News item

BoschDoc, AHCODA-DB and OpenML winners of the Data Prize 2016

9 November 2016

This year the Dutch Data Prize goes to BoschDoc (for humanities and social sciences), AHCODA-DB (for medical and life sciences) and OpenML (for exact and technical sciences). These prizes were awarded yesterday by the jury chair of the Dutch Data Prize 2016, Prof. José van Dijck (KNAW president). The winners went home with a Data Prize 2016 trophy and € 5,000 to make their data set even more accessible.

During the ceremony on 9 November, researchers from the BoschDoc data set were awarded the prize for the humanities and social sciences category. Van Dijck spoke highly of BoschDoc, a data set containing written sources dating back to 1800 about the late medieval painter Jheronimus Bosch. When explaining the jury’s verdict, she highlighted the accessibility of the data. “Thanks to this impressive initiative, a large audience can easily access information from historical sources." The jury also considered the importance of the data’s heritage when making its decision. "This data set improves the perception of Dutch cultural heritage abroad. The researchers anticipated international interest in the painter by providing the sources in Dutch, English and Spanish. By establishing a link to the 2016 Bosch exhibition, BoschDoc has managed to introduce a wide audience to science, and that deserves the Data Prize!"
"The verifiability of this historical material is very important to us. There is a lot of nonsense being told about Hieronymus Bosch and we felt it was important to show the world what is known of his work. We are therefore extremely proud that we won", the three BoschDoc  winners A.M. Koldeweij, L.Scholten and R.C. Hage stated.
AHCODA-DB won the prize for the medical and life sciences category. AHCODA-DB collects and publishes data from behavioural tests conducted on genetic mouse strains. "AHCODA-DB is an enormously rich data set. It plays an extremely important role in complementing data that has already been collected, in replications, comparisons and preparation for new research," according to José van Dijck. AHCODA-DB’s outstanding interface also won praise. The jury chair also emphasized the usefulness of data sharing in a scientific context and the pioneering role of this database. Making both published and unpublished data available saves a lot of time, money and in this case even the lives of animals. "This data set is a pioneer and a shining example in the provision of animal-testing data.  AHCODA-DB is therefore a very deserving winner in this category and sets a great example for other fields of research."
In their acceptance speech M.Loos en A.Steenbergen (colleagues of the winner B.Koopmans) said: “behavior patterns tests are always published, but are difficult to find. We are pleased that we can contribute as a commercial company to providing data to the public."

OpenML was crowned winner in the exact and technical sciences category. OpenML is an Open Science platform on which experimental data is collected from the field of machine learning algorithms. The jury was very impressed by the wide scope of the data; it covers various different disciplines and scientific fields. According to the jury, the data is also extremely well documented.  The chair of the jury explained, “We awarded the prize to OpenML because it is a great example of the link between data science and practice. It also exemplifies the broad applicability of machine learning on any data sets you wish to use." She also discussed the reusability of the platform. "OpenML facilitates the reuse of hundreds of thousands of existing machine learning experiments to respond to new research questions." Thousands of people are already using the data made available by OpenML, in both the academic and commercial sectors. “Another reason why we could not ignore this winner," added the jury chair.
Prize winner J.Vanschoren stressed the importance of open data: In this project, we all had the same idea, namely that open data is possible and should not be accessible only to large companies. It is therefore very important that the Data Prize is being awarded."

Picture (from left to right): winners A.M. Koldeweij, L.Scholten and R.C. Hage (BoschDoc), M.Loos en A.Steenbergen (AHCODA-DB) and J. Vanschoren (OpenML). Credits picture: Annemiek van der Kuil

No losers
All nine Data Prize nominees were thanked for their contribution to sharing and making accessible research data for reuse.This year there were no losers at the Data Prize. In addition to BoschDoc, AHCODA-DB and OpenML, six other data sets were nominated.

The Dutch Data Prize
The Dutch Data Prize awards the efforts of a researcher or research group that makes a special contribution to science by enabling access to data for new or additional research. A prize is awarded for humanities and social sciences, for medical and life sciences, and for exact and technical sciences. The Dutch Data Prize is an initiative of Research Data Netherlands (RDNL), a partnership between 4TU.Centre for Research Data, DANS and SURFsara.

More information
More information about the Data Prize is available on the RDNL website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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