ALPSP & STM believe data should be freely available
The Association of Learned and Professional Society
Publishers (ALPSP) and The International Association of Scientific, Technical,
& Medical Publishers (STM) have issued a joint
views of scholarly and scientific publishers concerning access to research data,
including that submitted with research papers. The statement recommends that
research data should be as widely available as possible, and provides guidance
for publishers'own policies.
ALPSP and STM, the two trade associations most specialized in scholarly
publishing, together represent approximately 300 nonprofit and commercial
scholarly publishers around the world. Between them, these publishers provide at
least half of of the world's journals, and well over 60% of all articles.
Scholarly publishers have been concerned for years over confusion between
data, databases and journal articles in the public policy debate over
At times publishers have been accused of trying to obtain intellectual
property rights in raw data, and otherwise placing obstacles in the path to
access of research data.
This statement clarifies that there is a fundamental difference between data
that is gathered in the course of research purposes, which is not protected by
intellectual property law, and specially-built databases, which are.
The associations recommend that raw research data should in general be made
freely available. When data sets are submitted along with a paper for
consideration in a scholarly journal, the publisher should not claim
intellectual property rights in those data sets, and best practice would be to
encourage or even require that the underlying research data be publicly posted
for free access.