Open Knowledge Foundation This link opens in a new window states that “open data are the building blocks of open knowledge. Open knowledge is what open data becomes when it’s useful, usable and used.” This means data that is available and accessible to all at minimal or not cost; the data must be licensed in in such a way to permit reuse including mixing with other data sets; access must be universal - this includes allowing for any resulting commercial use.
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition This link opens in a new window (SPARC) defines open data as “research data that is freely available on the internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyze, re-process, pass to software or use for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”
Open data is becoming increasingly important to cutting-edge research in multiple fields. The federal government has recognized this need and passed the Open Data Act in 2019 This link opens in a new window. Download the full text of the law This link opens in a new window.