Data policy | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Data policy

VLIZ provides assistance, technologies and tools to scientists and policy makers to support marine data management. Within the context of international networks, the data centre participates in the development of infrastructures and promotes the data flow from Belgium. It operates according to a policy based on the IOC data policy and builds on a close relationship of trust with Belgian marine scientists.

Free data exchange – open data policy:

VLIZ is an advocate of free data exchange. Data need to be made available as much as possible for scientific research both on a national and on an international level. VLIZ considers it its core task to facilitate the disclosure of data. Data whose primary source is VLIZ, such as data acquired during VLIZ monitoring operations within the scope of LifeWatch, are always made publicly available. Metadata that illustrate the existence of a data set are always disclosed  publicly, unless VLIZ has been explicitly requested not to do so.


Open dialogue with the data owner:

In many cases there are arguments for giving only limited access or no access at all. VLIZ respects this limitation and will implement a customised data policy in consultation with the data owner. VLIZ will monitor the disclosure of data in accordance with this policy, also when the context in which the data policy was developed has changed. For instance, partners often request a moratorium period within the scope of specific projects until the data or the results of the project have been published.


Use of data:

Use of data always needs to be recognised, whether it concerns public data or requested data. When data is downloaded or transferred, VLIZ always states the recognition of the data source. If a substantial part of the data is used, VLIZ urges the user to contact the original data source. VLIZ organises this through the insertion of disclaimers in data systems and through the inclusion of citations in the meta record of the data set. For every data request, the data centre staff inform the applicant thereof.