Every sector in the science community has a valuable role to play in improving the global research enterprise by supporting open access to data.
Scientists, research centres and institutions, publishers, funding agencies, academies and libraries all have vitally important responsibilities.
Open data should be the default position for publicly funded science.
Exceptions should be limited to issues of privacy, safety, security and to commercial use in the public interest.
As with all scholarly publication, open access has protocols for citing and crediting data created by others.
In an era of new technology, some basic technical standards can help to make big data sets more user-friendly for all researchers.
An accord to promote open access to "big data" that are the basis of advanced research has passed 120 endorsements, and the list includes prominent science organizations that support the principles of open data through dedicated commitments.
Openness is the bedrock for benefit. Whole science systems, not merely the habits of researchers, need to adapt.
Geoffrey Boulton, Chair of the Open Data/Big Data Working Group, has published a correspondence article in Nature on the topic of the international accord and why it is so timely. He argues that public research funders and publishers must support open-data management, and that the global scientific community should commit to 'intelligently open' data.
PRETORIA, South Africa – Four major international science organisations are calling for global endorsement of an accord to help assure open access to volumes of "big data" that increasingly are the basis of research and policymaking.