An International Framework to Promote Access to Data

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Science  19 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5665, pp. 1777-1778
DOI: 10.1126/science.1095958

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The emergence of an global cyberinfrastructure is rapidly increasing the ability of scientists to produce, manage, and use data, leading to new understanding and modes of scientific inquiry that depend on broader data access. As research becomes increasingly global, data intensive, and multifaceted, it is imperative to address national and international data access and sharing issues systematically in a policy arena that transcends national jurisdictions. The authors of this Policy Forum summarize key findings of an international group that studied these issues on behalf of the OECD, and argue that an international framework of principles and guidelines for data access is needed to better realize this potential. They provide a framework for locating and analyzing where improvements can be made in data access regimes, and highlight several topics that require further examination to better inform future policies.