Royal Society report on open science

21 June 2012

Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“Openness is increasingly important in terms of research and scientific data, especially with the new opportunities created by technological advances, so we welcome this thorough and timely report.

“Our researchers and universities are always keen to explore new ways to maximise the impact of our world-class research and it is a key part of the mission of all Russell Group universities.

“However, as the report points out, opening up scientific data is not always an unqualified good. Commercial value, privacy, safety and security must all be protected so there must be legitimate boundaries to openness.

“Making scientific data accessible - and useful - for non-specialists creates its own particular challenges so there is a risk that the release of certain scientific data can do as much damage as it can good. 

“We also believe that Freedom of Information legislation should explicitly exempt research data, so universities can operate successfully in a highly competitive global environment and reduce expensive bureaucracy.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The report highlights activities by Russell Group universities such as the Easy Access IP initiative which makes Intellectual Property available on a no-cost basis to firms who can then use it to develop expertise in our world-class universities, producing benefits to the economy and society.

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