The Brazilian Institute of Information for Science and Technology, IBICT, and the Brazilian National Research and Education Network, RNP, are working on a proposal for a national programme to promote Open Access to Research Data.
The current storage, communication, and processing technologies, together with a mature scientific culture of Open Science, led to a movement for open access to research data. This greatly enhances the strength of scientific research and expands its reach to researchers and regions which otherwise had great difficulties of access to advanced infrastructure for experiments and observations to get data for their research.
Open Access to Research Data has nowadays a strategic value for scientific communities, countries and regions. Being a collaborative endeavour, this understanding led to the establishment of networks, communities of practice and larger initiatives. RNP and IBICT participate in one of the largest, the Research Data Alliance, RDA, initially launched by a joint sponsorship of Australia, the European Union and the United States but now involving many countries all over the world.
The proposal for the Brazilian Programme is preliminary based on four key areas:
Information architecture and tools for storage, discovery and retrieval of datasets
Many communities of practice in Brazil and all over the world are developing ontologies, metadata, ad-hoc or adapted tools to share research data among them. Adapting and promoting the visibility of those initiatives and interaction between them and with similar groups in other countries or regions is part of the programme, giving access to knowledge and tools already available.
Physical infrastructure to store, preserve and have access to data
RNP, the Brazilian NREN, has developed a national network with a good capillarity, reaching most research institutions on the country. The challenge now is to build a storage system for data generated and used by those institutions. Certainly a model which is being considered is the building of a Research Data Cloud, based partly on existing infrastructure, part on new resources.
Policies which induce sharing of research data
Some agencies which finance and promote research have already policies which induce recipients of financing to share their research data as part of the conditions to receive support. The national programme will promote the refinement, expansion and adoption of those policies, involving government agencies, researchers and communities of practice.
Education and training of researchers, gatekeepers and data scientists
A key point in the adoption of a culture of data sharing is to promote awareness of researchers on the value of sharing, both for their own production and for the larger scientific community. This awareness should be complemented by a more technical training on structuring data management plans and use of tools for storage and recovery of data.
Information scientists and traditional gatekeepers to information should get a new perspective to their enhanced roles as data scientists and gatekeepers to data.
Interaction with universities will be a key point to promote new curricula and specific training for both players, researchers and gatekeepers.
Continued international cooperation is a key point of the programme. On one hand it will expand an already existing relation with broader initiatives. On the other hand the national programme might grow into a regional initiative as it already exist in areas as access to scientific production and regional digital networks.