'Ownership of data' – uuuughh! The phrase gives me a shiver just thinking about it. A contentious area rife with complication, confusion and misunderstanding. That said, a super important area, especially for those of us interested in curation and scientific progress in general (perhaps less so for a landscape gardener say).
I was reading the Oaklaw report ‘Building the Infrastructure for Data Access and Reuse in Collaborative Research’ and noticed a couple of interesting pages (‘Chapter 2: Key Concepts’ Paras 2.16 – 2.22 if you’re interested).
The report looked at what is meant by the term “ownership” in relation to data. It identified nine different parties who might claim rights in data. These were:
- the creator – the party who creates or generates the data;
- the consumer – the party who uses the data;
- the compiler – the party who selects and compiles information from different information sources;
- the funder – the party who commissions the data to be generated;
- the decoder – where informed is protected by encoded formats (e.g. encryption), the party who can unlock the information;
- the packager – the party who collects information for a particular use and adds value through formatting it for a particular market or set of consumers;
- the reader – the person who reads data added to an information repository;
- the subject of the data – the person from whom the data is derived or who the data is about; and
- the purchaser or licensee – the party who buys or licences the data.
Your thoughts? What do you think of this list? What does ownership of data mean to you? Do you consider yourself an ‘owner’ of data? And if so, what is your relationship to that data? Am I missing the point and it’s all ridiculously simple?
All input welcomed and appreciated.