“Launched in January 2022 as a co-creation exercise, the process of drafting an agreement for reforming research assessment has reached an important milestone. On 8 July, the final version of the agreement was presented at a Stakeholder Assembly bringing together the 350+ organisations from 40+ countries having expressed interest in being involved in the process. Today, the final Agreement is made public with this news.
Organisations involved include public and private research funders, universities, research centres, institutes and infrastructures, associations and alliances thereof, national and regional authorities, accreditation and evaluation agencies, learned societies and associations of researchers, and other relevant organisations, representing a broad diversity of views and perspectives. They have provided feedback to the evolving drafts of the agreement, as prepared by a team composed of representatives from the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, the European Commission and Dr Karen Stroobants in her individual capacity as researcher with expertise in research on research. A core group of 20 research organisations, representing the diversity of the research community across Europe, also contributed to the drafting process, while EU Member States and Associated Countries have been consulted on the agreement in the framework of the ERA Forum and the European Research Area Committee (ERAC).
The Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment sets a shared direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers and research performing organisations, with the overarching goal to maximise the quality and impact of research. The Agreement includes the principles, commitments and timeframe for reforms and lays out the principles for a Coalition of organisations willing to work together in implementing the changes. The Final version of the Agreement can be accessed here….”
Launched in January 2022 as a co-creation exercise, the process of drafting an agreement for reforming research assessment has reached an important milestone. On 8 July, the final version of the agreement was presented at a Stakeholder Assembly bringing together the 350+ organisations from 40+ countries having expressed interest in being involved in the process. Today, the final Agreement is made public with this news.
“As signatories of this Agreement, we agree on the need to reform research assessment practices. Our vision is that the assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research. This requires basing assessment primarily on qualitative judgement, for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators. Among other purposes, this is fundamental for: deciding which researchers to recruit, promote or reward, selecting which research proposals to fund, and identifying which research units and organisations to support….”
“This Agreement is the result of a co-creation process started in January 2022 to set a shared direction for changes in assessment practices for research, researchers, and research performing organisations, with the goal to maximise the quality and impact of research. It includes principles, commitments, and timeframes for reforms and lays out principles for a Coalition of organisations willing to work together in implementing the changes.
It was drafted by Science Europe, the European University Association, and Dr Karen Stroobants, supported by the European Commission. It takes into account input from over 350 research organisations from more than 40 countries.”
“The European University Association (EUA) has set out a radical vision to support its 850 member institutions in 48 European countries to move to an open science system that aspires to open access not only to scholarly outputs, but the whole research process.
The strategy unveiled in the EUA Open Science Agenda 2025 document has set the goal of placing Europe’s universities in “a scholarly ecosystem”, characterised by academic ownership of scholarly communication and publishing – with open science becoming an integral part of research assessment practices – within three years.
The move is part of a growing trend by the research community to challenge the global dominance of increasingly expensive academic publications, which, despite recent progress in open access to scholarly outputs, still sees an estimated 85% of new research articles published in journals being behind paywalls.
Dr Vinciane Gaillard, EUA deputy director of research and innovation, told University World News that the EUA open science agenda strategy has been a year in the making and will be followed up by an action plan, with specific targets and a timeline to monitor progress, to be published in June….”
The EUA Open Science Agenda 2025 defines the Association’s priorities in this field and describes the current context, challenges and developments envisaged for the coming years. In addition, it outlines the actions EUA will take to drive this agenda forward.
“Our research shows that Open Science is currently given limited consideration in university approaches to academic assessment. However, this report also shows that the importance of Open Science as a strategic priority is increasing, suggesting that its limited role in academic assessment is an issue of practical implementation. Finally, the report points to growing university awareness of the issue and willingness to make changes….
Figure 1 shows that 34% of the 2020-21 survey respondents do not include Open Science practices in their career progression or funding allocation decision processes….
Respondents to the 2020-21 survey who use at least one element of Open Science in their academic assessments mostly confine their attention to Open Access to research publications. Some 77% look at article deposition in a repository, while 49% consider article publication in Open Science journals. Only 33-39% of universities examine Open Access books, science communication activities, depositing data in a repository and open education. In stark contrast, less than 25% of the respondents consider any other kind of research outputs or stages in the research process….
It is important to note that respondents to the 2020-21 survey predominantly understand Open Access to publication “incentives” in financial terms. Various types of financial support for Article Processing Charges (APCs) and other Open Access publishing fees are mentioned by just under a third of the 81 responses to this question….
Open Science and Open Access activities are only considered important or very important by 38% of institutions, and 36% considered them as having low importance….”
“This report analyses the place of Open Science in the academic assessment approaches of universities across Europe.
It answers important questions like, when institutions evaluate research, do they consider the openness of the research process and its outputs? If so, how and to what extent are open research practices acknowledged? And if not, what are the reasons and are there plans to include open research practices in the future?
This is a follow-up report to the 2020-21 EUA Open Science Survey results. It offers the perspective of European universities on the state of play and potential paths forward for responsible academic assessment. It is part of a series of three follow-up reports to the main EUA 2020-2021 Open Science Survey report….”
“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….”
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 European University Association (EUA) has recently published a report presenting the findings of the 2020-2021 EUA Open Science Survey and providing evidence-based recommendations for institutions, researchers, research funders and policy makers on the transition towards Open Science.
“On 25 May 2021, more than 880 universities and research-performing and research-funding organisations united within CESAER, EUA and Science Europe call on all publishers to stop requiring researchers to sign over their rights and to end the use of restrictions and embargoes. The joint statement, signed by the presidents of the three organisations, is a strong show of support for Open Science and Open Access.
The statement expresses deep concern regarding the unclear practices of some publishers, in particular the examples recently reported by cOAlition S, that complicate and confuse matters for researchers. The organisations urge publishers to reconsider their position and modernise their approaches in a way that fully respects researchers’ rights, including sharing their peer-reviewed research findings without restrictions or embargoes.
Notably, the statement declares that researchers who wish to deposit their author-accepted manuscript in a repository with an open license (e.g. CC BY), and without any embargo, must be able to do so.
Currently, publishers commonly require authors to sign exclusive publishing agreements that restrict what authors can do with their research findings. The statement urges this outdated system to be replaced and supports a diversity of models for the open dissemination of research for the greater benefit of society….”