Editorials

Improving access to research data in Europe

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39409.633576.BE (Published 07 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:287
  1. Philipa Mladovsky, research officer1,
  2. Elias Mossialos, professor of health policy and director of LSE Health1,
  3. Martin McKee, professor of European public health2
  1. 1European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Health, London WC2A 2AE
  2. 2European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
  1. p.mladovsky{at}lse.ac.uk

    The European Commission needs to promote access to the data whose collection it has financed

    The year 2007 marks the beginning of the European Commission’s seventh framework programme for research and technological development, its main vehicle for funding research over the next seven years. It is more ambitious than its antecedent—the sixth framework programme—with a large increase in funding (63%) and the creation of a European Research Council. Health research has been boosted, having been allocated €6bn (£4.3bn; $9bn) of the overall budget of €50.5bn. Yet the seventh framework programme has done little to promote access to the data whose collection it will finance.

    This lack of concrete policies on access to data in Europe contrasts with the proliferation of wider international initiatives over recent years. Such initiatives have been particularly successful in genomics and proteomics,1 and more recently in the field of chemistry,2 but they have also shown promise in health. Examples in the United Kingdom include the policies of the Medical Research Council and Wellcome …

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