AOASG response to Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science

The EUNL Conference on Open Science, convened during the Netherland’s presidency of the EU, last week proposed ambitious goals around open access and data sharing and reuse in science.

These are listed below – and at the bottom is the AOASG response, which is included on this public page along with other comments

Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science

There are two pan-European goals for 2020

  1. Full open access for all scientificpublications.This requires leadership and can be accelerated through new publishing models and compliance with standards set.
  2. A fundamentally new approach towards optimal reuse of research data.Data sharing and stewardship is the default approach for all publicly funded research. This requires definitions, standards and infrastructures.

Two flanking policies

To reach these goals by 2020 we need flanking policy:

  1. New assessment, reward and evaluation systems. New systems that really deal with the core of knowledge creation and account for the impact of scientific research on science and society at large, including the economy, and incentivise citizen science.
  2. Alignment of policies and exchange of best practices. Practices, activities and policies should be aligned and best practices and information should be shared. It will increase clarity and comparability for all parties concerned and to achieve joint and concerted actions. This should be accompanied by regular monitoring-based stocktaking.

Twelve action items with concrete actions to be taken

Twelve action items have been included in this Call for Action. They all contribute to the transition towards open science and have been grouped around five cross-cutting themes that follow the structure of the European Open Science Agenda as proposed by the European Commission. This may help for a quick-start of the Open Science Policy Platform that will be established in May 2016. Each action item contains concrete actions that can be taken immediately by the Member States, the European Commission and the stakeholders:

Removing barriers to open science
1. Change assessment, evaluation and reward systems in science
2. Facilitate text and data mining of content
3. Improve insight into IPR and issues such as privacy
4. Create transparency on the costs and conditions of academic communication

Developing research infrastructures
5. Introduce FAIR and secure data principles
6. Set up common e-infrastructures

Fostering and creating incentives for open science
7. Adopt open access principles
8. Stimulate new publishing models for knowledge transfer
9. Stimulate evidence-based research on innovations in open science

Mainstreaming and further promoting open science policies
10. Develop, implement, monitor and refine open access plans

Stimulating and embedding open science in science and society
11. Involve researchers and new users in open science
12. Encourage stakeholders to share expertise and information on open science


AOASG response to Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science

Submitted on behalf of Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG  by Virginia Barbour

General comments:

We welcome the initiative being taken by the EU on open science.

Like other commentators, we would urge the consideration that these principles should apply to all of forms of scholarly outputs across all disciplines, not just science.

Specific comments below:

We recognize the need for global, not just pan-European collaboration on many of these action items, in particular for action items1.  Change assessment, evaluation and reward systems in science and also item 6. Set up common e-infrastructures

  1. Changing the reward system, to incentivize openness and sharing is the core to any wholesale transformation of scholarly communication towards openness. This change needs to happen not just at the level of individual departments or institutions or even countries, but needs to be truly international and become part of the assessment of institutions, not just individual academics. For example, many of the current university league tables are heavily reliant on the publishing as it exists now. Unless alternatives are available there will not be any substantial buy in globally.

6. Common infrastructure will underpin whether or not openness fulfils its promise. Rather than common “e-infrastructures” it may be better phrased as common international standards which facilitate inter-operability, reuse, citability, reproducibility and linking. Without interoperable structures globally we risk repeating the current situation with silos of open research outputs, rather than silos of closed outputs, as we have now. We note that in the detailed explanation of this point  the need is  stated to “Align practices in Europe and beyond” and we urge that this is considered early in any developments.

We believe further clarification of the intentions and extent of the recommendations around items 2, 3 and 5 are needed. Specifically, text and data mining rights should be extended to research publications as well as data. Furthermore, reuse should extend to other uses beyond TDM.

7. and 8. We very much support the stated intentions to “Provide a framework for developing new publishing models” and “Encourage the development of publishing models that provide free access for readers/users.” We suggest that the publication in such new models should be specifically rewarded under any new incentive structures that are developed.

One thought on “AOASG response to Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science

Comments are closed.