The Directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (the “PSI Directive” ) stipulated that all accessible information produced and collected by public sector institutions must be made available for reuse under open terms. Given the growing importance of open research data in the economy, the European Commission wishes to engage in a debate concerning the possible extension of the Directive to publicly-funded research data.


Over 35 participants registered to take part on December 14, 2017 in the participatory workshop on Open Research Data within the context of the Public Sector and Information Re-use Directive (Directive 2003/98/EC). The objective of the workshop was twofold:

  • On the one hand, the aim was to discuss the economic and societal potential of opening up research data, based on the breadth of initiatives currently going on in this domain.
  •  On the other, the workshop focused on the possible perspectives for the future and especially on the opportunities and challenges related to extending the scope of the PSI Directive to research data.

Through the interventions of the panellists and of the participants, it emerged that there is strong interest in and support for initiatives favouring wider availability and re-usability of open research data. The debate brought multiple examples of benefits related to the opening up of research data for re-use and participants discussed how a move towards greater openness in the research area could be achieved with economic, legal or reputational incentives.

It was generally acknowledged that the exploitation of research data has not yet reached its full potential. Participants listed issues related to licensing, exclusive agreements, copyright and intellectual property right as well as interoperability and data infrastructures as possible causes. Some referred to the extension of the scope of the PSI Directive to research data as one of the possible solutions to the above-mentioned problems, while others raised questions and cast some doubts about the effectiveness and proportionality of such an intervention. Overall, participants agreed that, to foster the opening up and re-use of research data, a coherent legal framework must be in place, and that this should also include clarification of the relation with existing rules, for example regarding copyright and database protection.

Complete report and minutes