Data Sharing Principles

World Data System aims to promote universal and equitable access to quality-assured scientific data, data services, products and information, with a view towards long-term data stewardship. These data sharing principles advance those goals.

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Core Ethical Commitments

Principles Designed to Unite Data Producers and Data Users

The WDS Data Sharing Principles are in line with the data policies of national and international initiatives, including those of the Group on Earth Observations, the G8 Science Ministers’ Statement and Open Data Charter, the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding, as well as the Science International Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World enunciated jointly by the International Science Council—then separately, the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council—the InterAcademy Panel, and the World Academy of Science.

Data Sharing Principles

Data, metadata, products, and information should be fully and openly shared, subject to national or international jurisdictional laws and policies, including respecting appropriate extant restrictions, and in accordance with international standards of ethical research conduct.

Data, metadata, products, and information produced for research, education, and public-domain use will be made available with minimum time delay and free of charge, or for no more than the cost of dissemination, which may be waived for lower-income user communities to support equity in access.

All who produce, share, and use data and metadata are stewards of those data and ensure that the data’s authenticity, quality, and integrity are preserved. Respect for the data source is maintained by ensuring privacy where appropriate and encouraging appropriate citation of the dataset and original work and acknowledgment of the data repository.

Data should be open by default and labeled ‘sensitive’ or ‘restricted’ only with appropriate justification and clearly defined protocols. They should, in any event, be made available for use on the least restrictive basis possible.

Data should be treated with integrity and confidentiality and treated with the security requested by the data steward and producers.

To the greatest extent possible, data and data repositories should follow the best data management and stewardship practices, such as the FAIR Principles for scientific data management and stewardship, the TRUST Principles for Data Repositories, and the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance

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