Harmonizing Intellectual Property Rights for Responsible Open Science: Balancing Flexibility, Diversity, and Education in the European Context
- The existing Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) system can co-exist and even support the responsible practice of Open Science (OS). IPRs offer a very broad range of flexible tools, practices, and agreements, which can be adjusted to the ongoing initiatives of widening access to research and scientific results, while at the same time – protecting the valid rights of authors and creators.
- Stronger harmonization of IPRs on the EU level could facilitate the development of standardized procedures and tools for the responsible uptake of OS practices. However, the European Open Science Policy should not be a one-size-fits- all system, as such an approach will be highly detrimental to the multiple and very diverse research and innovation results and outcomes. Balancing these interactions will require a strategic and long-term perspective, one that will also incorporate sustainability, inclusion, and environmental considerations.
- There are many ongoing initiatives on the national and EU level, addressing the OS movement, with some dealing specifically with IPRs and the OS practice. Their work (like the European IP Helpdesk resources and training) should better communicated and more visible. A more user-friendly and community-driven approach in the European Open Science Cloud management and initiatives would be recommended in the next operational framework as well.
- Basic education in IPRs in the digital realm should be introduced, for students and researchers, but also – for people involved in research and research-like activities. The content should address only relevant topics (authorship, basic moral and economic rights, an overview of types of protections, etc.), offering an easy and user-friendly explanation, an overview of available tools and examples of best practices and institutions that can provide further information and support (ideally – on national and the EU level).
- Striking the balance between standards of OS rigour in publicly and privately funded research is needed, as research should contribute to society, regardless of the form of funding. Moreover, these kinds of standards should be negotiated globally, to secure the competitiveness of the EU research and scientific institutions.
This passage is part of D2.4: Report on Social and Legal Implications and Challenges Related to OS written by Heidi Beate Bentzen, Teodora Konach, Signe Mežinska.