Pubic domain + community norms = freedom to integrate science

June 23rd, 2008 by dwentworth

In the current issue of the Journal of Science Communication, our own John Wilbanks has a note explaining why Science Commons believes that the best — perhaps the only — way to integrate and make use of the exponentially growing number of scientific databases on the global digital network is to mark them explicitly as part of the public domain. This counters the trend toward using “copyleft” licenses for databases, which, despite the good intentions behind it, threatens the usefulness of the data.

“The public domain for science should be the first choice if integration is our goal,” writes Wilbanks, “and there are other strategies that show potential to achieve the social goals embodied in many common-use licensing systems without the negative consequences of a copyright-based approach.”

To help people and organizations mark their data and databases as free to use without restriction, Creative Commons has developed the CC0 waiver, while the Open Data Commons offers the ODC-PDDL. Using either public domain waiver puts you in compliance with the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data.

You can read the full note at the JCOM site, along with two other relevant pieces by our colleagues in the community:

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