Open Economics Principles

Statement on Openness of Economic Data and Code

Publié le 8 août 2013, par Thérèse Hameau

Economic research is based on building on, reusing and openly criticising the published body of economic knowledge. Furthermore, empirical economic research and data play a central role for policy-making in many important areas of our economies and societies.

Openness enables and underpins scholarly enquiry and debate, and is crucial in ensuring the reproducibility of economic research and analysis. Thus, for economics to function effectively, and for society to reap the full benefits from economic research, it is therefore essential that economic research results, data and analysis be openly and freely available, wherever possible.

1. Open by default : by default data in its different stages and formats, program code, experimental instructions and metadata – all of the evidence used by economists to support underlying claims – should be open as per the Open Definition1, free for anyone to use, reuse and redistribute. Specifically open material should be publicly available and licensed with an appropriate open license2.

2. Privacy and confidentiality : We recognise that there are often cases where for reasons of privacy, national security and commercial confidentiality the full data cannot be made openly available. In such cases researchers should share analysis under the least restrictive terms consistent with legal requirements, and abiding by the research ethics and guidelines of their community. This should include opening up non-sensitive data, summary data, metadata and code ; and facilitating access if the owner of the original data grants other researchers permission to use the data.

3. Reward structures and data citation : recognizing the importance of data and code to the discipline, reward structures should be established in order to recognise these scholarly contributions with appropriate credit and citation in an acknowledgement that producing data and code with the documentation that make them reusable by others requires a significant commitment of time and resources. At minimum, all data necessary to understand, assess, or extend conclusions in scholarly work should be cited. Acknowledgements of research funding, traditionally limited to publications, could be extended to research data and contribution of data curators should be recognised.


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