WS 8: International access to research content and sensitive data

Rapporteur: Marco Lotti, Geneva Internet Platform

  • Despite many initiatives for open science existing both at the regional and international levels, more can be done. Cooperation issues (different stakeholders have different views and interests) and logistical issues (e.g. digital divide and resources available) still pose challenges. UNESCO has actively and recently taken steps to favour international cooperation on open science, precisely stressing the existing common values shared by the international community.
  • On the infrastructure level, the main challenges are twofold. As the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) case shows, a part of the challenge is linked to the development of platforms and services (and their funding) that allows for an open environment. On the other hand, security remains the main concern, especially in the case of cloud solutions. As a big part of the data at stake is sensitive, good security practices need to be put into place at the technical level and thought of since the design of such platforms (e.g. access restrictions, data licensing, PID assignments, and data anonymisation).
  • Ensuring security and trust is not only a technical matter but also a legal one. In the existing legal framework, there are already good and solid principles regulating access and sharing of Data (e.g CoE Convention on HR and Biomedicine, the EU’s GDPR and Draft on AI regulation). In any case, to ensure the maximum respect of individuals’ human rights the interest and welfare of the human beings shall prevail over the sole interest of society and science.
  • However, the implementation of such legal principles in everyday scientific practice still remains an issue especially when it comes to what type of data is at stake and at which part of the data cycle the activity takes place. In this regard, it is essential to bridge the gap between policymakers and the scientific community through dialogue and education to ensure that the policies take into account the needs of researchers.

Source: https://comment.eurodig.org/eurodig-2021-messages/ws-8-international-access-to-research-content-and-sensitive-data/