical features behind the publishing of open data, which are not normally apparent, can greatly affect the meaning and value of that data.
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