What is a Data-Sharing Agreement?

A Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) comprises a number of regulations for managing shared data between the Data-provider and the Receiver in several specific domains and contexts. This is an official accord between the parties that distinctly establishes which type of data is being shared, the obligations involved, the permissions required and how the data can be used. It ensures the protection of the Data-provider and the Receiver, by establishing regulations and agreed terms and conditions of use in diffusion to third parties.

Targeted end-users concerning this DSA include genebank managers, plant breeders, taxonomists, policy-makers, educators, and students, as well as the broader scientific community, in addition to wide array of general users. Sharing data encourages researchers, provides vital input and support for academic research, and renders the data available to other investigators.

In 1999, the COGENT Steering Committee took the decision to release the coconut genetic resources database (CGRD) into the public domain, in order to make accessible and disseminate this useful information, and to create public awareness about coconut genetic resources (source: minutes of the 8th COGENT Steering Committee held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 20-22 September 1999). Although the CGRD is now fully available on the COGENT website, it is planned to draft a signed DSA between each COGENT country-member, as the data provider, and Bioversity, as the data receiver, to increase the level of legal protection of the data and to acknowledge the stake of individual COGENT country members.

R.Bourdeix & R. Sepulveda, Montpellier, April 2012.