What is Open Data?

Data that is shared, accessible, and useable by anyone is considered open data. An open license, usually Creative Commons, is applied to allow others to use the data, and the data is kept in an open repository or accessible domain website to allow others to find and access it. 

The FAIR principles are recommended to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. 

Benefits of open data

The benefits of open data include: 

  • Wider dissemination by increasing findability 
  • More collaboration through access 
  • Innovation from sharing and collaborating 
  • Transparency and trust 

New Zealand’s Data toolkit has some other benefits listed. 

Māori data sovereignty

Māori data refers broadly to digital or digitisable information or knowledge that is produced by, for or about Māori and the places with which Māori have a connection. Māori data is both qualitative and quantitative. It includes but is not limited to: data about population, place, culture and environment; data generated and shared through government, private sector, civil society and te ao Māori systems and technologies; and mātauranga in all its forms including pūrākau, karakia, haka, waiata tawhito and pakiwaitara.  

Te Kāhui Raraunga also describe Māori data as a 'taonga'. Taonga may be interpreted as something precious or of value, or a treasure of some kind. This wording is significant as it is derived from Te Tiriti o Waitangi, which affirms Māori rights over all their 'taonga'.  

Recognising and giving effect to Māori Data Sovereignty means recognising that Māori data should be subject to Māori governance and control. Depending on the scope and design of your research project, participants or communities involved should have input into how your data is stored, managed, or accessed. Māori/Indigenous data sovereignty also perceives data as being subject to the laws of the nation in which it is collected and stored. As such, best practice is to store Māori data locally here in Aotearoa New Zealand.   

Funder obligations

Some funders, such as MBIE, may have restrictions, guidelines or recommendations on how research data is used or made open. Check your funder’s data management policy. 

For more information about funder obligations, open data and Research Data Management visit our Research Data Management Guide

Need Help?

The Open Research Team at the University of Waikato is committed to working with academics who wish to make their research open in ways that work for them.

The Open Research Team

at the Library