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Enabling Access to Research Data in Developing Countries: Designing Policy and Practice Framework for Malaysia's Public Research Universities

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Fitzgerald, Anne; Hashim, Haswira Nor Mohamad
Conference: Governing Pooled Knowledge Resources: Building Institutions for Sustainable Scientific, Cultural, and Genetic Resources Commons, 1st Thematic IASC Conference on the Knowledge Commons
Location: Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Conf. Date: September 12-14
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/9562
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): intellectual property rights
Abstract: "Members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are obliged to implement the Agreement on Trade-related Intellectual Property Rights1994 (TRIPS) which establishes minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Almost two decades after TRIPS was adopted at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, it is widely accepted that intellectual property systems in developing and least-developed countries must be consistent with, and serve, their development needs and objectives. In adopting the Development Agenda in 2007, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) emphasised the importance to developing and least-developed countries of being able to obtain access to knowledge and technology and to participate in collaborations and exchanges with research and scientific institutions in other countries. Access to knowledge, information and technology is crucial if creativity and innovation is to be fostered in developing and least-developed countries. It is particularly important that developing and least-developed countries give effect to their TRIPS obligations by implementing intellectual property systems and adopting intellectual property management practices that enable them to benefit from knowledge flows and support their engagement in international research and science collaborations. However, developing and least-developed countries did not participate in the deliberations leading to the adoption in 2004 by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries of the Ministerial Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding, nor have they formulated policies on access to publicly funded research outputs such as those developed by the National Institutes of Health in the United States, the United Kingdom Research Councils or the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. These issues are considered from the viewpoint of Malaysia, a developing country whose economy has grown strongly in recent years. Lacking an established policy covering access to the outputs of publicly funded research, data sharing and licensing practices continue to be fragmented. Obtaining access to research data requires arrangements to be negotiated with individual data owners and custodians. Given the potential for restrictions on access to impact negatively on scientific progress and development in Malaysia, measures are required to ensure that access to knowledge and research results is facilitated. This paper proposes a policy framework for Malaysias public research universities that recognises intellectual property rights while enabling the open access to research data that is essential for innovation and development. It also considers how intellectual property rights in research data can be managed in order to give effect to the policys open access objectives."

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