Because good research needs good data

New policy recommendations on open access to research data

A Whyte | 19 January 2015

The EU FP-7 project RECODE has released findings of its case studies in open access to research data. RECODE (Policy RECommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe) held its final conference last week in Athens, coinciding with publication of a short booklet summarising the project findings and the following ten over-arching recommendations:

  1. Develop aligned and comprehensive policies for open access to research data
  2. Ensure appropriate funding for open access to research data
  3. Develop policies and initiatives that offer researchers rewards for open access to high quality data
  4. Identify key stakeholders and relevant networks and foster collaborative work for a sustainable ecosystem for open access to research data
  5. Plan for the long-term, sustainable curation and preservation of open access data
  6. Develop comprehensive and collaborative technical and infrastructure solutions that afford open access to and long-term preservation of high-quality research data
  7. Develop technical and scientific quality standards for research data
  8. Require the use of harmonized open licensing frameworks
  9. Systematically address legal and ethical issues arising from open access to research data
  10. Support the transition to open research data through curriculum-development and training

The RECODE publication offers more specific recommendations aimed at each of the key stakeholders it has targeted, namely research funders, research institutions, data managers, and publishers.

The project recommendations were informed by five disciplinary case studies (physics, health, bioengineering, environment and archaeology). These drew comparisons across four “grand challenges”:

  • stakeholders values and ecosystems
  • legal and ethical concerns
  • infrastructure and technology challenges, and
  • institutional challenges

Case studies identified two overarching issues in the mobilisation of open access to research data; firstly a “lack of a coherent open data ecosystem”, and secondly; “lack of attention to the specificity of research practice, processes and data collections”.

Further details of the conference are available here, and on the project website