Background From the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Website:
The possibility to discover, access, and use heterogeneous data seamlessly from different sources and across domains and geographical boundaries is of crucial importance to accelerate progress in all research areas. Standardization efforts are necessary to enable an agile sharing of data based on common formats; technological solutions must be envisaged and developed to provide the needed e-infrastructures to allow interoperability and integration of data. Aside from technical aspects, there are also many other perspectives that must be considered, such as legal issues.
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) recognise that researchers are mostly lacking the necessary knowledge and guidance for dealing with the legal aspects entailed when working with data from diverse sources. In an ideal world researchers should be free from this kind of burden, to focus exclusively on their research. While promoting a culture of data openness, it is still obvious that usage of most data is – and will probably always be – restricted under some kind of legal policy. In the common quest to facilitate researchers’ work when sharing and integrating data from different sources,RDA and CODATA joined forces in the RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group.
The RDA/CODATA Legal Interoperability Interest Group has studied the issues related to the intellectual property of data: the resulting outcome is a set of principles and practical implementation guidelines. They are offered as high-level guidance to all members of the research community—the funders, managers of data centers, librarians, archivists, publishers, policymakers, university administrators, individual researchers, and their legal counsel—who are engaged in activities that involve the access to and reuse of research data from diverse sources. The Principles are synergistic, so their greatest benefit is realized when they are considered together.
The following Principles on the Legal Interoperability of Research Data focus on all types of data that are used primarily in publicly funded research in government and academia:
- One: Facilitate the lawful access to and reuse of research data.
- Two: Determine the rights to and responsibilities for the data.
- Three: Balance the legal interests.
- Four: State the rights transparently and clearly.
- Five: Promote the harmonization of rights in research data.
- Six: Provide proper attribution and credit for research data.
The Principles and Guidelines for Legal Interoperability of Research Data document, detailing each of the six principles, has now been published.
It will be considered for adoption at the RDA Plenary and disseminated globally to the different stakeholders in the research process this fall.
Direct to Full Text Document: The Principles and Guidelines for Legal Interoperability of Research Data (44 pages; PDF)