Report on the Legal Status of Research Data in the four partner countries

 

This report compares the legal status of research data in the four KE partner countries. The report also addresses where European copyright and database law poses flaws and obstacles to the access to research data and singles out pre-conditions for openly available data.


Background of the study

Intellectual property right regulations regarding primary research data are a recurrent topic in the discussion on the improvement of access to research data. In fact in the final report of the High Level Expert Group on Scientific Data ‘Riding the Wave’ creating clarity on this was considered very important in improving awareness for all parties involved. According to the recommendations of the report legal issues should be “worked out so that they encourage, and not impede, global data sharing” http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/e-infrastructure/docs/hlg-sdi-report.pdf.

While open access to research data is a widely recognised goal, achieving it remains a challenge. As European national laws still diverge and sometimes remain unclear it can be difficult for interested parties to fully comprehend in which ways open access to research data can be legally obtained.


Based on these discussions the Knowledge Exchange working group on primary research data has commissioned a comparative report on the legal status of research data in the four KE partner countries. The study has been conducted by the Centre for Intellectual Property Law (CIER) at Utrecht University.


The report aims at informing Knowledge Exchange and associated stakeholders on the state of the law concerning access to research data in the KE partner countries (Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and to give an insight in how these laws work in practice. This is explained in several characteristic situations pertaining to open access to research data.


The purpose of the report is to identify flaws and obstacles to the access to research data and to single out pre-conditions for openly available data. This is in view of the current discussions concerning open access to research data, especially those originating from publicly funded research. The report intends to be both a description of the status quo of the legislation and a practical instrument to prepare further activities in raising awareness on the potential benefit of improved access to research data, and developing means to support the improved access for research purposes.

 

 

 

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