Open Science and Public Sector Information – Reconsidering the exemption for educational and research establishments under the Directive on re-use of public sector information

Author : Heiko Richter

The article discusses the possibilities of including public research and educational establishments within the scope of the Directive regulating the re-use of public sector information (2003/98/EC – ‘PSI Directive’).

It subsequently evaluates the legal consequences of such an inclusion. Focusing on scientific information, the analysis connects the long-standing debates about open access and open educa-tion to open government data.

Their common driving force is the call for a wide-spread dissemination of publicly funded information. However, the regulatory standard set out by the PSI Directive is characterized by considerable legal uncer-tainty.

Therefore, it is difficult to derive robust assumptions that can form the ba-sis for predicting the effects of extending the PSI Directive’s scope to research in-formation. A potential revision of the PSI Directive should reduce this uncertain-ty.

Moreover, PSI regulation must account for the specific incentives linked to the creation and dissemination of research results.

This seems of primary importance for public-private research collaborations because there is a potential risk that a full application of the PSI Directive might unduly affect incentives for such col-laborations.