According to Science, China has announced that all scientific data generated within the country must be deposited within an approved repository prior to publication. At the same time, regulators are also encouraging open access and data sharing, it adds.
The State Council announced these new rules last week, Science reports, adding that the development of a national research center will be under the purview of the science ministry and that local regions may develop their own as well. It notes there are a few exemptions to the open access and data sharing rules for state and trade secrets as well as for individual privacy.
Researchers tell Science that the new rules — which apply to groups and individuals generating data in China — will likely have little effect on their research, apart from potentially small delays in publishing, though much will depend on how the rules are interpreted. "My understanding is that the impact on my own research will be positive," Li Di, chief scientist for radioastronomy at the National Astronomical Observatories of China, tells Science. "It explicitly emphasizes the role of a science data center to be 'promoting open access to and sharing of science data.'"