Many publishers and funding organisations encourage or require researchers to make their data freely available after publication. Such access allows researchers to verify and build upon the work of others and supports the communication of complex data to the public. Last month, Google launched a new tool intended to support the retrieval of publicly available data.
Dataset Search enables users to find public datasets stored across a variety of repositories, making them universally accessible and easier to discover. To create Dataset Search, Google developed guidelines for dataset providers, in which they encourage providers to use schema.org vocabulary, so that search engines can better understand the content of their pages. Google hopes that as more data hosts use the schema.org standard the volume and variety of the searchable datasets will continue to grow.
Google’s goal is to ‘foster an ecosystem for publishing, consuming and discovering datasets’ and they are encouraging data hosts who would like their data to be discoverable via the search engine to visit their developers’ site which includes instructions, a link to ask questions and the option to provide feedback.