OECD Recommendation on Access to Research Data Arising from Public Funding

Added by Michael Jubb on 19 April 2007 14:01

We have just learned that the OECD Council agreed in December last a recommendation to Member Countries on access to research data arising from public funding (which is taken to mean data obtained through research conducted by government agencies or departments, or conducted using public funds provided by any level of government).

The Council?s decision essentially gives the status of a formal recommendation to the guidelines produced by a working group that was established following an earlier Ministerial Declaration on access to research data in 2004. The guidelines are based around the principles set out in that declaration: openness, transparency, legal conformity, protection of intellectual property, formal responsibility, professionalism, interoperability, quality and security, efficiency, and accountability.

We have taken these guidelines into account in the consultation draft statement of principles and guidelines on the stewardship of research data that we issued earlier this month. It seems a little odd that the OECD has not given any publicity to the Council recommendation: we could not find any reference to it on the webpages of the Science and Technology Directorate. But the formal terms of the recommendation are that member countries should:

“take into consideration the Principles and Guidelines on Access to Research Data from Public Funding … as appropriate for each Member country, [and] develop policies and good practices related to the accessibility, use and management of research data.” This adds force to the need to address the kinds of issues that we set out in our recent paper, and we shall be interested to see reactions and responses to it in this light.

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