A l'aide!

Problems with this directory are the responsibility of the Data Commons Cooperative. Please believe we are not deliberately setting out to ruin your day and make your blood boil. If we had but world enough and time, and you didn't have any allergies, we'd arrange for fluffy kittens to gambol around your feet whenever you chose to visit, and we'd have a team of enthusiastic researchers on call to find whatever you needed. Unfortunately we've made the questionable decision to use computers instead, inevitably leading to sadness and ill-feeling. When that happens, please contact us! We're a helpful bunch, when not hiding behind a computer.

Can I add a missing organization?

Absolutely! Just follow the + Add Organization link. For the purposes of accountability, you'll need to create an account and give an email address. You'll be able to change details of your listing later, and monitor changes made to it be anyone else. Additions are subject to verification and reversion by editors and moderators.

How do I log in, or sign on, or whatever you call it?

There should be a “Login” link at the top right of every page, leading to the login page. If you forget the password for an existing acount, click the “Forgot Password” button on the login page.

I found a mistake in a listing. Can I fix it myself?

Absolutely! Just click the “Edit” link at the end of every listing. Changes are subject to verification and reversion by editors and moderators.

I found some near-duplicate listings. Can I merge them?

Absolutely! Do a search that includes the duplicates. Then click the “Merge Entries” link. You should now see a new “Set as main version” link beneath each search result. Click this link for the best of the near-duplicates. Then click “Merge” for one other version, and follow the guidance on merging any useful bits and pieces from it. Or just send us a note and we'll do it.

I found a defunct organization. Should I delete it?

You may, but we would prefer that you tag it as “Inactive”. That way people looking to contact this organization will positively know it is defunct, rather than simply not finding any information about it. If you decide to delete a listing, this is done by clicking the “Delete” link at the bottom of every listing.

How up-to-date is the information I find in this directory?

The directory is curated by small teams of moderators from various member organizations of the Data Commons Co-op. At the start of any listing, you should see a note about when it was last updated. Anything older than a year or two is not likely to be accurate. Each listing will also give all editors of that listing. Listings with editors are more likely to be accurate.

I found an organization I don't like in your directory. Why is it there?

If the listing for that organization says it is in the “data pool” of such-and-such, that shows which of our co-op members have approved it. If there is no language like that, then nobody is very attached to it, it just wafted in on the breeze. You could tag it as evil (or some more polite keyword) to warn others, or report it, or delete it (this should be a last resort, since negative knowledge about an organization is valuable). We're working on better communicating the quality of individual listings.

Can I get access to the database that runs this directory?

Access to the database is currently limited to members of the Data Commons Cooperative. We encourage you to apply for membership to get complete access (including the full database, plus full database history since DCC incorporation, plus contributed data in source format from members, plus continuous updates for the duration of your membership). We are working to migrate as much data as possible to an ODbL open-data license, for public release, but we don't yet have all our ducks in a row on this. In the meantime, there are several export options for saving information from searches (XML, CSV). New and updated listings can be monitored with an RSS feed. Parts of the database are drawn from sources maintained by members of the Co-op. Those members are of course free to provide the data to you under different terms than they provide it to the Co-op.

Can I use the software that runs this directory?

Be our guest! The Data Commons Directory software is available under a free license at launchpad.net/datacommons. There are tips on installing it on Cultivate. We'd appreciate if you share improvements you make to the software. If you need to integrate the directory with an existing website, and don't have a team in place to do it, we may be able to put you in touch with a co-op familiar with the software that is available to do the work - contact us (or check the fine print at the bottom of any page for leads).

How is all this work paid for?

Love. It is the one thing we have plenty of. Also, as of July 2012, membership fees of the Data commons Cooperative. Along the way, we've had wonderful help from funders and volunteers, check the acknowledgments at the bottom of this page, and the list on our donation page.

How do I become a moderator?

Individuals who are listed as editors for several listings and have proven to be responsible may become a moderator. Members of the Data Commons Cooperative can also nominate moderators.

Ok, I'm a moderator. What can I actually do?

When you log on, you should see a little box in the top left that says “Data Sharing (show/hide)”. If you don't see that little box, then you are not recognized as a moderator. The box will list all the “teams” you are a moderator for. If you click on the name of a team, you'll see some of the powers you have. f you click on “Member editors” you can add/remove other users to have moderator powers for that team. Be careful, if you remove yourself, you'll need to ask another moderator to put you back. Another place where you have new powers is on individual listing pages. There, you'll be given the option to add or remove an association between your team (or teams) and individual listings.

How can I see a list of recent changes?

Click the Recent Changes link on the menu bar. If you have filters active, only recent changes that pass those filters will be shown. If you don't want this, remove the filters and click Recent Changes again. Note that at the time of writing, not all possible changes to a listing result in it floating to the top of this recent changes list (if you need a complete report before we fix this, an administrator can produce it for you).

Hmm, there's a problem. Any ideas, Benjamin?


Nothing a few more alligators won't fix, Jim. Paul, what's the release date on the next batch of alligators?


[gentle snore]


I've a better idea for where we should release the alligators.