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SRHRL Past Projects: Access to Information

SRHRL is dedicated to ensuring the free pursuit and sharing of scientific knowledge. Restricting access to data has the potential to impede scientific freedom and discourage the responsible conduct of science by, for example, obscuring data quality and the peer review process. SRHRL has voiced its concerns to federal and international bodies on maintaining open, yet responsible access to data, and has co-sponsored a colloquium exploring how secrecy and confidentiality have historically shaped and impacted collaboration among scientists, between scientists and industry, and scientists and government.

Access to Information

[2002-2007] Science and Intellectual Property in the Public Interest
In 2002, AAAS initiated a multi-year project to bring a public interest perspective to science and intellectual property issues. Through that perspective the project examined the scope of the public domain in science, emphasizing equity in access to the benefits of science, and encouraging broad participation in deliberations on matters of intellectual property policy.

[1999] AAAS Work Relating to OMB Public Access to Data
In February 1999, the Program collaborated with Federal Focus, Inc. in response to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for FY 1999, which amended OMB’s Circular A-110 to “ensure that all data produced under an award will be made available to the public through the procedures established under the Freedom of Information Act.”  AAAS and Federal Focus, Inc. hosted a briefing, composed letters to OMB and Members of Congress, and more.

[1999] Secrecy in Science Colloquium
In March 1999, a public colloquium was held in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), addressing how secrecy has affected the work of university scientists and their relationships with government and industry.

[1996-1999] Intellectual Property and Databases
Letters to the House Science Committee, Speaker of the House, and the Vice-President were issued, addressing how intellectual property rights on databases would impede the sharing and progress of scientific research. AAAS also released a statement in 1997 on intellectual property protection for databases independent of current copyright law.