Working Paper CNR-Ircres 9/2021                      
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Management of open access research infrastructures in large EU projects: the “CultureLabs” case

Andrea Orazio Spinelloa, Danilo Giglittob, Eleanor Lockleyb


a CNR-IRCrES, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Ricerca sulla Crescita Economica Sostenibile, via dei Taurini 19, Roma – Italia

b Sheffield Hallam University, Howard St, S1 1WB, Sheffield – United Kingdom

corresponding author: Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.



Research funding organizations, particularly at international level, are increasingly promoting the creation and maintenance of open access research infrastructures (RI). These resources have assumed a pivotal role as support for the new open and networked science in their dimension of technical and operational frameworks that allow scientists and stakeholders to collaborate and share scientific data and results. In Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), the creation and exploitation of open data platforms is still attempting to catch up with longer-standing practices in the “hard sciences” as the resistance to wider data sharing has not yet been completely overcome. This paper aims to describe how a large project, financed by the European Commission, managed the creation of a RI in the field of SSH, showing the steps undertaken to comply with the GDPR regulations and prepare the data for useful sharing and reuse. In this regard, the authors present the case study of the Horizon 2020 “CultureLabs” project, placing emphasis on some specific practical factors that they believe are particularly important for implementing open access principles in the establishment and maintenance of RIs in the new course of science based on sharing and openness. In particular, the authors will focus on creation of “useful” and GDPR-compliant data and the impact on research activities as a result of their (re)utilisation; the control of the data management process; and the compliance with funders’ requirements (e.g. in terms of data security). The reflection on the interplay of these aspects, operated through a case study, appears to be crucial in moving away from a merely theoretical approach to addressing the issue of open access, and it hopes to serve as a guide or a warning for those who create and administer open RIs.

Keywords: open access, GDPR, data management, research infrastructures, SSH.

DOI: 10.23760/2421-7158.2021.009


How to Cite this Article

Spinello, A. O., Giglitto, D., Lockley, E. (2021). Management of open access research infrastructures in large EU projects: the “CultureLabs” case (CNR-IRCrES Working Paper 9/2021). Istituto di Ricerca sulla Crescita Economica Sostenibile. Disponibile da






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