Enquiry about data openness at Nature

Enquiry Status: Resolved (Open)

Started: Mon Aug 30 20:55:17 2010
ID: 4bb60bb6-6cf0-43e4-93ed-1bf78d86e4ce

Message:

To: p.campbell@natu....

Subject: Enquiry about data openness at Nature

Date: Mon Aug 30 20:55:17 2010

Status: Sent

Dear Dr Campbell,

I'm a postdoc researcher with NESCent, studying scientific data sharing and reuse. I'm writing to you, with Peter Murray-Rust, on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a non-profit global organization dedicated to the creation, dissemination and labelling of Open Knowledge.

We appreciate Nature's public stance on asserting the need to publish the scientific data supporting experiments reported in its journals: Nature is a clear leader in this area. On behalf of the OKF, we are writing to you, and a large number of science publishers, to ask for confirmation of policies with respect to the Openness of data published within your journals.

There is now great public interest in the Open availability of scientific data for validating scientific findings, detecting fraud and exploring new hypotheses. It is generally accepted by publishers that data per se are not copyrightable: several statements by publisher associations have made this point explictly. The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and International Association of Scientific, Technical, & Medical Publishers (STM) issued a joint statement in 2006 recommending that "research data should be as widely available as possible." (http://www.alpsp.org/ForceDownload.asp?id=129) The 2007 Brussels Declaration from the STM states in part:

"Raw research data should be made freely available to all researchers.  
 Publishers encourage the public posting of the raw data outputs of research. 
 Sets or sub-sets of data that are submitted with a paper to a journal should 
 wherever possible be made freely accessible to other scholars." 
 http://www.stm-assoc.org/public_affairs_brussels_declaration.php

Combined with the acceptance and increasingly widepread adoption of the Panton Principles (http://pantonprinciples.org/), it is now possible to articulate policies that are consistent with the publication and reuse of Open Data.

We would like to ask your for clarification on several points with respect to your journals. It will help everyone if your answers are clear so that users of your material can know what they may and may not do without requesting further permission.

  1. May users extract raw data and metadata (contextual facts about data collection) from supplementary information published in your journal?

  2. May users extract raw data and metadata from figures, tables, and text in the narrative of your published articles?

  3. May users extract this information from freely available articles and supplementary information, as well as those that are available by subscription only? For the latter, users would obtain access through an existing subscription.

  4. May the extracted data be used as Open Data [1,2] without discrimination against users, groups, or fields of endeavor?

  5. May users expose the extracted data as Open Data [1,2], in a manner consistent with the Panton Principles (http://pantonprinciples.org/)? Specifically, may they expose the extracted data on the internet under a Public Domain, PDDL (http://www.opendatacommons.org/licenses/pddl/) or CC0 waiver (http://wiki.creativecommons.org/CC0)?

  6. May users obtain articles and supplementary materials (other than audio and video) from your website via automated means for the purposes of extracting raw data, if it is done in a manner that does not place undue burden on your resources? Users would obtain access through an existing subscription where necessary.

  7. Will you consider displaying the OKF's "Open Data" button (http://opendefinition.org/button) as a means of clarifying to readers and users the Open parts of your material?

Our questions are being asked through the OKF's IsItOpen(Data) service (http://www.isitopendata.org), which has been designed to clarify in what sense published and online datasets are actually open. IsItOpen(Data) saves everyone time by allowing a question to be asked just once and making the reply permanently visible in a high-profile site.

On behalf of the scientific community, thank you in advance for your response. The clear labelling of Openness will save scientists hundreds of years' work per year in asking permission and speculating. Enabling open access data, both for use and reuse, will help to validate published findings, discourage fraud and misconduct, and explore new research areas. Your clear support for these principles will demonstrate the value you place on these activities and surely benefits science.

We look forward to hearing from you. Could you let us know the timeframe in which we might expect a response?

Sincerely,

Heather Piwowar, [email protected]

Peter Murray-Rust, [email protected]

on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation, http://okfn.org/

[1] http://www.opendefinition.org/1.0/

[2] http://www.opendefinition.org/licenses/

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Message:

To: J.Wilde@natu....

Subject: Re: Enquiry about data openness at Nature

Date: Fri Nov 26 21:22:11 2010

Status: Sent

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your response to our enquiry. On behalf of IsItOpenData and the Open Knowledge Foundation, I appreciate the time you have taken to clarify Nature's policies in this way.

I am sending you this formal response through the IsItOpenData service. As we discussed offline, this will post your response publicly to the enquiry at the IsItOpenData website (http://www.isitopendata.org/enquiry/list/).

Again, thank you. Nature is a leader in many aspects of data sharing: your willingness to embrace progressive policies is an inspiration for others.

Sincerely, Heather

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Wilde, Jason [email protected] Date: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 11:02 AM Subject: FW: Enquiry about data openness at Nature To: [email protected]

Dear Heather,

Many thanks for your email and, as a commercial publisher interested in ensuring scientific data is easily accessible and the rights of the author are preserved, we are happy to respond to your questions.

Where we have been unsure of your terminology we have referred back to the statement of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) (http://www.alpsp.org/ForceDownload.asp?id=129) when providing our answers:

1) YES - Supplementary Information is published under a non-exclusive license across all Nature-branded journals.

2) YES - Providing it is only data extracted and not text, such as figure legends.

3) YES - Providing it is only data extracted and not text.

4) YES - If substantial data is taken from a paper we believe there is a potential obligation on the extractor to request permission from the author (of the paper) about the re-use of their data, and a requirement to credit the original author.

5) YES - If substantial data is taken from a paper we believe there is a potential obligation on the extractor to request permission from the author (of the paper) about the re-use of their data, and a requirement to credit the original author.

6) YES/NO - Whilst all data in papers published under a CC license is available for downloading and reuse, data in subscription content (generally available via a Site License) is not. This is due to the significant traffic nature.com receives 24 hours a day, seven days a week from millions of scientists around the globe. If a user wishes to download data from content on nature.com, in a systematic way, please contact Jessica Rutt at NPG ([email protected]). NPG specifically permits downloading and mining of data in archived NPG content on UKPMC.

7) YES - this is something we would consider if our answers to point 6 do not preclude us.

I hope this helps but if you need any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jason


Dr Jason Wilde CPhys Publishing Director Nature Publishing Group

E: [email protected][...] T: +44 (0)207 8434896 www.nature.com

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Sent by "Is It Open Data?" http://isitopendata.org/ A service which helps scholars (and others) to request information about the status and licensing of data and content.

Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on the internet for anyone to access and copy. For more information see:

http://isitopendata.org/about/