The Research Data Working Group brings together experts on research data management from Science Europe Member Organisations. During its initial two-year mandate (2013–2015), the Working Group will act as Science Europe’s platform to reflect upon shared challenges related to research data. It will specifically focus on developing policies related to data collection, quality assurance of data, data preservation, and sharing and re-use of research data.
The activities of the group will touch upon topics such as ‘Text and Data Mining’, a set of techniques which can enhance the potential for analysing research data and enabling new findings, and the concept of ‘Big Data’, related to the collection of data sets too large and complex for traditional data management tools to process them.
The work of the group is guided by the principle that openness of data should be the standard rule, but can be postponed and limited for legitimate reasons, such as privacy or disciplinary-specific issues.
The Working Group aims to guide Science Europe members, along with other stakeholders in Europe and beyond, in a process to foster a cultural change towards sharing scientific data for the advancement of research and ultimately for the benefit of society at large. In doing so, it will take into account issues related to other policy fields such as: research infrastructures and the necessary development of appropriate data infrastructures for instance; research integrity and the need to ensure responsible and sustainable data management to avoid misconduct; and implications for researchers’ careers and the need to acknowledge that data-intensive research requires new and additional types of skills.