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DSN Bookmarks: Re-Defining Data Stewards, Dark Data, and Crowdsourced Epidemic Data

Michelle Winowatan
Mar 16 · 3 min read

Welcome to Data Stewards Network (DSN) Bookmarks — a biweekly curation of news, research, and other insights related to the systemic, sustainable, and responsible management of data for public benefit. If you would like to receive our resource curation in your inbox every week, subscribe here. Have an interesting article, report, or initiative worth sharing? Send it to us at

Photo by fabio on Unsplash


The European Commission High-Level Expert Group on Business-to-Government Data Sharing released a report providing a detailed overview of how B2G data sharing for the public interest can be scalable, responsible, and sustainable. The report, Towards a European strategy on business-to-government data sharing for the public interest,” advocates for the creation and promotion of data stewards in the public and private sectors and facilitation of a network of these data stewards.

WANTED: DATA STEWARDS — (Re-)Defining the Roles and Responsibilities of Data Stewards for An Age of Data Collaboration. Expanding on an earlier article authored by Stefaan G. Verhulst and incorporating insights and feedback from several data stewards, the paper informs “the on-going exploration of how to increase data collaboration in a more systematic, sustainable and responsible manner — especially following the recommendation made by the Expert Group to the European Commission on Business-to-Government Data Sharing to create and promote data stewards in the public and private sectors and to establish a community of practice convening these data stewards.”

Gabriel M. Leung and Kathy Leung’s Crowdsourcing data to mitigate epidemics in The Lancet Digital Health argues for the use of complementary crowdsourced data in documenting suspected, probable, and confirmed cases of illness in the context of an epidemic.

Data Responsibility and Protection:

In his book Dark Data, David J. Hand “explores the many ways in which we can be blind to missing data and how that can lead us to conclusions and actions that are mistaken, dangerous, or even disastrous.”

Accelerating AI with synthetic data, from Khaled El Emam at IAPP, explores the utility of synthetic data in making artificial intelligence and machine learning more robust in the absence of original data.

Peter Dabrock shared remarks on How to Put the Data Subject’s Sovereignty into Practice. Ethical Considerations and Governance Perspectives at AIES ’20: Proceedings of the AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.

Self-interest and data protection drive the adoption and moral acceptability of big data technologies: A conjoint analysis approach by Rabia I. Kodapanakkal et al, in Computers in Human Behavior journal, finds that when it comes to “big data technologies,” people’s rate of adoption tends to be driven by self-interest and data protection. While data protection was a central concern for many, whether companies intentionally share data with select third parties was the least influential variable on adoption rates.

Data for Collaborative for Research:

How Philanthropy Can Help Lead on Data Justice, from Louise Lief in Stanford Social Innovation Review, advocates for philanthropies to embrace “community-based participatory research and other equity approaches to data…to change the game, revitalize research and communities, and realize greater impact.”

In Nature, Barend Mons suggests that we Invest 5% of research funds in ensuring data are reusable to accelerate research and save lives.

The Data Economy:

Capgemini Invent prepared a report for the European Data Portal, titled The Economic Impact of Open Data: Opportunities for value creation in Europe. The report “researches the value created by open data in Europe. […] The report additionally considers how this market size is distributed along different sectors and how many people are employed due to open data. […] Finally, the report also considers examples and insights from open data re-use in organisations.

Finally, Who will benefit most from the data economy?, a special report in The Economist, discusses the distribution of value derived from data across various stakeholders.

You can also find additional resources related to data stewardship and data collaboration here.

Michelle Winowatan

Written by

Data Stewards Network

Responsible Data Leadership to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century

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