Representatives of the 38 member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) held a global workshop in Paris, France to review and update its 2006 guidelines on national-level access to research data, Recommendation of the Council concerning Access to Research Data from Public Funding and OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

Dean of the University Libraries, Tyler Walters, was one of only two representatives for the United States present at the workshop “Towards new principles for enhanced access to data from public research,” held on March 13 in Paris and sponsored by the OECD Directorate on Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Walters and Beth Plale, science advisor for public access at the  National Science Foundation and professor of informatics at Indiana University, participated as speakers among the six panels and engaged in open discussions.

Among the topics discussed were utilizing the FAIR guiding principles for scientific data management and stewardship, which are a product of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program (the EU’s research and innovation program), approaches to policy that incentivize public access to research data from publicly funded research, harmonizing policies across funding agencies, and the responsibilities and costs related to contemporary research data infrastructure-building and management.

“Making federally sponsored research data available for re-analysis and extension will potentially fuel greater discovery of new knowledge. This is an important topic for all universities that are awarded federally funded grants. At Virginia Tech, the University Libraries is committed to providing services to the faculty related to their research and data management planning in order to continue Virginia Tech’s commitment to serve society and shape the future,” said Walters.

Walters, a member of the Association of American Universities and Association of Public and Land-grant Universities public access working group, presented on the group’s recommendations for actions universities and federal agencies can take to ensure public access to federally sponsored research data. The recommendations also contained data management resources to provide universities with the information, tools, and additional guidance for making data publicly available.

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