Published October 20, 2016 | Version v1
Report Open

Legal Interoperability of Research Data: Principles and Implementation Guidelines


The CODATA-RDA Legal Interoperability Interest Group has studied the issues related tothe 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.
This document examines each of the six principles and provides guidelines for implementing these principles.

The guidelines have been refined through two strenuous rounds of peer review.

These Principles and Implementation Guidelines are the product of the entire RDA-CODATA Interest Group. The co-chairs of this Interest Group are Paul F. Uhlir, Enrique Alonso Garcia, and Robert Chen. The full list of the Interest Group’s members may be found at: ig.html. However, the following individuals were the principal authors of this document and they participated in frequent conference calls and in the RDA Plenaries to develop this between March 2015 and August 2016 (listed in alphabetical order): Donat Agosti, Enrique Alonso Garcia, Baden Appleyard, Christoph Bruch, Robert Chen, Gail Clement, Willi Egloff, Herbert Gruttemeier, Simon Hodson, Maria Llosent, J. Bernard Minster, and Paul F. Uhlir.

This document went through two rounds of external reviews. The first round was conducted in December 2015- February 2016 by the RDA and CODATA, and those reviewers performed their services on the condition of anonymity. A second round of reviews was requested by the RDA-CODATA Interest Group itself in the spring of 2016, and the responses to those reviews led to this publication. The Interest Group is grateful for the review comments provided by all the anonymous reviewers and by the following experts who expressly consented to be named (listed in alphabetical order): George Alter, Amir Aryani, Adrian Burton, Jiang Dong, Giulia Dore, Elise Dunham, Katie Fortney, George Haringhuizen, Varsha K. Khodiyar, Michael Linksvayer, Wouter Los, Jesus Marco de Lucas, Thomas Margoni, Hollydawn Murray, Harlan Onsrud, Kevin Pomfret, Rina E. Pantalony, Fraser Taylor, Heiko Tjalsma, Kathryn Unsworth, Luis Villa, and J. Max Wilkinson. These experts provided their reviews in their personal capacities, rather than as representatives of their institutions of employment, and the views expressed here are solely those of the RDA-CODATA Interest Group.

Finally, we would like to thank the Research Data Alliance and CODATA for their support throughout the process of drafting this document, and in particular Simon Hodson, the Executive Director of CODATA, and Peter Fox, the Interest Group’s liaison from the RDA Technical Advisory Panel, for their personal engagement.

Editorial Responsibility: Paul Uhlir, Chief Editor; Gail Clement, Production Editor.



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