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:

The survey dataset can be found here: …”

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….”

EUA welcomes new UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

“EUA welcomes the approval of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science and recognises its importance in providing a shared set of standards and actions for the further implementation of Open Science policies and practices at international, national and institutional levels. In 2020, EUA provided its support by joining the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership, which aimed at bringing together different stakeholders in the field of Open Science to contribute to the development and the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.

The Recommendation offers a comprehensive framework to support the mainstreaming of Open Science and its related areas, including Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. It does so by identifying common definitions, shared values and concrete actions to pursue, and recognising, at the same time, disciplinary and regional differences, and different perspectives in national discussions around Open Science.

EUA is pleased to see that core values and guiding principles proposed by the Recommendation reflect its plea for diversity and inclusivity  and are to be included in a global approach towards Open Science….”

COAR Welcomes the Adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

“On November 23, 2021, the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was formally adopted, representing a significant achievement in our collective progress towards open science. The endorsement of the Recommendation by member states demonstrates strong support for the notion that widespread scientific collaboration and knowledge sharing are critical to addressing our most pressing issues and to advancing new discoveries.

The Recommendation,, which was developed with widespread community input and has been scrutinized carefully by an intergovernmental meeting of experts, provides a framework for the national adoption of open science practices and policies and aims to ensure that open science is implemented in a manner that “leaves no one behind”. It offers a framework that is flexible enough to allow national / regional variation in how it is implemented, also clearly establishes that “open” must become the default; governance must rest in the hands of the research community; and equity, inclusion and bibliodiversity are fundamental underlying principles.

As noted by Megha Sud, Science Officer and project lead for Open Science of the International Science Council in reference to these Recommendations, “the real work begins now”. Designing an effective system that fosters diversity of research domains, actors,  languages and countries and also supports research at the global level will be extremely challenging. It means achieving a careful balance between unity and diversity; international and local; and careful coordination across different stakeholder communities and regions in order to avoid a fragmented ecosystem. On the other hand, we also have an unprecedented opportunity to greatly improve how research communications is done….”

Open Science | UNESCO

“In the fragmented scientific and policy environment, a global understanding of the meaning, opportunities and challenges of open science is needed for its fair and equitable operationalization at the individual, institutional, national, regional and international levels.

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science provides an international framework for open science policy and practice that recognizes disciplinary and regional differences in open science perspectives. It takes into account academic freedom, gender-transformative approaches and the specific challenges of scientists and other open science actors in different countries and in particular in developing countries, and contributes to reducing the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between and within countries….”

UNESCO’s General Conference reaches global agreements on artificial intelligence, open science and education

The 41st session of UNESCO General Conference ended yesterday with the adoption of key agreements demonstrating renewed multilateral cooperation for educational recovery, open science and the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Finalized UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science | UNESCO Digital Library


UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science


34 pages

Material type

programme and meeting document [172159]

Year of publication

2021 [5798]

Document code



2021 [4]

Country of publication




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Corporate author

UNESCO [61360]

Main topic

Open science [74]

International instruments [12481]

Work as subject

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science [73]

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