cies. In recognizing that government-generated information can be a valuable public resource, OMB Circular A-16 Revised (OMB, 2002) states that federal agencies have a responsibility to “collect, maintain, disseminate, and preserve spatial information such that the resulting data, information, or products can be readily shared with other federal agencies and non-federal users, and promote data integration between all sources.”

International partnering will be especially challenging. International science collaborators typically express a commitment to data access and data-sharing. For example, Europe has a policy framework with a specific directive that establishes an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Commission (INSPIRE) and a directive on public access to environmental information (Europa, 2003) that requires environmental information to be provided to the public in a timely manner. Furthermore, the European Commission has a policy that enables reuse of public sector information (Directive 2003/98/EC) and more recently in December 2011 issued Directive 2011/833/EU so that documents could be provided on an open basis (Europa, 2011). In the absence of a supporting national policy, legal framework, and good data-management practices, however, such objectives are at risk of not being implemented. Many governance issues can arise when cooperating organizations span different legal jurisdictions or must comply with different organizational data-dissemination requirements. National policies and organizational practices that support these data-access systems will be necessary to ensure that research data flows as intended.


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Europa. 2003. Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003. Available online at (Accessed June 29, 2011).

Europa. 2011. Commission Decision of 12 December 2011 on the reuse of Commission documents. Available online at (Accessed March 17, 2012).

Goble, C., and D. De Roure. 2009. The Impact of Workflow Tools on Data-centric Research. In The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery, edited by T. Hey, S. Tansley, and K. Tolle, Microsoft Research. Pp. 137-145.

Goble, C.A., R. Stevens, D. Hull, K. Wolstencroft, and R. Lopez. 2008. Data curation + process curation=data integration + science. Briefings in Bioinformatics 9(6):506-517.

OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.). 2004. The OGC – A Unique Organization Offering Unique Benefits. Available online at (Accessed June 24, 2011).

OMB (Office of Management and Budget). 2002. Coordination of Geographic Information and Related Spatial Data Activities. Circular No. A-16 Revised, August 19. Available online at (Accessed June 29, 2011).

Taylor, I.J., E. Deelman, D.B. Gannon, and M. Shields (Eds.). 2007. Workflows for e-Science: Scientific Workflows for Grids. London: Springer.

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