Addressing legal barriers in sharing of research data

The following is a press release of interest from “Knowledge Exchange” – “a co-operative effort that supports the use and development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) infrastructure for higher education and research.”

PRESS RELEASE. 4 October 2011.  “Addressing legal barriers in sharing of research data

It is difficult for researchers and those supporting them to understand how open access to research data can be legally obtained and re-used. This is due to the fact that European and national laws vary and researchers work across national boundaries. A possible approach to providing clarity would be that researchers assign a licence to their data. This practice could be incorporated in a code of conduct for researchers.

This is one of the recommendations from the report ‘The legal status of research data in the Knowledge Exchange partner countries’ which was commissioned by Knowledge Exchange (KE) and written by the Centre for Intellectual Property Law (CIER). The aim of the report was to provide clarity by analysing the intellectual property regimes in the four KE countries and European database law. Moreover, the report provides three recommendations to achieve better access: making contractual arrangements with authors, harmonisation of European copyright law and setting up of policies on commercial interests.

Licence for re-use to be included in code of conduct

On 9 September the findings of the report were discussed in Brussels with national legal experts and representatives from the European Commission. In the discussion a waiver or licence for researchers was considered to be most likely to be adopted. This could also be incorporated in a code of conduct for researchers. The discussion revealed that joint publicly and privately funded research poses a complex challenge as this requires balancing the interests of public funding and those of private companies. Harmonisation of copyright law was considered a very complex matter and not feasible in the short term.

The full report and the four national reports are available at:

http://www.knowledge-exchange.info/Default.aspx?ID=461

A report on the seminar is available at:

http://www.knowledge-exchange.info/Default.aspx?ID=455


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