Open data: more datasets available at Knowledge Junction

EFSA is marking Open Data Day 2017 by adding another batch of datasets to its Knowledge Junction open repository. The Authority is publishing its data wherever possible as part of its commitment to widening its evidence base and maximising access to its data. Many of these datasets were already publicly available; now they have been curated and catalogued and are easily retrievable by anyone with a web browser.

EFSA is also collaborating with other European and international organisations to promote accessibility to its risk assessment data.  Information used in EFSA’s work can be found via the EU Open Data portal, the International Platform for Chemical Monitoring Data and the OECD’s eChemPortal.

In addition, EFSA manages a huge amount of data on pathogens, chemicals and other hazards in the food chain in its Data Warehouse. Much of these data have been made available to the public through web reporting tools such as tables, reports, graphs, maps and dashboards. The latest of these is an interactive data visualisation tool showing resistance to antimicrobials of Salmonella and E. coli bacteria found in food, animals and humans.

The Data Warehouse also hosts OpenFoodTox, a compilation of toxicological information on every chemical assessed by EFSA and included in already published scientific opinions.

Mary Gilsenan, head of EFSA’s Evidence Management unit, said: “Data is at the heart of everything that EFSA does. By sharing our data as widely as possible and encouraging others to do the same, we are not only being transparent and promoting evidence re-use – we are also expanding the overall pool of available information. Open data is the future.”

Three of the four datasets published this week have been used by EFSA to develop guidance and risk assessment models for the safe use of regulated products in the environment. They comprise:

  • data collected by the pan-European epidemiological study on honeybee colony losses 2012-2014;
  • a database on the distribution of arthropods in arable crops including beneficial insects; and
  • a summary of toxicological test results on aquatic and soil organisms, arthropods and plants.

The fourth dataset was collected to support EFSA’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare in assessing welfare on small dairy farms.

What is the Knowledge Junction?

The Knowledge Junction is a curated, open repository for the exchange of evidence and supporting materials used in food and feed safety risk assessments. Submissions can include reports, datasets, images, videos, laboratory outputs, software, tools, models, code, protocols, study quality appraisal schemes, FAQs. Anyone can use and submit materials to the platform.

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