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|Title:||Open Data for Global Science|
Open access movement
Data Ownership, Access and Reuse
|Publisher:||Sydney University Press|
|Citation:||Fitzgerald, Brian, ed. Legal Framework for E-Research: Realising the Potential. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2008.|
|Abstract:||The global science system stands at a critical juncture. On the one hand, it is overwhelmed by a hidden avalanche of ephemeral bits that are central components of modern research and of the emerging ‘cyberinfrastructure’4 for e-Science.5 The rational management and exploitation of this cascade of digital assets offers boundless opportunities for research and applications. On the other hand, the ability to access and use this rising flood of data seems to lag behind, despite the rapidly growing capabilities of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to make much more effective use of those data. As long as the attention for data policies and data management by researchers, their organisations and their funders does not catch up with the rapidly changing research environment, the research policy and funding entities in many cases will perpetuate the systemic inefficiencies, and the resulting loss or underutilisation of valuable data resources derived from public investments. There is thus an urgent need for rationalised national strategies and more coherent international arrangements for sustainable access to public research data, both to data produced directly by government entities and to data generated in academic and not-for-profit institutions with public funding. In this chapter, we examine some of the implications of the ‘data driven’ research and possible ways to overcome existing barriers to accessibility of public research data. Our perspective is framed in the context of the predominantly publicly funded global science system. We begin by reviewing the growing role of digital data in research and outlining the roles of stakeholders in the research community in developing data access regimes. We then discuss the hidden costs of closed data systems, the benefits and limitations of openness as the default principle for data access, and the emerging open access models that are beginning to form digitally networked commons. We conclude by examining the rationale and requirements for developing overarching international principles from the top down, as well as flexible, common-use contractual templates from the bottom up, to establish data access regimes founded on a presumption of openness, with the goal of better capturing the benefits from the existing and future scientific data assets. The ‘Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding’ from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), reported on in another article by Pilat and Fukasaku,6 are the most important recent example of the high-level (inter)governmental approach. The common-use licenses promoted by the Science Commons are a leading example of flexible arrangements originating within the community. Finally, we should emphasise that we focus almost exclusively on the policy—the institutional, socioeconomic, and legal aspects of data access—rather than on the technical and management practicalities that are also important, but beyond the scope of this article.|
|Rights and Permissions:||Copyright Sydney University Press|
|Type of Work:||Book chapter|
|Appears in Collections:||Legal Framework for E-Research: Realising the Potential|
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