The Microsoft Research Outreach team has worked extensively with the external research community to enable adoption of cloud-based research infrastructure over the past few years. Through this process, we experienced the ubiquity of Jim Gray's fourth paradigm of discovery based on data-intensive science – that is, almost all research projects have a data component to them. This data deluge also demonstrated a clear need for curated and meaningful datasets in the research community, not only in computer science but also in interdisciplinary and domain sciences.
Today we are excited to launch Microsoft Research Open Data – a new data repository in the cloud dedicated to facilitating collaboration across the global research community. Microsoft Research Open Data, in a single, convenient, cloud-hosted location, offers datasets representing many years of data curation and research efforts by Microsoft that were used in published research studies.
The goal is to provide a simple platform to Microsoft researchers and collaborators to share datasets and related research technologies and tools. Microsoft Research Open Data is designed to simplify access to these datasets, facilitate collaboration between researchers using cloud-based resources and enable reproducibility of research. We will continue to shape and grow this repository and add features based on feedback from the community.
We recognize that there are dozens of data repositories already in use by researchers and expect that the capabilities of this repository will augment existing efforts.
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