Opening Science to Society

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The advent of the digital era is radically changing the way in which scientific results are produced and disseminated. However, to what extent this ongoing revolution might foster the advancement of science depends on our ability to make information available to the whole scientific community. A form of efficient data sharing is, therefore, an essential step required to better exploit the potential of new scientific discoveries and achievements. However, this task is not as simple as it seems. In fact, data sharing requires specific economic and manpower resources. Furthermore, only some research fields may need to rely on infrastructures which ensure unconditioned access and long lasting storage of information. Finally, we should also consider that complete data sharing may conflict with ethical and privacy issues.The effort needed to overcome these and other relevant issues seems, in our view, to be negligible compared to the opportunities more widespread data sharing could provide. We firmly believe that not only should such opportunities consider relations between data sharing and scientific progress, but also in a much broader perspective which looks at educational and social aspects.

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