UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science – Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU

“In late 2021, the UNESCO General Assembly approved a new Recommendation on Open Science. All the member states agreed on a final version, that for the first time provides an official definition of what open science is, and that calls for legal and policy changes in favor of open science. As a recommendation is the strongest policy tool of UNESCO, “intended to influence the development of national laws and practices”, this is important news for the entire scientific community. 

The recommendation presents a framework on, and principles for, open science. It aims to build a common understanding on the topic, and calls for publicly funded research to be aligned with the principles: transparency, scrutiny, critique and reproducibility; equality of opportunities; responsibility, respect and accountability; collaboration, participation and inclusion; flexibility, and sustainability. 

It asks for more dialogue between the public and the private sector, and for new, innovative means and methods to be developed for open science. Finally, the recommendation stresses the importance of citizen science and crowdsourcing, and the need for cooperation between different kinds of actors, nationally and internationally.

In Sweden, the recommendation is currently being discussed with stakeholders. A few weeks ago, Wikimedia Sverige was invited by the Swedish National UNESCO Commission to a round table conversation on the subject. Other than Wikimedia Sverige, organisations and institutions such as the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, the Swedish Research Council, the Ministry for Education and the National Library, took part – many of those who will bear the largest responsibility for putting the recommendations in practice. …”

Community workshop to respond to UNESCO’s global call for best practices in open science

“Further to the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science in November 2021, UNESCO is launching a Global Call for Best Practices in Open Science. This call aims to collect best practices in open science at individual, institutional, national, regional, and international levels with a particular focus on the seven priority areas of action highlighted in the Recommendation.

Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has been working to conduct research to provide strategic support and investment guidance to funders, budget holders, policymakers, and other stakeholders on investing in open infrastructure for scholarship and research. To this end, we wish to work with our community to contribute to this Global Call, to gather our experiences to identify best practices in supporting, adopting, using, and contributing to open infrastructure.

To this end, we are collaborating with the Turing Way, the Tools, Practices & Systems (TPS) Programme at the Alan Turing Institute, and Open Life Science to create a series of three 90-min community workshops. Each workshop is hosted by a hosting organization/initiative and will focus on one or two priority areas of action that is/are most central to that community’s work. We invite everyone interested in learning more about others’ practices in supporting open science and open infrastructure to participate in our workshops to contribute to a community response to the UNESCO call.

Wednesday 8 June 2022, 10-11:30 am EDT (see this in your time zone): On “investing in open science infrastructures and services“ hosted by IOI; register here

Wednesday 15 June 2022, 10-11:30 am EDT (see this in your time zone): On “promoting innovative approaches for open science at different stages of the scientific process“ and “promoting international and multi-stakeholder cooperation in the context of open science and with a view to reducing digital, technological and knowledge gaps” hosted by the Turing Way and the TPS Programme; register here

Wednesday 22 June 2022, 10-11:30 am EDT (see this in your time zone): On “investing in human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building for open science“ and, “fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science” hosted by Open Life Science; register here

We will draft a community response to the UNESCO call based on the input from the session and will share our response publicly upon submission….”

First meeting of the Working Group on Open Science Policies and Policy Instruments | 23 May 2022 | UNESCO

“To support the implementation of the 2021 UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, UNESCO in collaboration with its partners will be developing a series of supporting tools – technical briefs, fact sheets, guidelines and training materials – that will constitute an online ‘living’ Open Science Toolkit accessible to all and easy to use, reuse, expand and update. To produce the toolkit and its different components, UNESCO will mobilize its Global Open Science Partnership and convene ad-hoc Open Science Working Groups around 5 key priority/high impact areas: Open Science policies and strategies; Open Science financing and incentives; Open Science infrastructures; Open Science capacity building; Open Science monitoring framework. Experts and interested open science entities, organizations and institutions, including the UNESCO Chairs and Centers, all of which are part of the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership can participate in the Working Groups relevant to their field of activity and expertise. They will provide the core inputs for the following deliverables and will be involved in their development:   Working Group: Working Group on Open Science Policies and Policy Instruments. Deliverables: Global repository of open science policies and policy instruments…”

UNESCO’s open science recommendations: A publisher action plan

“To help make sense of UNESCO’s proposed model for accelerating an equitable vision of open science, this post will offer a simple overview of the recommendations and unpack specific actions any publisher can set in motion today to collaborate in scaling open access. Publishers have the opportunity to adopt new business models and implement a range of operational and cultural changes necessary to open up the research lifecycle. Let’s start with a brief look at how UNESCO envisions the future of open scholarship….”

Building Structural Equity and Inclusion in Open Scholarship

“The choices we make in the transition to open system infrastructures for producing and sharing knowledge will affect how equitable Open Science systems will be in the future. The recent inequities in global health outcomes and the global vaccine inequality are however the stark reality. Institutions can work towards building structural equity by adopting values based in humanities, examining the ways in which current solutions might repeat systemic oppression, and centering and empowering women and vulnerable populations during the solution/system creation process, not after. Open Science can contribute to the creation of equity only if it enables historically marginalized people to learn about and research topics that are important to them and their communities, have their research recognized and rewarded – not through proxies –, and translate this into impact for their communities. Proposals for increasing equity in Open Science include removing barriers to access and publication of scientific papers, lowering language barriers, openly sharing unique collections, centering the voices of the most vulnerable, and decolonizing knowledge. Open scholarship models and infrastructures in science and humanities education attuned to the SDGs implementations and UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science, can also substantially contribute towards equity. The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science in particular is the long-awaited, landmark instrument-setting agreement that provides an initial framework. In a society that daily manifests the pathology of data misuse, that heightens barriers to accessing scientific output, and allows the overconcentration of data-aggregating powers at the hands of purely commercial platforms lacking the checks and balances of democratic, public institutions, there are steps that both institutions and researchers at their workbench need to take to ensure access to research production and dissemination is equitable, data collection more democratic and transparently participatory….”

A Compendium of Open Access/Open Science Policy Case Studies from African Higher Education Institutions | Zenodo

Abstract:  A Compendium of Open Access/Open Science Policy Case Studies from African Higher Education Institutions for the LIBSENSE Open Science policy development workshops convened as part of activities in the AfricaConnect3 programme.

 The case studies in this compendium have been solicited from partners throughout Africa by the LIBSENSE policy working group. They represent a broad range of open access/open science policy development initiatives from those involved in developing and implementing them. The representative universities cover a range of public and private institutions where research activity occurs. Altogether, they give perspectives on OA/OS policy development at the institutional level, including the motivations, successes, challenges and outcomes. This compendium also includes one case study outlining policy development efforts coordinated at a regional level in Francophone Africa.

Through these workshops, LIBSENSE envisages an opportunity to align institutional level policy with ongoing efforts to deliver on national open science roadmaps as part of the broader Open Science agenda that LIBSENSE wants to achieve across Africa. It is also the impetus for its alignment with UNESCO’s Recommendations on open science, embracing its own Open Science vision on implementing UNESCO open science principles in an African context. In support of this, the compendium includes a recommended checklist for universities to follow when implementing UNESCO recommendations on open science.

Policy into Action: the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science under the spotlight – actions for publishing

“OASPA is pleased to announce our next webinar which will focus on the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000379949.locale=en) and the practical actions open access editors and publishers take to implement them. Practical guidelines for open access publishers will be discussed and co-developed together during and after the webinar.

We welcome our speakers:
Ana Persic who will present the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science and its connections to scholarly publishing,
Roheena Anand from PLOS,
Krzysztof Siewicz from the Polish Library of Science and;
Raoul Kamadjeu from the Pan African Medical Journal, who will share their approaches to implementing the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.

The panellists will each speak for 12 minutes, and then we will open it up to questions from the audience and discussion on the practical steps that publishers take. The webinar will be chaired by Iryna Kuchma, EIFL….”

UNESCO publishes Recommendation on Open Science

“The Open Science document was adopted by 193 countries. For the first time, there is an international definition of Open Science.


About 70 % of scientific publications are behind paywalls. In the last two years, this has dropped to about 30 % for publications specifically on COVID-19. This is a strong signal that science can and should be more open.

For a long time, there was no universally accepted definition of Open Science. With the adoption of the Recommendation in November 2021, 193 countries agreed to adhere to common Open Science standards, values and guiding principles. 

Among other things, the Recommendation calls on member states to create regional and international funding mechanisms and establish the necessary infrastructure. 

In addition, seven areas are to be prioritised:

promoting a common understanding of open science and its associated benefits and challenges, as well as the diverse paths to open science;
developing an enabling policy environment for open science;
investing in infrastructure and services which contribute to open science;
investing in training, education, digital literacy and capacity-building, to enable researchers and other stakeholders to participate in open science;
fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science;
promoting innovative approaches to open science at different stages of the scientific process; and
promoting international and multistakeholder co-operation in the context of open science with a view to reducing digital, technological and knowledge gaps. …”

Open Research Week 2022 Open Research Week 2022- Open Research – University of Liverpool

“Eight events over 4 days, covering many aspects of Open Research including reward and recognition, publishing open books and journals, open educational resources and an opening keynote talk by Ana Persic from UNESCO.”


Open Access Working Group Statement on UNESCO Ratification of Open Science Recommendation – SPARC

“The 14 members of the Open Access Working Group (OAWG) representing national and regional library, publishing, funding, research and advocacy organizations applaud the ratification of UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science during its 41st General Conference. This move marks critical progress in international efforts to increase equity in access to and participation in science, technology, and innovation. 

The utility of the Recommendation hinges on its uptake by the global community. To this end, we strongly encourage the United States to adopt the Open Science Recommendation in its entirety and work closely with stakeholders to implement it. 

Developed on the foundation of equity, transparency, and inclusivity, the Recommendation sets an international standard for the definition of open science and associated policies, practices, and approaches to drive change in the global scientific community. It proposes seven broad areas for action:

Promoting a common understanding of open science and its benefits and challenges;
Developing and enabling a policy environment for open science;
Investing in open science infrastructures and services;
Investing in human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building; 
Fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives;
Promoting innovative approaches for open science across the scientific process;  
Promoting cooperation in the context of open science to reduce digital, technological and knowledge gaps.

Of particular interest to the OAWG is the action to “develop an enabling policy environment for open science.” At its core, this requires us to develop and implement policies that both require and incentivize open science practices at the researcher and institutional level. Doing so will center equity and inclusivity to ensure legacy publishing practices proven to exclude marginalized voices—including reliance on indicators based on publishing in prestige journals—do not continue. In addition, the Recommendation highlights the importance of investing in open science infrastructure (including repositories) and emphasizes the desirability of community controlled, not-for-profit governance structures.   …”

Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education (2021 report). | Zenodo

“This report summarises the results of a survey of European libraries on Open Education (OE) and Open Education Resources (OER) prepared by SPARC Europe. It was done in consultation with the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL). 

Launched in May 2021, the survey, which targeted academic librarians across Europe, garnered over 230 responses from 28 countries. This report is the 2021 version of the 2020 report under the same title, which was the first of its kind. The 2021 report is framed by the UNESCO Recommendation on OER.

The survey questionnaire can be found here: https://zenodo.org/record/4892450

The survey dataset can be found here: https://zenodo.org/record/5734988 …”

SPARC Statement on UNESCO Ratification of Open Science Recommendation

“SPARC welcomes the unanimous ratification of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science during its 41st General Conference.  This action represents an enormous step forward towards creating a global knowledge sharing ecosystem that is both open and equitable by design.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have underscored, there is an urgent need to accelerate scientific progress and to reimagine how we produce, share, and communicate scientific information. The UNESCO Open Science Recommendation provides a critical tool to catalyze change towards this on a global scale. 

Developed through an inclusive, transparent, and multi-stakeholder consultation process, the Recommendation is the first global standard-setting framework for international open science policies and practices.  It provides a common definition of open science that covers all scientific disciplines and scholarly practices while also encompassing the broad range of movements working to make scientific knowledge openly accessible and reusable for those within and outside the traditional scientific community….”