Select Page

CODATA Webinar: Data Accessibility Benchmark Organizational Self-Assessment Tool, 18 January 2016

CODATA Webinar #001: Data Accessibility Benchmark Organizational Self-Assessment Tool, 18 January 2016

The presenter on 18 January 2016 was Andrew Sherin, Director, Secretariat, COINAtlantic.

The Coastal and Ocean Information Network Atlantic (COINAtlantic) in Atlantic Canada has developed, in collaboration with Dr. Bertrum MacDonald of the School of Information Management at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, a self-assessment tool for use by data providing organizations to measure their effectiveness at providing access to their data. The tool is called the COINAtlantic Data Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool or CDAST and was developed to advance one of COINAtlantic’s strategies “Facilitating the commitment and investment of data providers to inter-organizational and public access to data and information.” CDAST has 11 principles aggregated from four documents: the OECD’s Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding, the Operating Principles for Canada’s Open Government site, the USA’s Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset, and the G8 Open Data Charter and Technical Annex.

For each principle one or more evaluation ladders with scores from 0 to 5 have been developed with language to assist the user in deciding where on the continuum their organization sits. For example for the permanence principle and it’s data retention evaluation ladder, a score of 5 indicates “Regular cost benefit analysis is conducted to determine data set retention.” The tool is designed to be used periodically to demonstrate progress in improving the effectiveness of data accessibility policies and procedures and can be used to target investments towards specific principles. It is suggested that several groups within an organization complete the assessment to differentiate perspectives of these groups e.g. data managers, data users.

The webinar toured the CDAST principles and selected evaluation ladder languages, and encourage discussion on the how to improve the tool and introduce it to data providing organizations.

To accommodate international time differences, the webinar ran twice, at 16.00 UTC on Mon 18 January 2016 and at 01.00 UTC on Tue 19 January.

Please send any comments and suggestions to improve the tool to Andy Sherin at a.sherin [at]