Innovative scientific research plays a crucial role in addressing global challenges, such as healthcare, environmental, and security issues, while research in social sciences and the humanities occupies a key function in understanding emerging social phenomena. The speed and depth of scientific research, understood in its broadest sense, depends on fostering collaborative exchanges between different communities and assuring its widest dissemination. This, in turn, is fundamental for the constant evolution of science and human progress. Access to research data not only increases the returns from public investment in this area, but it also reinforces open scientific inquiry. It encourages diversity of opinions, promotes new areas of work and enables the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators. Collaborative exchanges help avoid unnecessary duplication of research and gives insight into the methodology followed. Timely and cost efficient access to scientific research therefore contributes in increasing the general economic and social welfare. On July 17, 2012, the European Commission published its Communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Towards better access to scientific information: Boosting the benefits of public investments in research’. As the Commission observes, ‘discussions of the scientific dissemination system have traditionally focused on access to scientific publications – journals and monographs. However, it is becoming increasingly important to improve access to research data (experimental results, observations and computer-generated information), which form the basis for the quantitative analysis underpinning many scientific publications’.