I write regularly on my blog, Lost Boy. I use that as my open research notebook for sharing thoughts and ideas. Mostly about open data and data infrastructure along with the odd bits of speculative fiction.

Between 2000-2005 I wrote a regular column for XML.com, contributed to xmlhack and wrote several tutorials on XML technologies for the (now retired) IBM developerWorks site.

What follows here is a list of the research reports, papers and articles that have been published elsewhere across the web. A number of them were co-authored with my colleagues at the Open Data Institute and other organisations with whom I have collaborated.

2020-12-13 Comparing decentralised data publishing initiatives

Short report reviewing a pattern for publishing open data, involving decentralised publication to a common standard. Includes a comparison of 14 existing initiatives.

2020-12-11 Describing Dataset Archetypes (Patterns, Volume 1, Issue 9)

The FAIR principles need to be applied in context. To do that, we need to understand both the needs of data users and the characteristics of the data to be shared. This paper introduces ten different dataset archetypes that can be used to inform plans for how data are to be accessed, used, and shared.

2020-06-18 A manifesto for increasing access to data in engineering (Data-centric Engineering)

This paper introduces a set of principles that articulate a shared vision for increasing access to data in the engineering and related sectors.

2020-04-28 Designing sustainable data institutions

This report is the result of an initial investigation into the sustainability of data institutions, it proposes a framework for thinking about the sustainability of data institutions based on their ecosystem role, lifecycle stage and its core business model.

2019-10-10 Insight report on sharing engineering data

This report explores how increasing access to data and strengthening data infrastructure across the engineering sector can deliver a range of benefits, not least by increasing safety. It highlights a range of examples of where projects across the engineering related sectors are demonstrating value and discusses some of the barriers to sharing data. It also briefly looks at how other sectors are overcoming these barriers using a range of regulatory and community driven approaches.

2019-09-27 Collaborative Data Patterns guidebook

This guidebook helps people design and run projects that involve the collaborative maintenance of data. I lead the research, development and drafting of this guidebook.

2019-05-05 Chapter 18: Data Infrastructure (in The State of Open Data: Histories and Horizons)

Understanding data infrastructure by using an analogy to physical infrastructure like roads and rail helps us to see the range of components that make up data infrastructure - from datasets and servers to standards, policies, rules, and governance mechanisms. In the future, data infrastructures will need to accommodate both open data and more restricted datasets. It will be important to build both trust and openness into our data infrastructures to maximise their social and economic value.

2018-11-20 The UK’s geospatial data infrastructure: challenges and opportunities

This report summarises the desk research carried out as part of the ODI project to explore challenges that face the UK’s geospatial data infrastructure, and opportunities to support the publishing and use of openly licensed geospatial data.

2018-09-18 Creating FAIR and open data ecosystems for agricultural programmes

Data that is FAIR and open can promote more effective decision making, foster innovation and drive organisational change through greater transparency with benefits for farmers who can harness decision making tools, researchers who can access information more readily, policy makers who can make evidence-based investments, and other private sector and civil society stakeholders who can develop services to improve the efficiency of the value chain.

2018-08-14 How Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are contributing to an openly licensed map of the world

Short blog post exploring how large multinational organisations are contributing to OpenStreetMap and the approaches they have taken towards making these collaborations successful.

2018-07-31 Recommendations for filling identified gaps: weather data

This report presents a number of recommendations aimed at improving current practices around the creation and use of standards that support the collection and use of weather data.

2018-06-06 Recommendations for filling identified gaps in data standards for food and agriculture

Following on from a survey and analysis of the existing standards in food and agriculture (the GODAN Action Gap exploration report), this report looks at how to make standards more usable.

2018-04-13 Open Standards for Data guidebook

This guidebook helps people and organisations create, develop and adopt open standards for data. I lead the research and development of this guidebook and contributed to the content and illustrations.

2017-09 The benefits and challenges of opening toxicology control data (Toxicology Research, Volume 6, Issue 5)

The benefits and challenges of a more open and structured approach to sharing historical control data are highlighted. We invite comment from those who generate, interpret and use toxicology data.

2017-04 The state of weather data infrastructure

This report explores the current state of weather data infrastructure. By looking at the different aspects of the data infrastructure used to collect, access and share weather and climate information, we can better understand challenges

2017-09-10 Open data can drive progress—if you empower communities to use it (in Propect magazine 'Data as Infrastructure report')

Successful projects combine data with insight, experience and expertise

2016-12-26 How to write a good open data policy

A checklist to support drafting an open data policy for your organisation

2016-05 Shareable by default - Creating resilient data ecosystems

Data has more potential value when it can be shared or opened. Whilst data can power new ways of thinking, provide a competitive advantage and drive value creation, there are technical, organizational and cultural challenges that must be overcome to truly reap the benefits of a data-driven approach.

2015-09 Open Data Maturity Model

The Open Data Maturity Model is a way to assess how well an organisation publishes and consumes open data, and identifies actions for improvement.

2014-11-29 Creating Value with Identifiers in an Open Data World

This white paper is a guide to identifier schemes: why identity can be difficult to manage; why it is important for open data; what challenges there are today and recommendations for the community to address these in the future. Illustrative examples of identifier schemes are used to explain these points.

2012-05-31 Linked Data Patterns

A pattern catalogue for modelling, publishing and consuming Linked Data

2010-10-25 What to consider before shortening links

URL shorteners have upside, but they also raise issues around stability, privacy, and performance.

2009-10-01 The Web's rich tapestry (Learning Publishing)

The Web has evolved as a hypertext environment whose value is derived from a simple ability to link resources together. The advanced linking features of some early hypertext systems might be implemented in the Web in various ways. The Semantic Web is one aspect of the continuing evolution of the Web which may be of value to the evolution of scholarly publishing and research, and may enable publishers to justify investment in the future. The key advantages are the ability to unlock value from the existing scholarly literature by enabling innovation in research tools; further encouraging the creation of a marketplace of services of value to the publishing industry; and ensuring that websites and content are well integrated into the Web as it exists now and in the future.

2008-03 The threads of Web 2.0 (Serials Volume 21, Issue 1)

This article attempts to take a fresh look at Web 2.0, teasing apart the concept into five fundamental trends or ‘threads’, each of which is explained in isolation, with reference to illustrative examples.

2006-07-27 Embracing the Wiki Way: Deploying a Corporate Wiki (Freepint Newsletter 210)

Tips for introducing a wiki into your organisation

2005-12 Using FOAF to Support Community Building

The Semantic Web seeks to build a global distributed database through the integration of data from independent communities without the requirement for prior agreement on the structure of this data. This basic concept can be applied to the development of online communities. This paper outlines the potential for the FOAF Semantic Web technology to ensure that resources can be defined in a way that promotes their ability for being shared with third-parties with a minimum of integration effort. The paper outlines FOAF’s potential for community-building in conferences.

2005-05-25 Connecting Social Content Services using FOAF, RDF and REST

Paper presented at XTech 2005 on May 25th 2005 in Amsterdam. This posting contains links to the slides and a summary of the paper

2002-06 Using RSS for Syndication

A short introduction to RSS 1.0 published in Volume 8, Issue 2 of Interchange, the newsletter of the International SGML/XML users group.

2001-04-08 Schematron: validating XML using XSLT

This paper introduces the Schematron language and the available implementations. An overview of the architecture, with a view to producing customised versions is also provided. Paper presented at XSLT-UK on April 8-9 2001. The Slides (powerpoint) are also available. Jeni Tennison’s conference report for XML.com provides a good summary of the other papers presented.

2000-06-29 Who will write our electronic history?

Musings on archiving the web. Ironically this paper is now only available via the Wayback Machine!

1999-10-22 XDELTA - Deriving an XML based format for Taxonomic Information

This short paper describes my attempts to produce an XML file format (working title XDELTA), derived from the DELTA (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) standard. I outline some of the advantages of using XML over a proprietary format, and link to associated reference material. A first draft of the DTD, and some sample data are also provided.

1995 The Twilight People

‘Inject some new life into your tired campaign races. Introduce your place to the new breed of Elf’. My first commercially published piece of writing which appeared in Issue 8 of Valkyrie a UK role-playing magazine.