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Topics and policy

Open science and data

Open data is data that is freely available to anyone to access, use and share. Open data affects the way research is conducted and communicated, with huge potential to make science itself more open and efficient. Greater openness provides scientists and citizen scientists greater opportunities to move science forward by supporting, rejecting or refining theories, identifying errors and creating further understanding and knowledge from the data, thereby helping to address global challenges.

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Our analysis and advice

  • The Future of Scholarly Scientific Communication

    In 2015 the Royal Society marked the 350th anniversary of Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first science journal.

    Explore the conference

  • G8 statement on data sharing

    Joint statement on global challenges, global research infrastructure, open scientific research data, and increasing access to the peer-reviewed, published results of scientific research.

    Download the statement

  • Open Access Policy: Response to RCUK

    The Royal Society’s response to Research Councils UK (RCUK)’s consultation on the implementation of their Open Access policy.

    Read the response

  • The culture of scientific research in the UK

    The findings of a series of engagement activities by Nuffield Council on Bioethics.   

    Read the report

  • Science as an open enterprise

    The report highlights the need to grapple with the huge deluge of data created by modern technologies.

    Read the report

Also of interest

In Verba blog

Fellows working in this area

Professor Geoffrey Boulton

Professor Geoffrey Boulton is a geoscientist who has made considerable contributions to our understanding of glaciers and the ways in which they shaped the landscape over recent geological time.

He is Regius Professor Emeritus of the University of Edinburgh and internationally renowned for his findings. He is President of the International Council for Science’s Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA).

Baroness Onora O'Neill

Baroness Onora O’Neill is a distinguished academic philosopher and politician whose arguments have been highly influential in complex issues arising from modern science.

She is heavily engaged in shaping science policy, especially in relation to bioethics, and has chaired the Human Genetics Advisory Commission and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.