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Principles for open science

Open Access to Literature from Funded Research

By “open access” to this literature, we mean that it should be on the internet in digital form, with permission granted in advance to users to “read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”

Access to Research Tools from Funded Research

By “access” to research tools, we mean that the materials necessary to replicate funded research – cell lines, model animals, DNA tools, reagents, and more, should be described in digital formats, made available under standard terms of use or contracts, with infrastructure or resources to fulfill requests to qualified scientists, and with full credit provided to the scientist who created the tools.

Data from Funded Research in the Public Domain

Research data, data sets, databases, and protocols should be in the public domain. This status ensures the ability to freely distribute, copy, re-format, and integrate data from research into new research, ensuring that as new technologies are developed that researchers can apply those technologies without legal barriers. Scientific traditions of citation, attribution, and acknowledgment should be cultivated in norms.

Invest in Open Cyberinfrastructure

Data without structure and annotation is a lost opportunity. Research data should flow into an open, public, and extensible infrastructure that supports its recombination and reconfiguration into computer models, its searchability by search engines, and its use by both scientists and the taxpaying public. This infrastructure should be treated as an essential public good.

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These principles were drafted by Science Commons and presented at Policy and Technology for e-Science, a satellite workshop that took place in conjunction with the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2008.