The Common Data Sharing policy was adopted in order to facilitate the re-use, re-integration and repurposing of research data, for the development of new knowledge and research directions and to ensure that maximum impact is realised from ERA-CAPS funding.
The Data Sharing policy implies that from now on, scientists who apply to the ERA-CAPS calls have to submit a Data Management Plan alongside their application.
Indeed, ERA-CAPS’ view on research data is informed by the overarching principles declared by the OECD in its 2007 publication “Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding” (publicly-funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest and should be openly available to the maximum extent possible). The policy was officially adopted on 28 March 2014 at the 5th meeting of the ERA-CAPS Management Board (MB) in Vienna where representatives of Research Councils, Funding agencies and Ministries in charge of plant science funding from 20 countries gathered. The adoption of the Common Data Sharing policy is considered a major achievement of the ERA-CAPS network.
In this respect, Prof. Wilhelm Gruissem, from the Global Plant Council and member of the ERA-CAPS Scientific Advisory Body recently expressed the need to organise the scientific community towards adhering to the same standards for data collection, storage and exchange. The Global Plant Council defined the management of Knowledge Data and Resources as one of the main global challenges that lay ahead of us in view of tackling the societal problems that we are currently facing in feeding a growing population, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing our reliance of fossil fuels. Ensuring that all individuals, scientists, policy makers and farmers are able to make decisions based on the most up to date evidence and information will require the establishment of appropriate digital and physical infrastructures to promote the exchange of knowledge, ideas, data resources and best practice in person and online.
The full text of the data sharing policy can be viewed here.