1. 2

  2. 1

    Last I looked into this topic I found the situation of available Life cycle inventory datasets quite sad.

    A lot of research and life cycle assessment studies depend on these databases. Most datasets are being produced by private companies tailored to specific proprietary tools (such as Gabi) which researchers then use for modelling their subject of interest. There are some public datasets but they are considered incomplete by life cycle assessment profesionals I have talked to.

    Setting aside the issue that most software used in this research domain is proprietary, the licence terms of these data sets are very obnoxious. The terms of use are very narrowly restricted. And these data sets are very expensive, especially if they come with some seal of approval of some (self-appointed?) authority in the field. This data is being treated like trade secrets in many respects, even though it is essential for public research about our climate.

    Granted, it takes a lot of effort and expertise to compile and maintain accurate LCI databases. But this problem seems like a great fit for a community project which provides a platform for researches and other experts to share and accumulate data they have gathered, in a wikipedia-like fashion, free for everyone to use for any purpose.

    What is your view on this?

    1. 2

      Yes, the secrecy of scientific data is a huge problem. Even paying for the data, there can be problems with providers about the usage conditions of that data.

      I don’t know what to say. People who painstakingly compiled the data don’t seem to know how to profit off it except by restricting access to the data. I believe perhaps there should be more government initiatives to collect and free the data. That’s not an easy thing to do either, though.