Dark data to be set free
A very interesting article by Thomas Goetz in Wired entitled "Freeing the Dark Data of Failed Scientific Experiments". It's mostly about the publication bias: what is published in research paper is only results that are positive or which have dramatic outcomes. The other goes to the lab drawer but now some initiative aims at setting them free. What about the reasons to do so:
"For the past couple of years, there's been much talk about open access (...) Liberating dark data takes this ethos one step further. It also makes many scientists deeply uncomfortable, because it calls for them to reveal their "failures." But in this data-intensive age, those apparent dead ends could be more important than the breakthroughs. After all, some of today's most compelling research efforts aren't one-off studies that eke out statistically significant results, they're meta-studies — studies of studies — that crunch data from dozens of sources. (...) advocating the release of dark data is one thing, but it's quite another to actually collect it, juggling different formats and standards. And, of course, there's the issue of storage."
Why do I blog this? Great initiative and good material to do research! Hidden stuff is always intriguing anyway.
Beyond the data availability and the possibility to run meta studies, I am strongly interested in this sort of "dark" data, especially about things that failed. It's IMO a topic spot on the near future laboratory edges: documenting the failures, behavior, issues, artifacts that failed. We're currently considering a workshop about this in the field of ubicomp/the future of objects.