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Open Access

Open Data

Open Data refers to data that are freely available and accessible to people everywhere. The purpose of open data is to share collected information with everyone. Collecting data is time consuming, but once consolidated and analyzed it offers a wealth of information. Open Data resources can significantly reduce the amount of time and money researchers have to spend on data collection.

To be considered Open Data, data sets must be in a format that can be easily downloaded, searched, machine readable, and shared. According to Burwell, VonRoekel, Park, & Mancini (2013), Open Data must also be complete, reusable, timely, and managed post release. Data can be shared on repositories through a number of sources and websites.

Registry of Research Data Repositories is a global registry of data repositories that cover numerous academic subjects. This registry can help you find the appropriate the appropriate repository to store your work.

Examples of Open Data

This list only names a few Open Data resources that are available. For more information about Open Data, or which source would best meet your research needs, please contact the library.

Health and Medical Care Archive(HMCA)

The HMCA is a data archive that focuses on health and healthcare in the United States. HMCA preserves the data from selected research projects that deal with health reform, access to medical, healthcare delivery, and other related topics. Data can also be shared through this site.


GenBank strives to provide the most up to date and comprehensive DNA sequence information. GenBank part of the National Institute of Health, and users can search for sequence identifiers, align GenBank sequences to query sequences using BLAST. New releases occur every two months. Data can also be shared through this site.

Project Data Sphere

Project Data Sphere, LLC is a not-for-profit initiative that allows the research community to share and analyze historical cancer patient information in hopes of improving future research. There is no fee to access the information, but users must apply for access and are reviewed on an individual basis. Data can also be shared through this site. is the federal government’s open data website. The purpose of the site is to increase citizen participation and promote openness and accountability within the federal government.  The state, county and city open data sources provide detailed information about population, business, crime & safety, transportation, social services, environment, other related data within the designated area.

Tarrant County
City of Fort Worth

FEMA Data Sets

The FEMA Data Sets provide information about all federally declared disasters including major disasters, emergencies, and fire management assistance dating back to 1953. These data sets provide information about recovery efforts, economic losses, mitigation efforts, public assistance and other disaster related information.

Texas Health Data

Texas Health Data is part of the Texas Health and Human Services. This site lets users query public health statistics for reports and summaries. Information about birth rate, substance abuse, death rate, healthcare utilization, and other health facts.

Global Health Observatory Data

The Global Health Observatory is the World Health Organization’s gateway to global health related statistics. This site provides data on topics such as communicable diseases, violence, sanitation, maternal and infant health, controlled substances, healthcare access, and more.

Open Trials

Open Trials is a collaborative effort between Open Knowledge International and Dr. Ben Goldacre. The purpose of Open Trials is to match, locate, and share publicly accessible data on medical trials, globally.

National Center for Health Statistics

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) includes CDC Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER) which provides tables, charts, frequency rates, and  comparisons about populations and public health trends. This site also includes Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) which collects data about unintentional injuries and violence related injury.  NCHS also has data on mortality, reproduction, life stage, disability and other public health data.