The G8 Open Data Charter declares that “open data are an untapped resource with huge potential to encourage the building of stronger, more interconnected societies that better meet the needs of our citizens and allow innovation and prosperity to flourish”, and sets out five principles that will be the foundation for access to, and the release and re-use of, data made available by G8 governments. Science and research is recognised as one of the areas of high-value data. The European Commission published in 2011 a Communication entitled “Open data: An engine for innovation, growth and transparent governance” that singles out the acceleration of scientific progress as one of the reasons why open data is crucial for Europe.
Funding agencies increasingly require open access to research data in the investigations that they support. For example, Research Councils UK has a set of principles starting with “Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.”
EUDAT itself aims to support sharing and reuse of open data through its services, while recognising that not all data will be completely unrestricted.
The EUDAT communities wish to use EUDAT services to store and manage restricted data as well as open data. That's why EUDAT must be able to handle this situation, and the mechanism chosen is to produce “consistent guidelines for restricted data access to be adopted in the EUDAT CDI”.
Moreover, in order to encourage the acceptance of opening access to research data, the Horizon 2020 programme has launched a pilot action, the Open Research Data Pilot. Participating projects must develop a Data Management Plan (DMP) specifying which data will be openly accessible. Projects in certain areas, e.g. Future and Emerging Technologies, and Research infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures) are automatically part of the pilot; projects in other areas can also opt in. The Open Research Data Pilot aims to make the research data generated by these projects accessible with as few restrictions as possible, while at the same time protecting sensitive data from inappropriate access.
EUDAT is supporting the H2020 projects programme by providing training material and webinars on how to write a Data Management Plan. Watch the webinar here.