BOX 3-2

OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding

From 2004 to 2006 the 30-nation Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) developed a set of guidelines based on commonly agreed principles to facilitate cost-effective access to digital research data generated through public funding. Endorsed by the OECD Council on December 14, 2006, the “OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding” serve as objectives for each member country to achieve given its own legal, cultural, economic, and social context.

The Principles and Guidelines cover 13 broad areas:


Openness

Flexibility

Transparency

Legal conformity

Protection of intellectual property

Formal responsibility

Professionalism

Interoperability

Quality

Security

Efficiency

Accountability

Sustainability


The Principles and Guidelines call “for a flexible approach to data access” under a default principle of openness and recognize “that one size does not fit all.” They also state that “Whatever differences there may be between practices of, and policies on, data sharing, and whatever legitimate restrictions may be put on data access, practically all research could benefit from more systematic sharing.”


NOTE: For more information, see Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2007. OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding. Available at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/9/61/38500813.pdf.

research and lower the technical barriers to sharing data. As this transformation occurs, researchers are organizing their work in new ways to take advantage of new possibilities. An innovative example is the conduct of research in what can be called an open-knowledge environment.4 Building on the methodology pioneered by the open-source software movement, this approach begins with

4

Economist. 2004. “An Open-Source Shot in the Arm?” June 10.



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