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Terms of reference

The study aims to:

  1. Identify the principles, opportunities and problems of sharing and disclosing scientific information.
    1. Assess the extent to which scientific data are currently communicated to relevant audiences within and outside the scientific community. This will include examining how the internet has changed the environment in which science operates, differences between data openness and data accessibility, and the potential benefits and costs of making scientific data more widely accessible.
    2. Examine the current cultural, technical, regulatory and socioeconomic barriers to better communication of research data and explore the issues that would need to be resolved if they are to be communicated more widely. This will include investigation of issues of digital curation, data protection, making metadata available to others, responsibility for data accessibility, incentives and disincentives for sharing of research data and differences between scientific disciplines.
    3. Explore the likely tensions and possible reconciliation between public and private interests in the pursuit of ethically robust and scientifically sound research when this implicates citizens’ private rights.
  2. Identify measures that should be taken by scientists and their institutions, policymakers and others in creating a socially responsible open data regime.