Open Data and Legal Strings

NRP's cross-cutting project examines the legal context of data sharing in research.

​Data sharing is at the heart of future research. This is why initiatives promote Open Data. Reality, however, is often different, because data is inaccessible, underutilized or otherwise closed to publicly funded research projects. How can this be improved?

The cross-cutting project "Open Data and Legal Strings", led by Prof. Dr. Sabine Gless (Universität Basel) with her colleagues Christine Möhrke-Sobolewski (Universität Basel) and Susanne Knickmeier (MPI, Freiburg) examines the legal challenges of making data available for use by others.

First results

The first interviews with researchers indicate that even the definition of data is not really clear: Does Open Data only deal with raw data, or does it also include derivatives? What about historical material, sources, field journals, images, annotations? The legal issues are mainly about ownership and therefore also the question of data rights (access rights, user privileges) and data protection. Many participants in the study had already prepared concrete recommendations on how legal and technical hurdles could be overcome. Of importance to the researchers is that roles and responsibilities in research processes be clearly allocated and that the disclosure of data be regarded as a yardstick – comparable to the number of publications. Should researchers be granted "scientific credits" for creating a data set and, above all, making it available in the sense of Open Data?

Next step: Workshop on 7 September

As a next step, the first results of the interviews will be presented and discussed from various perspectives. In addition, anyone who would like to be available for an interview is welcome to contact the research team.