Global Thinking. ON-MERRIT recommendations for maximising equity in open and responsible research | Zenodo

“Open and responsible research has the potential to profoundly alter the who, what, why, when and how of knowledge-creation. Yet it is not a destiny. The ways we implement change today will have long-lasting consequences for the kind of open and responsible research ecosystem we inhabit tomorrow. For that future to be one more equitable than today’s world, critical consideration must be given to the ways in which agendas of openness are shaped by those in positions of power and privilege, and might hence reflect or even reinforce global dynamics of inequity. 

ON-MERRIT is an EC-funded project to investigate dynamics of cumulative advantage and threats to equity in the transition to Open Research and Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI) across a range of stakeholder categories (in particular for those at the periphery) and multiple dimensions of Open Research, as well as its interfaces with industry and policy. Our results found many areas of concern, from which we identified four key areas of risk:

Resource-intensity of Open Research: Putting open and responsible research into practice requires considerable resources (including infrastructures, services, and training). The structural inequalities that exist within institutions, regions and nations, and on a global scale, create structural advantages for well-resourced actors and structural disadvantages for less-resourced actors, in terms of capacity and ability to engage in these practices.
Article-processing charges and the stratification of Open Access publishing: The article processing charge (APC)  model within Open Access publishing seems to discriminate against those with limited resources (especially those from less-resourced regions and institutions). These facts seem to be having effects of stratification in terms of who publishes where. 
Societal inclusion in research and policy-making: Open and responsible research processes take place within broader social systems where inequalities continue to structure access and privilege certain actors while others are disadvantaged. Despite laudable aims of equity, inclusion and diversity in open and responsible research, the most marginalised, vulnerable, and poor remain mostly excluded. 
Reform of reward and recognition: Institutional processes for reward and recognition not only do not sufficiently support the uptake of open and responsible research, but often get in the way of them. This disadvantages those who wish to take up these practices (putting early-career researchers especially at risk). …”

Involving society in science: Reflections on meaningful and impactful stakeholder engagement in fundamental research: EMBO reports: Vol 22, No 11

“The concepts of Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation call for a more transparent and collaborative science, and more participation of citizens. The way to achieve this is through cooperation with different actors or “stakeholders”: individuals or organizations who can contribute to, or benefit from research, regardless of whether they are researchers themselves or not. Examples include funding agencies, citizens associations, patients, and policy makers ( Such cooperation is even more relevant in the current, challenging times—even apart from a global pandemic—when pseudo-science, fake news, nihilist attitudes, and ideologies too often threaten social and technological progress enabled by science. Stakeholder engagement in research can inform and empower citizens, help render research more socially acceptable, and enable policies grounded on evidence-based knowledge. Beyond, stakeholder engagement is also beneficial to researchers and to research itself. In a recent survey, the majority of scientists reported benefits from public engagement (Burns et al, 2021). This can include increased mutual trust and mutual learning, improved social relevance of research, and improved adoption of results and knowledge (Cottrell et al, 2014). Finally, stakeholder engagement is often regarded as an important factor to sustain public investment in the life sciences (Burns et al, 2021)….”

ON-MERRIT D6.1 Investigating Institutional Structures of Reward & Recognition in Open Science & RRI | Zenodo

This document reports on the research conducted under Task 6.1 “Investigating institutional structures or reward and recognition in Open Science & RRI”. Our work assesses the extent to which Open Science (OS) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are embedded in promotion processes at research performing institutions and analyses the disparity between what is valued by institutions and what is valued by researchers in the context of promotion processes.

The deliverable presents two original research studies contributing to a better understanding of current reward structures, incentives and practices as they are applied across geographical boundaries:

The first study provides a systematic analysis of institutional Promotion, Review and Tenure policies (PRT) to determine the extent to which they, at this point in time, embed OS and RRI indicators. This study builds on Task 3.1 in which an initial international dataset of PRT policies was collected and annotated.
The second study is based on an international survey of active researchers. It aims to assess their attitudes towards OS and RRI as well as their experience with the application of assessment indicators in PRT processes at their institutions. Additionally, it aims to identify promising incentives that would encourage researchers to practice OS and RRI.

Our findings hence show that researchers are ready for change. Yet as we look ahead to what those changes might be, we must be careful not merely to propagate the “tyranny of metrics” responsible for many of the ills within the current system. Simply uncritically introducing further indicators accounting for OS/RRI practices may do more harm than good. We hence close with considerations of the need to change not just indicators, but rather norms, and with provisional recommendations for policy-makers, institutions and researchers (to be developed in later ON-MERRIT tasks)

Register for the ORION Open Science Final Conference 27-28 September | ORION Open Science

“Welcome to the virtual final ORION Open Science Conference on 27-28 September to learn about and discuss achievements and lessons learned throughout the ORION project from 2017 to 2021. The conference is free of charge and open to anyone interested in Open Science and RRI practices, and its future national and international implications.

At the heart of the ORION Open Science EU-project is the ambition to open up the way we fund, organise and conduct life science research. During the project lifetime we have developed and tested a wide range of engagement methods, funding schemes, training materials and co-creation activities to engage the public in science. Now it is time to open up and share with you our achievements, tools and lessons learned. …”


“This booklet is a compilation of nine Inspiring Stories which captures the “EUREKA moment” in the public engagement activities and embedding of Open Science and RRI performed during the ORION Open Science project. The stories showcase a variety of different engagement and Open Science aspects: citizen science, co-creation, public dialogues, public engagement, science communication and training.”

ROSiE – Responsible OS in Europe | EOSCSecretariat

ROSiE (“Responsible Open science in Europe”) is a just-starting, 3-year H2020-funded coordination support action to develop and openly share practical tools that ensure research ethics (RE), research integrity (RI) and legal compliance (LC) in open science (incl. citizen science).

Home | on-merrit

“ON-MERRIT is a 30 month project funded by the European Commission to investigate how and if open and responsible research practices could worsen existing inequalities.

Our multidisciplinary team uses qualitative and computational methods in order to examine advantages and disadvantages in Open Science and Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI). ON-MERRIT aims at eventually suggesting a set of evidence-based recommendations for science policies, indicators and incentives, which could address and mitigate cumulative (dis)advantages, so called Matthew effects.
The project acronym stands for Observing and Negating Matthew Effects in Responsible Research & Innovation Transition….”

RRI for real – FIT4RRI final summit – Home

“The FIT4RRI consortium organises its summit “RRI for real” marking the end of our three-year project. FIT4RRI brought together experts from nine European countries, who analysed and tested how to foster the real uptake of Responsible Research & Innovation and Open Science. The summit starts a new collaborative phase of shaping the future of open science and society relations.”

RRI for real – FIT4RRI final summit – Home

“The FIT4RRI consortium organises its summit “RRI for real” marking the end of our three-year project. FIT4RRI brought together experts from nine European countries, who analysed and tested how to foster the real uptake of Responsible Research & Innovation and Open Science. The summit starts a new collaborative phase of shaping the future of open science and society relations.”

MoRRI – Monitoring the Evolution and Benefits of Responsible Research and Innovation – Technopolis Group

“MoRRI’s main objective is “to provide scientific evidence, data, analysis and policy intelligence to support directly Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG-RTD) research funding activities and policy-making activities in relation with Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI)”.

RRI is a concept that is recently gaining momentum but it still lacks agreement on its definition, content and details. Hence, part of this study is to determine the scope and the benefits or RRI for Europe by:

Operationalising the concept;
Developing a sound conceptual framework and associated methodology, while at the same time;
Testing the potential of this methodology to allow monitoring the current state and short-term evolution of Responsible Research and Innovation and its socio-economic and democratic impacts….”

ORION Open Science – Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge

“ORION [Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge] is a 4-year project (runs from May 2017 to April 2021) that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Science with and for Society (SWAFS) Work Programme. The main aim of the SWAFS Programme is to build effective cooperation between science and society. Open science is a core strategy of the European Commission that involves widening participation and collaboration as well as sharing research processes and outcomes to improve research and innovation….”

Variability of RRI and Open Science – An analysis of different sectors and national contexts – Home

In the summer of 2018 the FIT4RRI Work Package 2 ‘Sectorial Diagnosis’ came to completion. The question was how RRI and Open Science related dynamics vary, in particular across sectors and national background. In general, contexts matter, so how would this play out in the case of RRI and Open Science? A better understanding of this variability is very important for the co-creation experiments of FIT4RRI….”