EIFL responds to UNESCO Open Science consultation
UNESCO invites EIFL to join Open Science Partnership and to contribute to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

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In May, the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences of UNESCO invited EIFL to join the UNESCO Open Science Partnership and to contribute to a global consultation that will result in a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. 

In addition, the Director-General of UNESCO has nominated EIFL Open Access Programme (EIFL-OA) Manager Iryna Kuchma to sit on the UNESCO Open Science Advisory Committee as an international expert. The committee has been established by the Director-General to provide expertise and strategic advice to the consultative process.

Open Science is a movement aiming to make science more open, accessible, efficient, democratic, and transparent. The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science is expected to define shared values and principles for open science, and point to concrete measures on open access and open data, with proposals for action to bring citizens closer to science, and commitments for a better distribution and production of science in the world.

EIFL welcomes the UNESCO Global Consultation on Open Science, and we are grateful for the opportunity to provide our input. EIFL-OA supports open science in a variety of ways, including contributing to policy development nationally and internationally, supporting infrastructures (open access journals and repositories), and enhancing researchers’ open science skills. We agree that a global consensus that ensures equitable and inclusive open science is needed. 

We encouraged our partner national library consortia to participate in the UNESCO consultation. And we have also submitted our own suggestions on shared values and principles for open science, and recommendations for concrete measures on open access and open data. In addition to the Global Consultation, there will be a series of regional multi-stakeholder consultations to take stock of different regional perspective. 

We include a snapshot of our submission to the Global Consultation below, and you can read our full submission, which includes required actions, here.

Shared values 

  • Open, transparent and equitable access. 
  • Openness, public and free availability and reusability of research outputs and processes by other researchers, businesses, and the general public to strengthen societal knowledge base, innovation and impact of research throughout society. 
  • Research-enabled teaching and learning, citizen science, open innovation, and greater transparency, accountability, research integrity and public trust in research. 
  • Social justice through a culture of open sharing, mentorship and skills development.

Open Science principles

  • All researchers have an equal opportunity to publish their research in open access, regardless of field of research, funding basis, or career stage. 
  • Research incentives and structures support the open science work and equality of researchers. 
  • The assessment of researchers and research takes into account new and changing forms of publishing reflecting open science. 

Strategic goals and objectives for Open Science policies

  • Responsible openness is part of daily research practices and the entire research process. 
  • Research organizations have the evaluation practices, incentives and services needed to support open science and research.
  • All new research publications are immediately openly available, preferably under the Creative Commons Attribution licence, CC BY, or another appropriate Creative Commons licence via open access repositories. 
  • The research community creates a jointly funded publishing model that enables open access journal and book publishing and supports collaborative non-APC publishing models. 
  • Transparent and fair Article Processing Charges (APCs) for genuine added value to fully open access publications, and APCs should not be a barrier for researchers from the Global South or small institutions to publish their articles. 
  • The scientific community regains control of the publishing process and ensures diversity in scholarly communications, and strong community-governed infrastructures.
  • Authors/institutions retain copyright of their publications.
  • The total cost of scholarly publication channels and individual publications is transparent and publicly available.
  • Research data and methods are as open as possible and as closed as necessary. 
  • The management of research data and software aspires to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles. 
  • Research methods and materials, including research data and software, are recognized as independent research outputs.
  • Creation, use and collaborative development of open educational resources and other open educational practices are part of daily practices in higher education and enable lifelong learning.

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