The current decade has seen a distinct effort by the European Commission and National Research Councils across Europe to promote Open Access to results and data from publicly-funded research. Open access to research data will immensely benefit researchers, but also industry. Within the European Materials Modelling Community, there is now much greater willingness than ever before to make data easily available for re-use, and to develop tools to make our data truly useful to others. There are various reasons for this.
Specific funding to enable an open access practice within individual EU higher education research institutions is also now widely available as a result. It is also widely recognised that data uploading should be further rewarded, by promoting appropriate citation routes. These could be designed to encourage information sharing by enabling the obvious career benefits that aggressive citation of high-quality reference data can attract. Traceability of data through automatic connections with available scientific papers could also enhance quality control (e.g., through the peer review practice already in place for the scientific papers) at the same time helping any end-users who identify their target data through standard scientific literature search tools. These benefits are far-reaching, in spite of overselling of modelling and poor validation practices having been problems in earlier industrial exposure to simulations.