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Teorifagbygget Hus 1, 1.313
Track C: Open Science

Walking the Line Finding the Sweet Spot

How to keep operations legal, researchers happy and administrative costs minimal

Keeping operations legal requires knowing the exceptions in legislation enabling research and the boundaries for legal interpretation.


The key principle for interpreting legislation in the EU is the  principle of proportionality,  expressed for example in General Data Protection Regulation ( 2016/679), recital 4: The right to the protection of personal data is not an absolute right; it must be considered in relation to its function in society and be balanced against other fundamental rights, in accordance with the principle of proportionality.

Researchers are happy to co-operate with lawyers, if it brings  added value and helps to reach the goals of the research project. Research data can become  a valuable asset or a liability that harms the reputation of  both researchers and university. Data is an asset if it is gathered and processed following ethical guidelines, data protection legislation, and intellectual property rights to data are agreed,  enabling commercialization and societal impact. Lawyers can contribute in making data FAIR (Findable, Accessible,  Interoperable, Reusable).  Creative Commons and open source licenses are legal  tools that can be used  to  achieve both commercial goals and societal impact created by open access.


“As open as possible, as closed as necessary” applies also to documents and templates a lawyer produces. Open science practices help to reduce time and resources needed for legal advice to reach researchers.

view a (.pdf) copy of this presentation
Maria Rehbinder

Senior Legal Counsel at Aalto University and Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E)

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