Debate Continues on "Climategate" Data Implications

20 July, 2010

Times Higher Education discusses implications for data release, arising from a recent ruling by the Information Commissioner's Office on tree-ring data, and the Russell Report on the "Climategate" emails affair.

The article interviews Michael Baillie the emeritus professor of palaeoecology at Queen's University Belfast, recently forced to release his career-spanning dataset in response to a FOI request, following the Information Commissioner's ruling that the Environmental Information Regulations applied to the case and the data could not be exempted.

A key point of this ruling was that it applied to data that Professor Baillie had not yet published. Underlining recent JISC advice to universities, the article quotes Professor Baillie "...Clearly each university needs to have a definite policy on the release of research data."

The article also notes that JISC has commissioned guidance on the issue, which is due to be published in September.

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FOI, open data