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ZHAW Digital Discourse Lab Hosts Informative Panel Discussion on Legal Aspects of Open Research Data and Language Corpora

Winterthur, Switzerland – The ZHAW Digital Discourse Lab organized an online and onsite panel discussion in Winterthur on November 28. The goal of the event was to bring together experts from various fields to discuss the challenges that come with the Open Science Transformation, particularly in light of new laws such as the Swiss Data Protection Act and the EU Digital Act.

The panel featured four experts: Suzanna Marazza, Prof. Philipp Dreesen, Dr. Cristina Grisot, and Marcel Griesinger. Dr. Julia Krasselt also presented on the topic of Language Corpora as Open Research Data. You can download the accompanying presentation slides by clicking the green button. Dr. Simon van Rekum moderated the discussion.

All four panelists emphasized the importance of Open Science in transforming scientific research. However, they also acknowledged that we are still at the beginning of the Open Science movement and that the infrastructure required for Open Research Data still needs to be developed. 

The panelists discussed the need for a balanced approach between constitutional protection and research freedom. Researchers often encounter complicated requirements beyond their research field, including expertise in Open Research Data, copyright, and privacy laws. They suggested that more professionals in these fields can support the researchers. Collaboration, connections, and mutual understanding among stakeholders in politics, law, research, and industry are vital for legal and technological progress.

In conclusion, the panelists agreed that Open Research Data should be as open as attainable and as protected as needed, referencing the Swiss National ORD Strategy (2021, p. 6). While there can never be a way to make all data accessible to everyone, the panelists advised making Open Research data a topic before starting the research project, e.g., by talking to experts in the institution (legal service or Data Stewards), to avoid legal problems.