If the partner is a foreign company that does not accept compliance with U.S. law, the agreements must go through the USGS Office of International Programs. Below is a list of the items that are normally included in a data sharing agreement. While this list may cover the basics, additional concerns may be relevant to a given data set or to a given supply agency. Data sharing agreements are formal contracts that define in detail what data is shared and what data is used appropriately. Second, it avoids any misunderstanding on the part of the data provider and the Agency receiving the data by ensuring that all issues relating to the use of the data are discussed. Before sharing the data, the provider and recipient must speak in person or over the phone to discuss issues related to the disclosure and use of the data and a collaborative understanding that will then be documented in a data sharing agreement. The USGS Survey Manual Chapter 500.26 – Domestic Memorandum of Understanding states that “where applicable, there is a language [in the MOUs], such as: all data and information produced as a result of this Statement of Intent must be available for use by the USGS in connection with its ongoing programs. Data sharing agreements protect against misuse of data and encourage early communication between authorities on issues relating to data processing and use. Ideally, these additional concerns should be taken into account in the data-sharing agreement in order to facilitate clear communication and, where appropriate, to take additional security measures: it is designed to apply generally, but some aspects of the agreement may need to be amended to meet certain requirements. We would be delighted to have comments on this draft, as we are trying to adapt a version of the proposed legislation – please give your opinion via our contact form. In the absence of strong intellectual property rights that protect data and databases in the United States, data-sharing agreements work best when they are part of a broader agreement between research partners.
An individual agreement on data sharing should not replace the larger agreement between the partners, but complement and support a particular aspect of the broader agreement. A detailed overview of the role of a data sharing agreement within a large company between research partners is available at Data Sharing: Creating Agreements, Paige Backlund Jarquín MPH, Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute & Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center. It is important to recognize that the process of setting up data-sharing agreements varies from country to country, as does the type of data shared and the agencies that share the data. . . .