First meeting of the Open Science Advisory Committee

“The Open Science movement has rapidly spread across nations, calling for the opening of the gates of knowledge. However, there is currently no global understanding of its meaning, opportunities and challenges. With this in mind, an Open Science Advisory Committee  was established by the Director-General of UNESCO to provide guidance and advice on the overall implementation of the consolidated roadmap towards a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. The Committee met virtually for the first time on 16 and 17 July 2020.

The 2-day online meeting gathered the 30 members of the Advisory Committee, along with some ten observers from UNESCO Permanent Delegations and the international scientific community dealing with Open Science.
In her welcome remarks, Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, congratulated the Members of the Advisory Committee for their nomination and recalled that “today, more than ever, the future is based on science”. She highlighted the unique international solidarity among scientists – beyond borders – to address the COVID-19 pandemic as the true spirit of Open Science, and stressed the crucial importance of data sharing, reducing the knowledge gaps and “leaving no one behind” as the basic principles of the Open Science movement and UNESCO’s leadership towards a Recommendation….”

Open Science Beyond Open Access: For and with communities, A step towards the decolonization of knowledge | Zenodo

“UNESCO is launching international consultations aimed at developing a Recommendation on Open Science for adoption by member states in 2021. Its Recommendation will include a common definition, a shared set of values, and proposals for action.

At the invitation of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, this paper aims to contribute to the consultation process by answering questions such as:

• Why and how should science be “open”? For and with whom?
• Is it simply a matter of making scientific articles and data fully available to researchers around the world at the time of publication, so they do not miss important results that could contribute to or accelerate their work?
• Could this openness also enable citizens around the world to contribute to science with their capacities and expertise, such as through citizen science or participatory action research projects?
• Does science that is truly open include a plurality of ways of knowing, including those of Indigenous cultures, Global South cultures, and other excluded, marginalized groups in the Global North?

The paper has four sections: “Open Science and the pandemic” introduces and explores different forms of openness during a crisis where science suddenly seems essential to the well-being of all. The next three sections explain the main dimensions of three forms of scientific openness: openness to publications and data, openness to society, and openness to excluded knowledges2 and epistemologies3. We conclude with policy considerations….”

Open Science (coordinated by UNESCO)

“Open Science is increasingly seen as “Science for the Future” and the “Future of Science”. Science is not necessarily accessible by all, inclusive and readily available. Science can contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNESCO was tasked to lead a global dialogue on Open Science, to identify globally-agreed norms and practices in order to create a standard-setting instrument.

The session will address what open science means for Africa, the challenges and opportunities for making science accessible to all, assess the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, and identify concrete measures advance science in Africa…”

UNESCO Regional Consultation on Open Science for Western Europe and North America | (smr 3513) (23 July 2020)

“Agenda

Introduction to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science
Panel discussion on Open Science in Western Europe and North America: Key Challenges and Opportunities
Open discussion on Key messages from Western Europe and North America for the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science….”

Questionnaire for inputs into the development of the UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

“UNESCO, as the United Nations Agency with a mandate for Science, is the legitimate global organization enabled to build a coherent vision of Open Science and a shared set of overarching principles and shared values. That is why, at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, 193 Member States tasked the Organization with the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. The Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data, with proposals to bring citizens closer to science and commitments facilitating the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge around the world. It will be developed through a regionally balanced, multistakeholder, inclusive and transparent consultation process. The purpose of this questionnaire is to conduct an electronic consultation with stakeholders in view of providing inputs into the UNESCO Recommendation Open Science. The questionnaire is available online at https://en.unesco.org/science-sustainable-future/open-science. You are encouraged to fill in the questionnaire by 15 June 2020….”

Supporting Learning and Knowledge Sharing through Open Educational Resources (OER)

“OER provide a promising solution to access, create and share knowledge and support learning for learners of all grade levels, as well as for teachers, teacher trainers and educators, parents, educational policy makers and governmental bodies. Beyond this, they carry value for a wide range of constituencies, including cultural institutions (such as libraries, archives and museums) and their users, researchers, civil society organizations (including professional and student associations), publishers, the public and private sectors, intergovernmental organizations, copyright holders and authors, as well as media and broadcasting groups. They can help meet the needs of individual learners, including persons with disabilities and individuals coming from marginalized or disadvantaged groups, and effectively promote gender equality as well asincentivize innovative pedagogical, didactical and methodological approaches….

Today we are at a pivotal moment in history. The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a paradigm shift on how learners of all ages, worldwide, can access learning. It is therefore more than ever essential that the global community comestogether now to foster universal access to information and knowledge through OER. Our joint action aims at managing the challenges of this and future pandemic crisis’ for learners, as well as to laying the foundation for integrating systematically best practices to increase the sharing of knowledge for the post-Covid-19 future of learning….”

Covid-19 Crisis: UNESCO Call to Support Learning and Knowledge Sharing through Open Educational Resources

“In response to the massive disruption of education due to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting 1.57 billion learners in 191 countries, UNESCO has issued a Call to support learning and knowledge sharing through Open Educational Resources (OER) worldwide.

OER are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright released under an open license[1], permitting no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. In November 2019, Member States adopted a Recommendation on OER at UNESCO’s General Conference, committing to promote their use for the open sharing of knowledge and learning….”

Questionnaire for inputs into the development of the UNESCO Open Science Recommendation

“UNESCO, as the United Nations Agency with a mandate for Science, is the legitimate global organization enabled to build a coherent vision of Open Science and a shared set of overarching principles and shared values. That is why, at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, 193 Member States tasked the Organization with the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. The Recommendation is expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data, with proposals to bring citizens closer to science and commitments facilitating the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge around the world. It will be developed through a regionally balanced, multistakeholder, inclusive and transparent consultation process. The purpose of this questionnaire is to conduct an electronic consultation with stakeholders in view of providing inputs into the UNESCO Recommendation Open Science. The questionnaire is available online at https://en.unesco.org/science-sustainable-future/open-science. You are encouraged to fill in the questionnaire by 15 June 2020.”

Common ground in the global quest for open research

Abstract:  It’s hard to envision a system more global and more integrated than research. Many stakeholders affect and are affected by changes in the research ecosystem; the ecosystem differs in significant ways across the globe and between researchers, institutions and fields of study; and there are many questions that exclusive action can’t address. There are also broad ecosystem-level questions that need answering. For these reasons alone, global approaches to reform are needed.

The first step in this exploration isn’t to start looking for “solutions,” but to develop a better understanding of how our needs and interests overlap. By identifying the broad contours of common ground in this conversation, we can build the guardrails and mileposts for our collaborative efforts and then allow the finer-grained details of community-developed plans more flexibility and guidance to evolve over time.

What are these overlapping interests? First, the people in this community share a common motive—idealism—to make research better able to serve the public good. We also share a common desire to unleash the power of open to improve research and accelerate discovery; we are all willing to fix issues now instead of waiting for market forces or government intervention to do this for us; and we want to ensure that everyone everywhere has equitable access to knowledge.

There is also very broad agreement in this community about which specific problems in scholarly communication need to be fixed and why, and well as many overlapping beliefs in this community. OSI participants have concluded that four such beliefs best define our common ground: (1) Research and society will benefit from open done right; (2) Successful solutions will require broad collaboration; (3) Connected issues need to be addressed, and (4) Open isn’t a single outcome, but a spectrum.

OSI has been observing and debating the activity in scholarly communication since late 2014 with regard to understanding possible global approaches and solutions for improving the future of open research. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of open science abundantly clear, the struggle to achieve this goal (not just for science but for all research) has been mired in a lack of clarity and urgency for over 20 years now, mostly stalling on the tension between wanting more openness but lacking realistic solutions for making this happen on a large scale with so many different stakeholders, needs and perspectives involved.

Underlying this tension is a fundamental difference in philosophy: whether the entire scholarly communication marketplace, driven by the needs and desires of researchers, should determine what kind of open it wants and needs; or whether this marketplace should be compelled to adopt open reform measures developed primarily by the scholarly communication system’s main billpayers—funders and libraries. There is no widespread difference of opinion in the community whether open is worth pursuing. The debate is mostly over what specific open solutions are best, and at what pace open reforms should occur.

OSI has proposed a plan of action for working together to rebuild the future of scholarly communication on strong, common ground foundation. This plan—which we’re referring to as Plan A—calls for joint action on studies, scholarly communication infrastructure improvement, and open outreach/education. Plan A also calls for working together with UNESCO to develop a unified global roadmap for the future of open, and for striving to ensure the community’s work in this space is researcher-focused, collaborative, connected (addressing connected issues like peer review), diverse and flexible (no one-size-fits-all solutions), and beneficial to research. UNESCO’s goal is to finish its roadmap proposal by early 2022.

For a full discussion of OSI’s common ground recommendations, please see the Plan A website at http://plan-a.world.

Springer Nature and UNESCO sign new open access books partnership | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“Springer Nature and UNESCO are delighted to announce the signing of a framework agreement encompassing the publication of open access books focusing on UNESCO’s main pillars, notably education, the natural and social human sciences, culture, and communication and information areas. Written by experts affiliated to UNESCO, these books will publish under two of Springer Nature’s key imprints, namely Palgrave Macmillan and Springer, and will offer up-to-date and qualified research on a range of critical issues pertaining to UNESCO’s areas of expertise. Open access publication will enable readers around the world to access the books free of charge on Springer Nature’s content platform SpringerLink as well as on UNESCO’s open access repository (UNESDOC); readers will be able to share and re-use the works, further increasing their impact and reach. …”