Open Access to Data and its Impact on Society (A Joint Session of WDS and CODATA)

Abstract:

The scientific community has traditionally been the main audience of scientific data activities of data centres and data service providers. However, expectations from society to access scientific data are dramatically increasing, particularly for data linked to environment and disasters issues. A recent example of such societal demand for scientific data was observed during and after the Fukushima Daichii nuclear disaster following the Great Tohuku Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Low dose radioactivity contamination data attracted attention and was scrutinized by the general public.

Unfortunately, raw and complex data was exposed to an unprepared public and without proper scientific explanations leading to confusion in the Japanese society. This illustrates how the public trust in science can be seriously damaged when no proper mechanism to release scientific data to the public is available.

In this session, we discuss different mechanisms, including educational and outreach activities involving scientists, data providers and data managers, to promote appropriate scientific data sharing with the general public and increase the understanding of scientific data and information. Presentations might address one or more of the following topics: • Data democracy • Open access and Open data • Scientific data communication and outreach • Data dissemination • Examples of positive and negative impacts of data sharing policies • Proposals of collaborative activities of WDS and CODATA

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