PraxisUnico, ARMA and AURIL issue joint statement supporting open-access publishing of research data

Statement of Support for Open Access to Research Results and Data

1.    The three associations wish to record their support for Open Access as a means of enabling wide access to research results, which will lead to the productive use of those results in both academic and non-academic settings.

2.    We believe that Open Access increases the ability of knowledge professionals to find, access and use the outputs and data generated by research for policy, social, cultural, health, environmental, as well as economic benefit, in the UK and internationally.

3.    We believe that Open Access can potentially support innovation and the inventive process, helping to generate a faster translation of research into practice.

4.    We believe that Open Access is entirely consistent with intellectual property (IP) protection through patenting and other forms of protection that allow for publication and sharing of the outcomes of research whilst protecting commercial interests.

5.    We believe that the research exemption under patent and other IP legislation is important in allowing for unhindered academic research and scientific progress without compromising commercial interests. Maintaining the research exemption is consistent with the principles of Open Access.

6.    We support easy identification of and access to the data underpinning research results, to enable replication and data mining.  We believe that such access should take place at an appropriate stage in the research process, recognising that researchers whose efforts generate original data and other results deserve a period of exclusive access during which time they will carry out analysis and generate initial publications.  Open Access to research data too early in the process may undermine the research itself, and will inhibit collaborations with commercial, non-commercial and governmental organisations to whom confidentiality and return on investment is important.

7.    Access to research results and data needs to be a managed process in order to ensure that the methodologies for data collection and analysis are clear and to ensure that, where relevant, the rights and privacy of research subjects can be protected.

8.    We believe that research management, assessment and evaluation are easier if research outputs are openly available, as this promotes innovation and competition within and between research organisations.

9.    Commitment to Open Access needs to be tempered with both technical and economic reality. Information held electronically may be dependent on licences and other permissions, or be held in particular formats that may not be straightforward for others to access.  Furthermore, storing, curating, and facilitating access to information can have significant costs.  At a time of pressure on resources, the ability of funders, institutions, and researchers to provide open access will need to be balanced against other priorities, notwithstanding the highly desirable outcomes that open access may offer.  We support efforts involving all stakeholders working together to produce sustainable solutions.

10.  As a member of the Open Access Implementation Group, ARMA’s views reflect those of  all three associations in their efforts to support the uptake of Open Access.

March 2012


           Open Access is where:

·        research outputs are made available ideally under terms that allow all forms of reuse, for example by use of the Creative Commons “Attribution” licence[1]or equivalent, but;

·        research outputs are made available at least under terms that allow non-commercial reuse including text and data mining, for example by use of the Creative Commons “Attribution, Non-Commercial” licence[2]or equivalent.


Contact details:

ARMA:            Dr Ian Carter (Chair), Research & Enterprise Services, University of Sussex, 01273 877 718,

PraxisUnico:   Dr Douglas Robertson (Chair), Research & Enterprise Services, University of Newcastle, 0191 222 5060,

AURIL:            Dr David Bembo (Vice-Chair), Research & Commercial Division, Cardiff University, 029 20 875159,