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Title: A Linked Data Mosaic for Policy-Relevant Research on Science and Innovation: Value, Transparency, Rigor, and Community

Authors: Chang, W.-Y., Garner, M., Basner, J., Weinberg, B., & Owen-Smith, J.


This article presents a new framework for realizing the value of linked data understood as a strategic asset and increasingly necessary form of infrastructure for policy-making and research in many domains. We outline a framework, the ‘data mosaic’ approach, which combines socio-organizational and technical aspects. After demonstrating the value of linked data, we highlight key concepts and dangers for community-developed data infrastructures. We concretize the framework in the context of work on science and innovation generally. Next we consider how a new partnership to link federal survey data, university data, and a range of public and proprietary data represents a concrete step toward building and sustaining a valuable data mosaic. We discuss technical issues surrounding linked data but emphasize that linking data involves addressing the varied concerns of wide-ranging data holders, including privacy, confidentiality, and security, as well as ensuring that all parties receive value from participating. The core of successful data mosaic projects, we contend, is as much institutional and organizational as it is technical. As such, sustained efforts to fully engage and develop diverse, innovative communities are essential.

Publication: Harvard Data Science Review

Date: April 28, 2022