Science Europe | Briefing Report on Text and Data Mining and the Need for a Science-friendly EU Copyright Reform

Avril 2015

Publié le 13 avril 2015, par Thérèse Hameau

This Briefing Paper has been prepared by Science Europe’s Working Group on Research Data. Text and Data Mining (TDM) aims to analyse and extract new insights and knowledge from vast amount of digitally-available content. It represents a great potential for research itself (e.g. accelerating research processes) but also for the economy and society as a whole since it enables innovation. The Briefing Paper gives an overview of some of the legal hurdles faced by researchers using TDM practices, flags possible action lines for research organisations and calls for a more science-friendly EU Copyright law...


The steadily-growing amount of digitally-available research data and publications enables researchers to search and analyse these sources with the help of special software. The application of such text and data (content) mining techniques (TDM) is not limited to research. In fact, most users of the internet use them on a daily basis via companies offering search engine services. The use of TDM techniques beyond those employed by search engines is already of great importance in some research fields (for example bio-genetics, linguistics) and interest in these technologies is growing rapidly. The publishing industry – including academic publishers – strives to benefit by developing TDM services, but, in doing so, hinders the ability of third parties (subscribers) to mine their content. This has led the research community advocating a reform of copyright law to ensure that legally-accessed content can be freely mined without additional permission and cost. After years of debate, the European Commission and European Parliament appear to be ready to amend the European Union (EU) Copyright Directive. This paper gives a brief overview of the legal regulations under which TDM practices fall and the issues arising from increasing use of licensing by publishers.

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