||Addressing data property rights concerns and providing incentives for collaborative data pooling: the West African Vegetation Database approach
JANBEN Thomas ,
Schmidt Marco ,
DRESSLER Stefan ,
HAHN-HADJALI k. ,
HIEN Mipro ,
KONATE Souleymane ,
LYKKE Anne Mette ,
MAHAMANE ALI ,
SAMBOU Bienvenu ,
SINSIN Brice ,
THIOMBIANO Adjima ,
WITTIG Rüdiger ,
ZIZKA Georg ,
||Journal of Vegetation Sciences
||Question: How can quantitative data from vegetation surveys best be
assembled in a large regional vegetation database? What effects have intellectual
property rights concerns of individual and institutional data holders on
data contribution and how can incentives to contribute data be generated?
Location: West Africa, with discussion of a possible approach to dealing with
property rights concerns being of wider interest.
Methods: The management of data property rights in the West African
Vegetation Database was developed based on consultations with institutions
and scientists in five West African countries over 2 years. It was agreed in two
successive Memoranda of Understanding.
Results: The West African Vegetation Database addresses property rights
concerns by leaving the control over data access with the data owners, and
provides incentives to build a distributed research community by fostering data
Conclusion: We present a potential solution to the problem of intellectual
property rights issues being an impediment to data sharing and the compilation
of large regional vegetation databases. The data property rights management
approach implemented in the West African Vegetation Database provided
incentives for the contribution of recently acquired and unpublished data.
Numerous phytosociological and dendrometric vegetation surveys have been
made available by institutions and individual researchers for regional-scale
analyses. The structures developed may serve as a model for regional-scale
vegetation databases in collaborative settings involving multiple data owners.
||Data property rights; Data sharing; Dendrometry; Intellectual property rights (IPR); Inventory; Modelling; Observation data; Phytosociology; Sub-Saharan Africa;
Sustainable management; Vegetation data; Vegetation dynamics.
||614 - 620