Including open data as an additional indicator for the performance-based allocation of funds

In the period of 2015 to 2017, open data was only available for published results in about 3 percent of the publications from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and about 15 percent of the publications from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC).

In order to increase this proportion in the future, the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) together with the BIH QUEST Center for Transforming Biomedical Research made a total of 200,000 euros available in 2019 to incentivize open data sharing for LOM in the translational research commons (Charité and MDC). A total of 290,000 euro will be made available in 2020.

There is no LOM at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), but the MDC has received and will continue to receive funding both to reward research groups who have published open data and to provide an incentive. The funding is calculated retroactively based on publications from the periods of 2015 to 2017 (LOM 2019) and 2016 to 2018 (LOM 2020). The reward is paid to the institutions and research groups, because the aim is encourage the institutions to create structures and resources for their staff that promote and facilitate the wide-scale adoption of open data.

The unrestricted availability of original data from scientific publications is an important prerequisite for ensuring research results are verifiable. Freely accessible original data allows other scientists not only to check and verify that published claims are in fact substantiated by the data collected, but also to use this original open data to answer further research questions.

Criteria for qualifying as open data for LOM 2020

The identification of open data in the institutions’ body of publications is done semi-automatically using an algorithm developed by QUEST (ODDPub). The publications identified to be relevant are then reviewed manually. The underlying data used for determining if publications qualify as open data for LOM 2020 are confirmed publications by lead and last authors who have LOM eligibility (Charité) or an employment contract (with the MDC) or with the BIH (cut-off date of June 6, 2019). In addition, the full version of publications must be available via institutional access. The criteria for qualifying as open data are freely accessible original data, a machine-readable format and an explicit reference to open data in the full version (see here for details on the criteria).