Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, gave a talk earlier this week renewing the EU’s strong, principled support for open science.

Speaking at the launch of a new global Research Data Alliance, she said that we are entering a new “era of open science”, which will be “good for citizens, good for scientists and good for society”.

She explicitly highlighted the transformative potential of open access, open data, open software and open educational resources – mentioning the EU’s policy requiring open access to all publications and data resulting from EU funded research.

She also alluded to the EU’s work encouraging national funding bodies to adopt similar approach to publicly funded research, and recent policy developments in the US and Australia.

The Research Data Alliance says it “aims to accelerate and facilitate research data sharing and exchange” and currently lists a number of working areas such as metadata harmonisation and legal interoperability.

While there does not yet appear to be an explicit focus on open data per se, we hope that the new organisation will take a principled, ‘open by default’ approach to data sharing, in line with the Panton Principles, and commensurate with Commissioner Kroes’s speech.

As always, our Open Science Working Group will continue to monitor and engage with relevant initiatives and policy developments in this area as they unfold. If you’d like to help us you can join our open-science discussion list, by signing up below:

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.