Making it Open and Keeping it Safe: e-Enabled Data Sharing in Sweden and Related Issues
Paper in proceedings, 2007
Sweden, following the lead of other countries, has recently embarked on an ambitious e-Science programme. This paper focuses on one central aspect of this programme; data sharing. The reason for this focus is twofold: one reason is that data sharing has become one of the most powerful and promising directions in e-Science in general, even if also laden with difficulties. The second reason is that Sweden has a particularly unique position in relation to data sharing in several respects: Sweden has a world-unique set of social science and medical data collections, a well-established tradition of regulations concerning data protection, a widely used form of personal identification that allows integration of databases, and a population that generally trusts researchers and the Swedish state with personal data. The aim of the study was to investigate how e-science may influence the way which research data will be shared in the future. For this purpose stakeholders involved in Swedish e-Science data sharing and its new initiatives were interviewed and official documents on the topic were studied. The paper draws the conclusion that openness and integrity protection are particularly critical elements for the success of a range of future e-science endeavours – in Sweden and elsewhere.