Science and evidence: publication of underpinning data

Where possible, the underpinning data from science and evidence gathering projects commissioned by the FSA should be made freely available in an accessible format that allows the widest availability for generating added value and enabling re-use.

Principles for publishing underpinning data

The following key principles have been endorsed by the General Advisory Committee on Science (GACS). Policy in this area will be further developed to reflect the outcome of wider cross-government discussions on issues around the practicality of making data freely accessible.

  • Data should be made freely available in an accessible format, as fully and as promptly as possible.
  • Consideration should be given to data management as new contracts are being negotiated. Resource implications for this should be taken into account.
  • The mechanism for publishing underpinning data should allow the widest opportunity for to enable its re-use.
  • Where possible, underpinning data should be included in the final project report. Where data are included in the final report in pdf format, they should also be published separately in a format that can be used for further analysis. Large data sets can be provided separately in an annexe to the report, and published, where possible, alongside the final report online>
  • Where it is more appropriate to publish underpinning data in an existing database, archive, repository or other community resource, or for data to be saved in a specialist proprietary format, information will be provided on how the data can be accessed.
  • There will be some circumstances where release of data may need to be restricted or anonymised for reasons of commercial and/or personal sensitivities.