The future of scientific publishing project moved into a second phase of advocacy and action following the publication of the report Opening the Record of Science: Making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era in February 2021.
The Report sets out principles for reforming scientific publishing to better serve the needs of the scientific community, and at the 2021 General Assembly, ISC Members overwhelmingly supported a resolution endorsing eight principles for reform, and committed to work together to achieve reform.
This statement of common purpose from ISC Members has caught the attention of advocates for open science from around the world, being shared and cited widely in papers, conferences and meetings.
An expert steering group for the project was appointed in March 2021 to advise on priorities for reform and action, to assist in identifying and addressing relevant regional priorities, and to advise on how to implement change.
Through this project, the Council is deepening engagement with its members, national and international funders, universities, open science bodies, publishers and individual scientists to create a powerful and broadly based coalition for change. Priority activities include normalizing existing creative innovations, such as pre-print publication, which is very well established in certain disciplines – and was widely used to rapidly share knowledge on the COVID-19 pandemic – and is starting to gain prominence in other disciplines of the natural and social sciences, too. The ISC is also examining issues that underpin scientific publishing, such as research integrity, the subject of a 2021 Occasional paper from the project steering group, and governance models for publishing.