Concordat on Open Research Data launched

Article dated: 28 July 2016

Four of the UK's leading research organisations have today launched a Concordat on Open Research Data proposing a set of principles for working with research data. 

Designed to help ensure that research data created by the UK research community is openly available for use by others, Universities UK, Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Wellcome Trust have worked together to capture the best practice in the research community. The Concordat is intended to establish sound principles for working with research data, promoting the opening up of data for scrutiny and reuse, whilst protecting privacy, confidentiality and respecting consent terms.

The Concordat has received strong support from Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science, who said, "The UK is a world leader in terms of open research data: the EPSRC's data framework has been adopted by many research funders, and the UK Data Archive has retained social science and humanities data for almost 50 years. This Concordat is a testament to the research community's ability to build on that expertise and steer this fast developing policy."

The Concordat has ten key principles which all those engaged in research should be able to work to. These include:

  • open access to research data as an enabler of high quality research
  • the right of creators of research data to reasonable first use
  • good data management as fundamental to the research process and should be established at the outset 
  • the use of others' data should always conform to legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks, including appropriate acknowledgement

Matthew Woollard, Director of the UK Data Service and UK Data Archive, was part of the Concordat Working Group and has welcomed the publication saying, "This Concordat represents a unified view across the UK research data related stakeholders about access conditions."

More information is available from RCUK

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