Recognizing the crucial role of open and effective data and information exchange to the Belmont Challenge, the Belmont Forum adopted Open Data Policy and Principles at their 2015 annual meeting of principals in Oslo, Norway. The adoption was based on the recommendations from the Community Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) produced by the e-Infrastructures and Data Management initiative. The policy signals a commitment by funders of global environmental change research to increase access to scientific data, a step widely recognized as essential to making informed decisions in the face of rapid changes affecting the Earth’s environment.
The data policy includes the following principles:
Data should be:
- Discoverable through catalogues and search engines
- Accessible as open data by default, and made available with minimum time delay
- Understandable in a way that allows researchers—including those outside the discipline of origin—to use them
- Manageable and protected from loss for future use in sustainable, trustworthy repositories
To meet these goals, Belmont Forum project applications now include data management questions. It is hoped that this approach may provide a guide to assist Belmont Forum members toward adoption of these principals within their individual agencies.