MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

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Open Science – The Amsterdam Call for Action

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Open Access-1

Our good friends at UKRO have provided a great article on the recent ‘Open Science – From Vision to Action’ conference in Amsterdam (you can read their report hereEd. you’ll need to be logged in to access the article).

The conference, a key event in the Netherlands EU Presidency bringing together a wide range of stakeholders, gave Commissioner Carlos Moedas (Research and Innovation) the opportunity to once again underline the vision for Open Science and its key role in engaging the public in the research they pay for. In his speech he was keen to emphasise the moral case for open access – ‘the public have the right to see the results of the research that they have invested in’ – as well as its contribution to income generation and increasing standards of research.

The output of the conference – The Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science – sets out two concrete aspirations: full open access for all publicly funded scientific publications by 2020, and a fundamentally new approach towards optimal reuse of research data by 2020. It also presents suggested actions for key stakeholder groups (national authorities, European Commission, research funders, publishers and the research community itself) to achieve these aspirations, considering barriers, infrastructure requirements and mechanisms to encourage adoption.

What are the next steps?

As well as a broadening of mandatory requirements for open access publication and data sharing across all funders there are likely to be other impacts. We could be looking at fundamental changes to the way that researchers are assessed, evaluated and incentivised and the way publishing models work. We would also anticipate that there could be concrete opportunities for research to define some of these new approaches and models.

Clearly, the soon to be established Open Science Policy Platform will have a key role to play in advising the European Commission (Ed. for more information on OSPP take a look at our earlier post here). The membership will be announced in late May , so we would expect things start to gain momentum after this point and we’ll bring you updates as we get them.

What do interested observers think about The Amsterdam Call for Action?

As a long-time champion of Open Science, the Blog was interested to hear the thoughts of Dr Sam Illingworth, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication, who was optimistic about the direction of travel.

“I think that this is a big step forward for the Open Science movement,”  said Sam.  “The Action Plan that has been created means that they have actually taken stock of the situation and come up with some tangible goals. Access to science is not a privilege, it is a right, and what is needed now is for all research institutes to commit to this from both the top-down and the bottom-up. Papers should not be REF returnable if they are not Open Access, and individual scientists should work hard to ensure that they make their data and models freely available as well. The Open Science movement is about much more than Open Access, and we all have a responsibility to help to readdress the balance between right and privilege.”


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