The what, why, and how of born-open data

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Although many researchers agree that scientific data should be open to scrutiny to ferret out poor analyses and outright fraud, most raw data sets are not available on demand. There are many reasons researchers do not open their data, and one is technical. It is often time consuming to prepare and archive data. In response, my laboratory has automated the process such that our data are archived the night they are created without any human approval or action. All data are versioned, logged, time stamped, and uploaded including aborted runs and data from pilot subjects. The archive is GitHub,, the world’s largest collection of open-source materials. Data archived in this manner are called born open. In this paper, I discuss the benefits of born-open data and provide a brief technical overview of the process. I also address some of the common concerns about opening data before publication.

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Applied Science, Social Science

Language(s): English