Open science round-up: May 2023

As we hit the year's midpoint, we actively stay updated with the rapidly advancing open science landscape. In this edition, Moumita Koley captures the pivotal events, opportunities, and readings from the previous month. Concurrently, Ismael Rafols brings our focus to a vital but often neglected facet of open science - promoting activities that strengthen citizen involvement.

Open science round-up: May 2023

Envisioning Open Science as a Collective Experience: My dream of Open Science is one of knowledge springing and flowing like water in a lush and biodiverse forest: water is everywhere in the forest, not just flowing in the streams and rivers but also within the myriads of species that make the forest. If you follow this metaphor, this means that Open Science is not only about access to external scientific information but about knowledge as a lived and collective experience: about citizens actively deciding what type of knowledge is needed, participating in its creation, and benefiting from it.

Perhaps 100 years ago, one could be forgiven for thinking that access to knowledge could be enough to support human development. But in the last decades, we have learned that technology tends to respond to the needs of its creators. Therefore, for science to have a wide distribution of benefits, it is necessary to have a wide societal influence on science – on what issues are studied and how they are studied and assessed.

This is why the UNESCO Recommendation of Open Science explicitly placed ‘engagement of societal actors’ and ‘dialogue with other knowledge systems’ as pillars of Open Science. Passive open science is not enough to foster a more equitable distribution of the benefits of scientific progress.

The implication of this broader understanding of Open Science is the need to rebalance policy initiatives and investments in Open Science from the current focus on outputs (e.g., Open Access publications) and infrastructure towards supporting activities closer to citizens. These might include, for example, activities such as stakeholder participation in priority setting on environmental issues, patient engagement in health research, or exchanges with indigenous knowledge in forestry management. It is through these engagements with diverse stakeholders that science may serve the plural aspirations and needs of humankind.

Ismael Ràfols

Ismael Ràfols leads the UNESCO Chair on Diversity and Inclusion in Global Science at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University, the Netherlands. He works on science policy developing novel approaches to S&T indicators, using mixed-method for informing evaluation, foresight, and research strategies. Ismael has been involved in policy advice on monitoring and indicators of Open Science with UNESCO and the European Commission.

Big stories in Open Science

G7 Science Ministers Prioritize Open Science

Council Calls for Open Access and Reform in Scholarly Publishing Practices 

Invest in Open Infrastructure receives $1M from the Mellon Foundation to scale the COIs 

Science Europe Conference on Open Science: Insights and Highlights 

EU to Support Open Access without Author Fees 

French National Open Science Fund (FNSO) Reaffirms Commitment to Global Open Science Infrastructure  

Six Years of Wellcome Open Research: A Strong Presence in Open Access Publishing 

UK Universities Sign Three-Year Open Access Deal with Springer Nature 

Misleading Affiliation Practices Boost Saudi Universities’ Rankings, Reveals Research Report  

Dutch Court Supports University’s Revocation of Ph.D. Degree in Misconduct Case 

Canadian Commission for UNESCO Announces Appointment of First UNESCO Chair in Open Science 

WHO Unveils Revolutionary Open-Access Health Data Platform: Bridging Global Health Data Gaps  

Open Science events and opportunities 

Job opportunities

Our top ten Open Science reads

  1. From Declaration to Global Initiative: a decade of DORA
  2. Scientific Research is Deteriorating
  3. OA’s Teetering House of Cards 
  4. Is Science Too Slow to Change the World?
  5. Too greedy’: Mass Walkout at Global Science Journal Over ‘Unethical’ Fees 
  6. Data With Principles: How to be FAIR, and Why You Should CARE 
  7. Open Science: A Practical Guide for Early-Career Researchers
  8. Smart Alone, Brilliant Together
  9. (Not-)for-Profit in Research
  10. Drawing Lines to Cross Them: How Publishers are Moving Beyond Established Norms 

Image by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash.


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