Building the Infrastructure for Data Access and Reuse in Collaborative Research :An Analysis of the Legal Context

Anne M. Fitzgerald
Kylie M. Pappalardo
Brian F. Fitzgerald
Anthony C. Austin
John W. Abbot
Brendan L. Cosman
Damien S. O'Brien
Bill Singleton

Copyright 2007 The Authors. Published version. Licensed under an Australian Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License


This Report examines the legal framework within which research data is generated, managed, disseminated and used. It provides an overview of the operation of copyright law, contract and confidentiality laws, as well as a range of legislation - privacy, public records and freedom of information legislation: that is of relevance to research data. The Report considers how these legal rules apply to define rights in research data and regulate the generation, management and sharing of data. The Report also describes and explains current practices and attitudes towards data sharing. A wide array of databases is analysed to ascertain the arrangements currently in place to manage and provide access to research data. Finally, the Report encourages researchers and research organisations to adopt proper management and legal frameworks for research data outputs. It provides practical guidance on the development and implementation of legal frameworks for data management with the objective of ensuring that research data can be accessed and used by other researchers.