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Access to scientific data: European Court of Human Rights judgement

Over at the Strasbourg Observers you can find the summary of a very interesting ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

If I understand the summary correctly, the Court has found that researchers may be obliged to grant access to their research data to outsiders even if this data includes personal data that was obtained following explicit agreements that this data would not be published.

The conditions set by the Court for such a publication to third parties would still be a proportionate protection of the rights of the individuals concerned, but given the demands of a transparent scientific process there is no right to complete secrecy, the Court appears to conclude.

I’d agree to such an interpretation, although this would mean that we as scientists have to open to individuals participating in our studies that part of what we are told by them may be subject of independent scientific scrutiny.



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