Data ownership

The underlying principle of WUR’s research data policy is: “as open as possible, as closed as needed”. Under WUR’s policy optimal reuse of research data is the point of departure. At the same time, personal data protection, contractual obligations (such as confidentiality agreements), security concerns, economic competitiveness and applications for intellectual property protection may demand a different access regime. This requires that WUR has access to and control over research data created by its employees, and other persons involved in WUR research such as PhD candidates, students, and visiting staff members, so that a balanced decision can be made

Access regimes
WUR’s Research Data Policy includes a duty for researchers to store and archive all research data in accordance with the data storage policy. In addition, researchers are required to treat all research data as “confidential”, until an explicit exception is made.

Both such requirements enable WUR to assess and decide which access regime it should apply to the research data obtained, giving due regard to inter alia requirements of subsidy providers, contractual obligations, personal data protection and the like.

Such assessment may lead to making research data available to the public, to a limited group or research data being treated confidentially (for instance for allowing intellectual property applications to be filed or for the purpose of personal data protection).

In case of publicly funded research, subsidy providers often require that research data will be made available open access. In these cases exceptions to the confidential treatment of research data need to be described in the group Data Management Plan or an individual project Data Management Plan.

To whom this policy applies
Considerations as laid down in the previous paragraphs for employed staff members also apply to temporary non-employed staff members (students, guest researchers, not-employed PhD’s) participating in WUR’s research projects. To this end, a template Declaration IP/Confidentiality/Publication has been developed for signature by the visiting staff member or student. This declaration imposes obligations on them that are similar to those applicable to WUR staff members pursuant to the CAO and the WUR Research Data Policy and can be obtained via the legal department of the sciences group.