“Open Science with an in society: Around eighteen months ago, all member states of UNESCO unanimously approved recommendations on Open Science. These recommendations could transform the meaning of Open Science beyond just providing access to research articles and data to fellow scientists.
The most far-sighted aspect of Open Science is embedded in ‘open dialogue with other knowledge systems’. Open Science acknowledges that knowledge also resides outside the realm of ‘scientific institutions, professionals & journals’ and calls for collaboration between diverse knowledge systems. However, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between different knowledge systems to address urgent global issues.
A recent international study on ‘Bridging Knowledge Cultures’ found that professional training of scientists and academic researchers often prevents them from appreciating the existence of other cultures of knowledge outside their field. For example, a representative of a tribal community from Dumka, a small town in India, asserts that knowledge is crucial for their daily life, while for academics, it is their profession.
The UNESCO Recommendations also highlight the importance of ‘open engagement of societal actors’ and value ‘citizen science’ and ‘participatory research’. The movement of participatory research as a methodology for co-creation of knowledge has been in practice around the world over past five decades. This methodology encourages valuing oral and artistic expressions and experiential knowledge of community; indigenous and community knowledge resides in culture, rituals, ceremonies and expressed through local languages.
Post-pandemic world, experiencing serious and continuous climate disruptions, is just beginning to acknowledge that ‘co-creation’ of knowledge solutions may indeed be urgently required. Building capacities, mostly attitudes and normative appreciations of young scientists, towards these principles and methodologies requires urgent investment, if such a transformative potential of ‘open science within society’ is to be realized….”
The International Science Council in collaboration with the Forum for Open Research in the MENA region (FORM) organized a regional event on 28th February to create awareness on open science with special emphasis on normalizing preprints. In this post, Jenice Goveas and Moumita Koley share some key takeaways from the event.
“This one-day, hybrid symposium will examine the role of open science in addressing global challenges, specifically in times of crisis, and in accelerating progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It will explore the existing and most recent cooperative scientific, digital, and ethics frameworks for advancing the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science (2021) across its areas of action….”
“UNESCO, ISC, CODATA and WDS have joined efforts to organise this one-day, hybrid symposium to explore the existing and most recent cooperative scientific, digital, and ethics frameworks for advancing the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science across its Areas of Action, with the focus on:
Data Commons for Global Challenges, and
Open Science and data policy in times of crisis….”
“The war in Ukraine and resulting destruction of research institutions have severely affected Ukrainian scientists. Almost 100,000 scientists still reside in Ukraine and require international support to continue their work. Ukrainian scientists would strongly benefit from an organized effort to support them through open science policies. As a result of the ongoing invasion, academic and research institutions in Ukraine have been physically damaged, and researchers face significant obstacles in trying to continue their work. This year, the International Science Council and an international collective of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine called on the scientific community to assist Ukraine by providing free access to archives, licensed software, and databases. International scientific societies and organizations such as UNESCO can use their resources to encourage collaboration and facilitate remote access to scientific resources for Ukrainian scientists. Open science policies will be key for preserving Ukrainian science and helping rebuild in the future.”
“Universal Open Access is the first of Eight fundamental principles for scientific publishing, developed under ISC’s project on Scientific Publishing and adopted by ISC Members by a resolution of the October 2021 General Assembly. Today, nearly half of all new research articles are openly accessible in some format, but fee-based open access – where authors pay for publication – is increasing, raising concerns around affordability and equity in the context of very diverse levels of funding within the global science system.
In order to support open access to scientific information, with no barriers for authors or readers, there is a need to better understand the challenges in different settings, and for coordination among actors that contribute financially to scholarly publishing.
On 21 and 22 November the International Science Council (ISC), OA2020, the Association of African Universities (AAU), cOAlition S, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), UNESCO and Science Europe co-organized the first in a series of three workshops on ‘Global Equity in Open Access Publishing’. The first workshop, which took place online, focussed on Africa and Europe and was open to different stakeholders who fund or produce research, such as researchers, university administrators, science councils and grant funders, and ministries of research and education.”
“Full adoption of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation on open science is highlighted as a pathway for enabling displaced scholars to continue their work, and supporting the (re)development of fragile science systems. Crucially, stakeholders must work together to develop sustainable frameworks in higher education and research systems for a more predictable and effective approach to the phases of preparedness, response and rebuilding in the aftermath of conflict or disaster….”
“To make open science a reality, three key issues, as a priority, ought to be advanced globally, according to Peter Gluckman, President of the International Science Council (ISC).
The shaping of the open science paradigm has largely been achieved through the work of national academies, international scientific unions and associations, and related bodies that are represented in the membership of the International Science Council (ISC). National and regional funders of science have increasingly supported the open science imperative by investing in supportive infrastructures and promoting open access publishing as a condition of funding.
Now, UNESCO has taken a stance to formalize these trends at the international level through its Recommendation on Open Science. Despite the gaps in this document, it could have some important positive outcomes….”
“This project explores the role of publishing in the scientific enterprise, asking how the scholarly publishing system can maximize benefit to global science and to wider audiences for scientific research….
Accessible publication of the results and ideas arising from research is a fundamental part of the scientific enterprise. Yet technological change, an explosion in demand for journal outlets, monopolistic behaviour on the part of some publishers, and the use of journal impact factors and cited publications as primary indicators of scientific merit have created systemic instability in scientific publishing.
Today many institutions and researchers are excluded from accessing articles that are hidden behind paywalls, and from publishing articles in journals with unaffordable fees. There are increasing calls for the reform of scientific publishing in order to further the global progress of science. It is clear that the system is no longer fulfilling the needs of its main audience: scholarly researchers and the institutions in which they work.
At the same time, Open Access is widely seen as a means to overcome inequities in access to knowledge, particularly in poorer countries and institutions, and ultimately to increase the use of scientific evidence in decision-making. However, funding models and routes to genuine Open Access for authors and readers are far from resolved. The scientific publishing model is ripe for renewal.
This project started under our previous Action Plan (2019-2021)….”
“Strong project management experience required along with experience and knowledge related to scientific publishing, especially recent developments in the sector including open access publishing….
Today many institutions and researchers are excluded from accessing articles that are hidden behind paywalls, and there are increasing calls for the reform of scientific publishing in order to further the global progress of science. The system is no longer fulfilling the needs of its main audience: scholarly researchers and the institutions in which they work. At the same time, Open Access is widely seen as a means to overcome inequities in access to knowledge, particularly in poorer countries and institutions, and ultimately to increase the use of scientific evidence in decision-making. However, routes to Open Access are far from resolved, as recent debates around the ‘Plan S’ initiative have demonstrated. The scientific publishing model is ripe for renewal….”
A new eight-part video series by ISC Patron Ismail Serageldin traces the history of scientific publishing through 50 centuries of innovation, from clay tablets to digital publishing and emerging technologies.
“The International Science Council (ISC) and ALLEA (All European Academies) last month drew the attention of the scientific community to the inadequacies of open access to research papers as currently implemented by publishers (see go.nature.com/3otps2d and go.nature.com/3cfp6bq). Open access to the record of science is essential for an equitable and inclusive global scientific enterprise and to the scientific self-correction that is crucial for rigour and public trust. The ISC statement sets out eight fundamental principles of publishing that need to be upheld in serving the needs of science, including mandating access to all evidential data and removing restrictive copyright.”
The road to the Open Science Recommendation being adopted commenced with a resolution from the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019, where 193 Member States tasked UNESCO with the development of an international standard-setting instrument.
That instrument, the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, has now been adopted by Member States at its 41st General Conference.
“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….”