Policy for Open research data and methods

Last updated 12.6.2023

The policy for open access to research data and methods consists of strategic principles common to the entire policy and two policy components in which objectives and actions are set out for each area. The strategic principles describe general preconditions for the pursuit of open access to research data and methods. They formulate principles that are important for the research community and must be adhered to when implementing openness.

The policy focuses on the openness of research data, methods, and infrastructures. It views openness as an element of research quality and impact across the full life cycle of research and as an opportunity to advance global inclusivity in research. It considers research data and methods as independent research outputs, and generally encourages opening up the research process as early and widely as possible, and requests that limitations to openness should be justified. Existing frameworks, such as the FAIR principles, can be used to regulate the level of openness for research data and various types of methods. 

Timeline for policy development

The working group for the policy began to assemble in the expert panel for the openness of data in 2019 and the first draft for the first policy component was presented in the open science spring conference in 2020. Request for comments was sent on 17 August 2020 for researchers, organisations and individuals. The draft was open for comments until 25 September 2020. Risk analysis workshops assessing possible risks associated with opening data were conducted on 14 January 2021 and 26 January 2021. The first policy component for open research data was approved by the steering group on 13 March 2021 and published on 4 May 2021.

The draft policy component on open access to research methods and infrastructures was open for comments from 12 April 2022 until 24 May 2022. Request for comments was sent to higher education facilities, research institutes, learned societies, science and research funders, scientific libraries and archives. In addition, the draft was open for comments for the whole research community. A revised policy component was then approved by the steering group 30.1.2023, and the policy as a whole was published on 12.6.2023.