University of Alicante to keep the name of Baena Tocón in its repository
UA president considers the purposes of historical research, being a public authority, and the concept of research of Rios Carratalá's administrative appeal.
Alicante, Tuesday 30 July 2019
University of Alicante President Manuel Palomar informed the Governing Council of the annulment of the appeal of June 12, 2019 on the agreed technical measure of deindexation of the name of Antonio Luis Baena Tocón in the article entitled “El Caso Diego San José y el Juez Humorista”, published in the University of Alicante Institutional Repository (RUA), by UA Professor Juan Antonio Ríos Carratalá.
This is why, despite the media alarm generated, the legal step was not executed as the author himself decided to replace the name of the affected person with his initials and deindex the article afterwards as a cautionary measure. The UA president explained that a new weighting system has been carried out for the decision of the appeal where a report submitted by the Spanish Agency for Data Protection last June 21 on a similar case has been taken into account As stated by the UA president, the purposes of scientific or historical research, the consideration of a public authority and the concept of research has been particularly taken particularly into account which, includes open publication in virtual repositories as a quality index for scientific dissemination and extra content for research itself.
The decision states that in the historical period under investigation, acting as a court reporter and, therefore, in the exercise of a public function by Baena Tocón, has a public interest and therefore he would be considered a public authority and the publication of his name and surname is not contrary to the regulations on the protection of personal data.
Thus, the university president concludes that the article mentioned can be indexed by the University of Alicante Internet search engines without any limitation and, therefore, the technical measure adopted can be overridden.
The case has opened a latent debate for some time in universities and research centres on whether or not the metadata of digitally published works are part of the published work and whether or not they can be modified by the administrators of repositories. Palomar, professor of Languages and Computer Systems, already demonstrated last June the need for regulations in order to protect the scientific work.
Finally, in another point of the appeal filed before the University President regarding the competence of the UA Office of the Comptroller on the initial decision now annulled, it is concluded that it is effectively the competent body responsible for personal data files and processing activities.