Data exchange is an important way to improve the ability of researchers, scientists and policy makers to analyze data and translate it into meaningful reports and knowledge. Data sharing avoids duplication in data collection and fosters differences in mentality and cooperation, as others are able to use the data to answer questions that initial data collectors may not have taken into account. It is important to recognize that the process of establishing data exchange agreements between countries, as well as the nature of the data that is shared and the agencies that share the data together, are different. Data exchange agreements protect against data misuse and promote early communication between agencies on data processing and use issues. Confidentiality and disclaimers: there must be a disclaimer covering the accuracy of the data, as well as a description of the data and the corresponding metadata. In addition, a declaration regarding the disclosure of information to third parties is required. This is necessary because a non-federal authority may not be able to protect USGS information from disclosure, and vice versa, because USGS may be forced to disclose information as part of a foia request if no waiver applies. A data-sharing agreement is an agreement between a party with useful data (the Discloser) and a party that searches for data for research on (the recipient) under which the public agrees to share its data with the recipient. These could be two universities that agree to share data for research cooperation, one or more private companies active in research or development, and even a government agency working with a private agency. Data exchange also promotes accountability and transparency, allowing researchers to validate each other`s results. Finally, data from multiple sources can often be combined to allow comparisons across national and departmental boundaries. Data exchange agreements must include access and dissemination provisions.
It is not advisable to enter into a data exchange agreement in which data protection information can be disclosed, as non-federal organizations are not subject to the Data Protection Act.