Advocating for more OER-friendly copyright regulatory frameworks

“The webinar discussed the following key questions:

How does the UNESCO OER Recommendation enhance international cooperation for universal access to information?
What can be done to support the development and enhancement of the legal and regulatory framework on copyright and policies for OER development?
What are examples of good practices, challenges and solutions where OER have supported the right to information and building of inclusive Knowledge Societies?…”

OE Global 21: connecting OER to Open Science – YouTube

“Last year UNESCO launched a draft Recommendation on Open Science. Comparing this recommendation with the OER Recommendation, they have a large resemblance. In the Recommendation, OER is considered as one of the elements comprising Open Science, next to a.o. Open Data and Open Access. However, in daily practice in Dutch institutions of Higher Education we observe that implementation to adopt outcome of both Open Science (more specifically Open Access and Open Data) and Open Education (more specifically OER) are often separated.

In this video, we inform you about our activities and intermediate results to connect the two. We also invite participants of the OE Global conference (25-30 September 2021) to share their efforts, results and discuss ideas to approach the two forms of openness in a more integrated way….”

UNESCO supports the launch a new version of the Global Open Access Portal (GOAP.info)

The new Global Open Access Portal (GOAP.info) presents access to a wide array of Open Access resources worldwide, through an advanced user interface design.

GOAP.info allows users to browse dynamic Open Access contents via both a text-based search and a map-enabled country search option. Building on an earlier version, the new Portal includes Open Access profiles of 166 countries and highlights existing key Open Access initiatives, mandates, events and publications.

Additionally, GOAP.info incorporates dynamic content sourced from publicly available information and provides workflows to facilitate the publishing of non-commercial journals. GOAP.info gathers important resources such as open journals, repositories, articles and FAQs for trending subject domains such as Covid-19, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. Another feature included is the incorporation of Open Educational Resources on Open Access, which provides learning resources for researchers and librarians responsible for facilitating and benefiting from the use of Open Access resources.

UNESCO supports Member States in their quest to build inclusive knowledge societies by leveraging new technological innovations and supporting the principle of ‘Openness’ and ‘Inclusiveness’. The new version of GOAP.info will facilitate the advocacy for openness, sharing of contents, technologies and processes that generate information and knowledge. Although Open Access is mainstreaming in developmental discourses, there is a real need for a global repository that tracks Open Access development, presents best practices, enhances capacities as well as to maintain financial accountability and transparency….”

Perspectives on the UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

“In our second season, we continue our mission of interrogating the politics of knowledge production, exchange and circulation – but with a specific focus on open science and open access. In this first episode we speak with Eleanor Haine, Program Officer at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and Fernanda Beigel, Chair of the UNESCO Open Science Advisory Committee and Researcher at CONICET. Both have been actively involved in the drafting of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science – and from their different geographical, institutional and personal perspectives they share what open science means to them and what they and their colleagues have been fighting for….”

OSFair – panel-an-open-science-future

“This panel seeks to bring together policy makers at various levels of decision making (institutional, funder, regional, national) to discuss in practical terms the challenges and opportunities of open science adoption and implementation they encounter, as well as the ones posed towards international cooperation specifically in line with Unesco’s recommendations for the global community.

The panelists will touch upon issues on the mobilization of open science funds for scientific publications, the infrastructure for FAIR, the inclusion of relevant actors, the upskilling of our researchers and supporting staff, as well as local and global equity and inclusion.

Learning from the expertise of organizations who have already or are now tackling the challenges, we expect to derive practical and pragmatic recommendations for the way forward.

What are the challenges involved in adopting open science policies at local level?
How can we expand and align policies at the international level?
What would be the challenges and opportunities?
How can we ensure that policies in the global north do not have unintended harm of research in the global south? …”

Open Access is Key to the Sustainable Development Goals – Librarian Resources

“Open Access is key to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals are reliant on improved access to information and knowledge, therefore creating a clear link between Open Access, access to information, and sustainable development.

Open Access supports the importance of immediate access and access to all. Open access publishing makes scientific results available to everyone and facilitates new discoveries and empowers researchers through rapid and efficient access to knowledge.
Open Access benefits researchers, innovators, teachers, students, media professionals and the public.
It promotes global knowledge flow for the benefit of scientific discovery, innovation, and socio-economic development. Open Access is beneficial to all users in all countries, but disproportionately limits users in developing countries who have poor or non-existent acquisition budgets….

UNESCO “believes that universal access to high quality education is key to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue.” International organizations such as UNESCO already recognize this connection and officially recognize open access as a driver for achievement of the SDGs and sustainable social, political, and economic development. UNESCO believes that Open Access has a fundamental role to support the SDGs and supports the agendas of Open Access….”

Open Science and the UNESCO initiative – International Year of Basic Sciences for Development

“Although Open Science is not new, it stems from the publication of the first scientific journals in the late seventeenth century, profound new digital opportunities have inspired scientific communities to progressively mature and crystallize the essentials of a new Open Science movement. It enlarges scientific and social horizons in the pursuit of knowledge, its dissemination and use.

Intrinsic to this new paradigm are historic values of scientific self-organization, principles of freedom and responsibility, universal accessibility and sharing, inclusivity and equitability, together with responsibilities for education and capacity development, as reflected in the statutes of the International Science Council (ISC) and in its vision of “science as a global public good”. The expanded social networks of this new openness are exemplified in trends of increased multi-nationally authored scientific papers, the growth of trans-disciplinary collaboration and of citizen science.

The shaping of this new paradigm has largely been achieved through the work of the national academies, international scientific unions and associations, and related bodies that are represented in the membership of the ISC, and reflected in its statement on Open Science. National and regional funders of science have increasingly supported the Open Science imperative by investments in supportive infrastructures and promotion of open access publishing as a condition of funding….

Now UNESCO has taken a stance. It seeks to formalize these trends at an international level by placing a recommendation on Open Science before its 193 Member States for their endorsement. It has engaged with the scientific community over the last year to generate a long list of draft recommendations for open access to the published record of science, open data, open educational resources, open-source software and code, open hardware and infrastructures, and open engagement with society.

The draft’s first contact with political reality, in the form of national representatives, took place in early May 2021. Representatives were almost universally supportive, and even added “bite” on some crucial issues….”

Statement from the International Science Council delegation to the UNESCO Special Committee meeting on Open Science, 6-12 May 2021

“Now UNESCO has taken a stance. It seeks to formalize these trends at an international level by placing a recommendation on Open Science before its 193 Member States for their endorsement3 . It has engaged with the scientific community over the last year to generate a long list of draft recommendations for open access to the published record of science, open data, open educational resources, open-source software and code, open hardware and infrastructures, and open engagement with society. The draft’s first contact with political reality, in the form of national representatives, took place in early May 2021. Representatives were almost universally supportive, and even added “bite” on some crucial issues. For example, there is an increasing awareness of the moves of some major commercial publishers to evolve into broadly based “science/knowledge platforms”, able increasingly to monopolize not only access to scientific knowledge but also to data about science and scientists, their evaluation, scientometrics, management, networking, priorities and funding, with little accountability to the scientific community or its organizations 4 . Indeed, the commercial public sector has been more than effective in monetizing scholarly output, creating an oligopoly of control, and is learning how to take control over additional aspects of the research life cycle, now especially focused on the interaction between publishing, data repositories, and access to data. Awareness of these trends was reflected in a critical insertion in the text by UNESCO Member States that: “The monitoring of Open Science should be explicitly kept under public oversight, including the scientific community, and whenever possible supported by open non-proprietary and transparent infrastructures. This monitoring aspect could include but should not be delegated to the private sector.”

The UNESCO recommendation and potential cascading interventions by Member States could develop along two divergent pathways. They could enhance governmental support for the scientific community, and the stakeholder ecosystem of which it is part, as they develop new policies, infrastructures and collaboration strategies that serve the Open Science paradigm as it has progressively evolved over the last two decades. Alternatively, Member States could disregard the tradition whereby the scientific community self-organizes to achieve its purposes, and come to specify, or even regulate, how it should be organized. We are strongly in favour of the former, and concerned about the potential of the latter, which could create a mode of Open Science that opens the door: “to capture of publicly funded research value by commercial platforms, yet more ‘metrics’ of productivity to ‘incentivize’ scholars to work harder and a focus on the system-wide progress of science, ignoring costs and benefits to individuals, whether scientists or non-scientists” 5 . Nonetheless, we welcome the draft UNESCO recommendation most strongly, with the comment that awareness of danger is the first step in averting it.”

Open Science and the UNESCO initiative – opportunity to republish ISC statement – International Science Council

In this statement made by the ISC delegation to the UNESCO Special Committee meeting on Open Science, 6-12 May 2021, the delegation explores how the recommendation and potential cascading interventions by Member States could develop along two divergent pathways

The time for open science is now

“UNESCO is developing a Recommendation on Open Science which will be submitted to member states for approval in November 2021….

This calls for new types of funding arrangement between universities and publishers or funding agencies and publishers that are in a position to offer sustainable alternatives to either the ‘author-pays’ or ‘reader-pays’ models….

There is a growing number of viable alternatives to the author-pays system. These range from national or regional funding agreements to membership-based systems or co-operatives grouping multiple institutions. Among the latter is SciELO. This network now encompasses 16 countries in Latin America and Europe, along with South Africa. Similarly, AmeliCA and Latindex have been designed as regional networks composed of public institutions and research agencies from different countries….

With UNESCO being the sole United Nations agency with a mandate for science, it was logical that it should take up the question of open science. In 2019, UNESCO’s 193 member states tasked the Secretariat with developing an international standard-setting instrument in the form of a Recommendation on Open Science, to be adopted in November 2021. These instructions emanated from the Organization’s supreme governing body, the General Conference, which meets every two years….

As we move towards a global consensus on the issue, the first draft text of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has defined open science as an umbrella concept combining various movements and practices aiming to:l make scientific knowledge, methods, data and evidence freely available and accessible to everyone;l increase scientific collaboration and the sharing of information for the benefit of both science and society; andl open the process of scientific knowledge creation and circulation to societal actors situated beyond the institutionalized scientific community….”

As we move towards a global consensus on the issue, the first draft text of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has defined open science as an umbrella concept combining various movements and practices aiming to:l make scientific knowledge, methods, data and evidence freely available and accessible to everyone;l increase scientific collaboration and the sharing of information for the benefit of both science and society; andl open the process of scientific knowledge creation and circulation to societal actors situated beyond the institutionalized scientific community.

Informationsplattform Open Access: UNESCO Science Report 2021: The Time for Open Science is Now

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently presented the UNESCO Science Report 2021 titled The Race against Time for Smarter Development ahead of the G7 meeting. In the series, the organisation observes worldwide developments in science policy. The current report describes in essays and studies how different countries are using science to realise a digitally and environmentally smart future. In the essay The Time for Open Science is Now, the authors argue, among other things, for the expansion of open science and open access. That way, they point out, science and research can contribute their full potential to sustainable development in the face of climate change and pandemics.

Webinar: Community Open Principles | EIFL

Join this webinar on Community Open Principles: Before, During and After the Global Pandemic, which is part of the Reimagining Educational Practices for Open (REPO) Community Event Series. 

Date and time: 30 June, 1pm UTC
Registration: You can register here. 

Speakers – Dr Ana Persic, UNESCO, Dr Arianna Becerril García, AmeliCA, Dr Johanna Havemann, Open Science MOOC, and Osman Aldirdiri, AfricArXiv – will lead the discussion by addressing the following questions:

When we talk about Open what do we mean? 
How can we navigate the different definitions of what it means to be a community and to be Open? 
How do we engage with communities and train members around Open?
What evidence are we using of how we are addressing Open? 
How can we be more inclusive and align our Open principles to foster norms, incentives, and recognition? 
Have our understandings around Open shifted during the pandemic? 

The webinar aims to include open science perspectives from a diverse group of communities, to learn from different approaches, and identify next steps that everyone in our global community can consider. More about REPO in this blog by Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager.

Promoting open science in public policy

“The value of this document is that it can make future public open science policies enhance the opening of the research cycle as a whole, promote participatory science, and open spaces to talk about innovation and newer aspects of open science, such as the need for exceptions to copyright for data mining or the development of funding mechanisms and approaches for citizen labs or spaces to experiment with open infrastructure (Unlock devices). Again, the recommendations can be a roadmap for talking about the science and its results common goods (Those that have universal access, are democratically managed, continue to be used over time and are collectively owned)….”

ADOPTED_EN Draft Recommendation on Open Science_11 May 2021.pdf – Google Drive

“PROVISIONALLY ADOPTED (AS OF 11 MAY 2021)…

Taking into account, in the adoption and application of this Recommendation, the vast diversity of the laws, regulations and customs which, in different countries, determine the pattern and organization of science technology and innovation: 1. Adopts the present Recommendation on Open Science on this … day of November 2021; 2. Recommends that Member States apply the provisions of this Recommendation by taking appropriate steps, including whatever legislative or other measures may be required, in conformity with the constitutional practice and governing structures of each State, to give effect within their jurisdictions to the principles of this Recommendation; 3. Also recommends that Member States bring this Recommendation to the attention of the authorities and bodies responsible for science, technology and innovation, and consult relevant actors concerned with Open Science; Recommends that Member States collaborate in bilateral, regional, multilateral and global initiatives for the advancement of Open Science; 5. Further recommends that Member States report to it, at such dates and in such manner as shall be determined, on the action taken in pursuance of this Recommendation….”