International Research Data Management Initiatives
This video outlines some of the major global initiatives affecting Canadian policies related to publicly-funded research and research data.
This video outlines some of the major global initiatives affecting Canadian policies related to publicly-funded research and research data. This video complements the Canadian Research Data Management Initiatives video. Find a link to it in the description box below this video on YouTube.
During the past twenty years, international discussions have resulted in calls for publicly funded research results to be made openly available. More recently, there is recognition that the data underlying research results should also be openly available whenever possible.
The research community understood that the internet changed everything when it came to finding ways to share research outputs.
On this timeline, you can see many of the major international and national initiatives. Initial open access initiatives in the early 2000s, such as the Budapest and Bethesda initiatives, focused on open access to research publications.
The first major declaration that focused on access to and preservation of the underlying research data was the 2003 Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. It has over 600 signatories, including governments, universities, and other research-related institutions.
The Goals of the Berlin Declaration include:
Dissemination of knowledge openly and globally,
Open access to scientific research results, raw data, and metadata
Placement of work and all supplemental materials in a repository
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2004 Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding further advanced previous initiatives. At its centre was the need to advance scientific research and innovation through the open exchange of data, knowledge, and information.
The 34 signatory nations, including Canada, committed to:
Building institutional rules for the management of digital research data, and
Describing good practices for methods, techniques and instruments employed in the collection, dissemination and accessible archiving of data
The G8 Science Ministers Statement of 2013 reiterated that publicly funded data should be open whenever possible, while recognizing any necessary constraints on that openness.
The goals of the G8 statement are to:
Improve transparency, coherence and coordination of the global scientific enterprise in order to address global challenges, and
Maximize social & economic benefits of research through open scientific research data and expanding access to scientific research results.
In order to reach these goals, signatory countries, including Canada, agreed that:
Publicly funded data should be open whenever possible;
Such data should be easily accessible, discoverable, intelligible, useable and interoperable;
adoption of research data principles by the scientific community should be rewarded; and
appropriate infrastructure should be developed.
The two main components of all of these initiatives are:
Open access to research publications – usually within a specified time period, and
Preservation & sharing of publicly funded research data
In response to the international initiatives, major funding agencies of signatory countries began developing and implementing open access, data sharing and data preservation policies.
For an international directory of such policies, visit Sherpa Juliet. A link is provided in the description box below this video on YouTube.
In 2005 in the United Kingdom, the Medical Research Council and other UK agencies began releasing data sharing policies. In 2011 Research Councils UK issued a Common Principles on Data Policy, calling for open data and reduced confusion.
Since then, most major UK funding agencies have adopted policies requiring the submission of a data management plan when applying for government funding. Emphasis is placed on detailed planning for the storage, access and preservation of research data. See the link in the description box below for a list of data management requirements of UK funders.
In the United States similar policies have been developed by funding agencies.
The most notable policies are the 2003 National Institutes of Health data sharing policy and the 2010 National Science Foundation Data Management Plan requirement.
Both policies require submission of implementation plans for data sharing followed by timely release of the data.
In 2013, the Obama Administration released a policy reinforcing and accelerating access to publicly-funded research.
The European Union’s Horizon 2020 project pushes the envelope on access to publicly funded research results. As of 2017, a data management plan is required for all projects funded through the Open Research Data pilot project. Data and supporting documentation needed to validate results in scientific publications must be made openly available.
The project applies the FAIR principles of data management: that data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.
With all of these national and international initiatives, there is universal recognition that it may not be possible to preserve and/or share data due to:
- Confidentiality agreements
- Privacy and ethical issues
- Commercial restrictions
- Continuing research or commercialization
- IP rights issues, and others
There is also recognition that making scholarly data reusable will require improved infrastructure. Appropriate digital infrastructure is essential for publishing data under FAIR principles. FAIR Principles endeavor to enhance the ability of data to be found and reused by both people and machines. For more information about the FAIR principles, see the link in the description box below.
As the FAIR principles become more widely adopted, it is anticipated that the rate of data reuse will accelerate, generating new scientific discoveries.
For more help please visit the University of Guelph Library’s Library Research Data Management Support Materials and Guides, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links to additional resources are also available in the description box below this video on YouTube.
Contact: email@example.com for research data management support.