The “Lund Declaration on Maximising the Benefits of Research Data” was drawn up during Sweden’s Presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2023. The declaration was presented at a conference in Lund on 19–20 June 2023. So far, the European Commission and 19 countries in the EU/EFTA have endorsed the declaration.

The declaration starts with the statement that access to reusable, high-quality research data is crucial in terms of how new challenges and emerging crises can be effectively and appropriately managed by the research community.

The declaration goes on to state that the pace of introduction and standardisation of open research data in Europe need to be accelerated. “Research data that is FAIR and open

in its design has the potential to increase impact, quality, efficiency, transparency and integrity within research and development.”

What is FAIR?

FAIR is a key term within the field of managing research data, as well as its central principle.

FAIR is an English acronym for findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability. The term FAIR was launched in the Netherlands in 2014 at a research workshop and later resulted in 15 FAIR principles published in 2016. The principles represent a guide for enhancing opportunities for reusing research data.

Concrete measures

The declaration concludes with proposals for seven concrete measures to maximise the benefits of open research data in Europe. Some of the proposals are to:

  • Implement changes to stimulate open science practices and integrate new reward models for research data producers aligned with a reformed research evaluation system.
  • Create an incentive for investments in FAIR and open research data.
  • Accelerate the introduction of FAIR principles and open principles within research infrastructure.