Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

OECD improves access to its 50 databases

Kim Thomas, OECD site offers statistical co-operation, Information World Review, January 7, 2008.  Excerpt:

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has overhauled its statistical service, making it easier to locate relevant statistics in the OECD’s databases.

OECD.Stat, now available in beta, enables users to search all 50 of the OECD’s statistical databases at the same time. “We know that one of the biggest problems people have is they know we’ve got the number somewhere but they don’t know where, and the ability to search across databases is a step in the right direction to make our data more discoverable,” said Toby Green, head of OECD publishing.

Users will also be able to extract data from different datasets and gather it in customisable tables, “Each of the databases is still a discrete entity inside the engine; so you could go into a particular database and stay within it. But having done an extraction from one database you can then click and extract from another database and merge the results. It’s much more user-friendly,” said Green.

The data itself will now be updated in real time, rather than monthly or annually, he added. The new service also has improved metadata down to the level of each data point, so that users can understand the origins of each number and the wider context.

Green said the beta service would be available without charge for eight months, before becoming a subscription-based service. The OECD is also planning, however, to make its most frequently requested tables available as a free service....