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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

13 Jul 2017

EUA publishes RISE contribution on Open Science in practice

EUA, the European University Association, has published a contribution on "Open Science in practice: Barriers and recommendations" by Professor Mary Ritter, Pro-Rector for Postgraduate and International Affairs, Imperial College London, and Chair of the European Open Science Advisory Group. This group is a sub-group of the Research, Innovation, and Science Policy Experts (RISE) Group, set up to advise the Commissioner for Research, on Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World.

According to Prof. Ritter, "science must be open if we are to have impact on the ‘wicked’ problems that face the world today – such as climate change, energy, food and scarce resources". In line with the EUA's recent recommendations on the subject, "this means open access to the results of research so that they can be translated into action and impact as quickly as possible".

Prof. Ritter refers to the findings and recommendations of the RISE Group, in which four key barrier to Open Science were identified, and recommendations made as to how to address them. 

The first barrier is extreme competition for limited resources, which is a disincentive for the practice of open science. RISE recommends adjusting overall funding rates and assessment criteria adequately. The second barrier is monopolisation and commercialisation of publishing, which are not compatible with Open Science. The recommendation is to develop new funding and busines models to provide an affordable and sustainable Open Access publishing system. Thirdly, there is not yet enough competence and confidence regarding the practice of Open Data, which is an essential component of Open Science. RISE recommends setting up training programmes, recognition of data reuse in career assessment,  and establishment of explicit career tracks for data and software specialists. The fourth key barrier regards research integrity, in that research findings need to be reliable, reproducible and trustworthy. RISE regards it as crucial that the culture of research integrity is nurtured through innovative training programmes.

Prof Ritter highlights the overlaps between the recommendations made by both RISE and the EUA, saying that given this close alignment, the RISE group would welcome the opportunity to work in liaison with the EUA to promote the achievement of their shared vision and goals of Open Science. 

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