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March 07, 2022


When preparing a research proposal, as well as when it comes to its implementation and the following review, researchers need to address a range of issues related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and data protection. Sometimes it is difficult to establish a clear routine and identify the specific steps that need to be taken in the different phases of this process.

The EOSC-Pillar team working on the policy and legal framework for the coordination of national initiatives created a document providing a guideline in the form of checklists to help researchers comply with the legal requirements of publishing, sharing and integrating research data.

A checklist for both screen and paper

The checklist focusses in particular on the challenges raised by intellectual property rights, data protection laws, and regulations on non-personal data. The purpose of the guideline is to promote the implementation of FAIR principles beyond their original scope, and to lay down the conditions for the effective realisation of Open Data and Open Science policies.

The guidelines are valid for all EU member states. For a more in-depth explanation and background material please refer to the latest version of the Legal and Policy Framework and Federation Blueprint report.

By leveraging regulatory flexibilities and taking into account legitimate restrictions to access research products, the checklists aim at:

  • Guiding researchers in the management of research data, or more generally, research outputs,
  • Promoting best practices to achieve Findability, Accessibility, and Interoperability of research data by focusing on the removal of unnecessary restrictions to reuse and open access to published products and facilitating the convergence of national solutions.

Checklists for research infrastructures accompany researchers through the life cycle of a research project and help them deal with legal constraints while adopting an efficient approach to leverage regulatory enablers. They follow the basic phases of every research project: proposal, implementation and review phase. Depending on whether personal data is part of the research each phase accompanies a section with guidelines on data protection.

There are two versions of the checklist available for researchers:

  • A digital version with interactive checkboxes that can be ticked off as you progress through the phases.
  • A printable version which also features some extra pages for your notes.

If you need to prepare your data for a proposal, if you are carrying out your research, or proceeding with the review, make sure you use the right tools!

This is a digest of the guidelines included in Deliverable 4.6 “Legal and Policy Framework and Federation Blueprint” produced by the EOSC-Pillar project.

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