Open Context publishes open data, free of access and reuse restrictions. While open access and open licensing of research data are powerful tools for encouraging better and more collaborative scientific practice (as described by the FAIR Data Principles), they are not universally appropriate. Open Context's team asks contributors to carefully consider the issues described below and communicate their perspectives with our editorial staff.
Good intellectual property (IP) practice starts in a project's planning stages. Researchers should be aware of the context of their work since professional and scientific ethics of access and IP vary. Are there national or international policy expectations with regard to data access and management? Are there local or Indigenous communities or other groups with an interest in the research program? At its inception, a project should include discussions about data sharing and access, credit and attribution, and privacy and cultural sensitivities. To increase the potential for inclusivity, we recommend the following practical steps for researchers:
The point of these practices is to encourage researchers to look beyond their immediate personal and project needs and consider multiple communities (including professionals working in other disciplines) as stakeholders. Open access and open data are valuable means to make research more collaborative and relevant to larger communities, as are practices that build collaborations with Indigenous and other descendent communities and recognize their values and contributions. Consideration of these issues in data management plans will help place projects on a stronger ethical and professional foundation.
The policy, ethical, legal, and professional issues associated with the Web-based dissemination of research data are constantly evolving. Many of these topics relate to active areas of research. To further explore these issues, please refer to the knowledge-base compiled by the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage (IPinCH) project. Please also carefully review the CARE Principles to see how these can help promote the ethics of your data management.
Special thanks go to IPinCH member Sarah E. Carr-Locke (Simon Frasier University) for her role in helping to craft this document. Please note however that the perspectives discussed here reflect the policies and perspectives of Open Context, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IPinCH project or its members.
If you have any concerns about the ethical nature of the information presented on the site, please contact Open Context's Editor, Sarah Whitcher Kansa (email@example.com).