Advances in technology are increasing the opportunities to re-use and combine public datasets to create new and innovative information services and products – both commercial and non-commercial. This includes re-use of data generated from publicly funded research. While there are clear moral, social and economic arguments for making research data open to others, there are also legal, ethical and commercial constraints on the release of research data.
The public dialogue on open data focused on gaining public insight and feedback on open data principles. This could then inform future policies which shape how those open data principles are developed and practised.
The findings from this public dialogue directly impacted the work of the Research Councils’ Research Outputs Network, which coordinates cross-council policy on access and use of research outputs and data. The findings were also presented to the Administrative Data Taskforce to feed into the report to ministers in December 2012 on the wider use of administrative data for research and policy purposes.