The Crick signs the Hague Declaration

The Francis Crick Institute has signed the Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age, to help remove barriers to content mining.

Since the declaration was launched on 6 May 2015 nearly 600 institutions and individuals have signed to support it.

The Declaration calls for changes to intellectual property laws, in order to make data more widely and equally accessible. Its backers seek to "foster agreement about how to best enable access to facts, data and ideas for knowledge discovery".

The Declaration explains that copyright was never designed to regulate the free flow of facts, data and ideas but has as a key objective the promotion of research activity. Researchers should have the freedom to analyse and pursue intellectual curiosity without fear of monitoring or repercussions. These freedoms must not be eroded in the digital environment.

Other signatories include the Wellcome Trust, University College London, and EMBL-EBI. These organisations were all involved in the drafting of the Declaration.

Jim Smith, Director of Research at the Francis Crick Institute, said "The large amounts of data and information that are now becoming available represent an extraordinary resource for researchers. By signing the Hague Declaration the Francis Crick Institute is expressing its support for the idea that researchers should be able to mine such content freely, thereby to advance knowledge and to promote Discovery without Boundaries."

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