PASTEUR4OA/New at Open Science policy making? PASTEUR4OA offers a starter kit
If recent developments in the realm of Open Science show anything, it’s that ‘opening up’ research is here and it’s here to stay.
The PASTEUR4OA project has played a small but crucial part in this process of transforming open science from a niche issue (remember the time when only 8% of articles were openly available) to the new standard in academics. ‘Open Access’ is no longer limited to providing access to journal articles. The standard is now Open Science - and with it comes the expectation that all publicly funded research should be available online for all to read, download, copy, crawl, mine and build upon. Moreover, this is not only a concern of rogue scientists anymore, but an idea broadly supported by all levels of research support. The last months have seen declarations by the EU and by US Vice-President Joe Biden - all stating that all publicly funded research should be as open as possible, as soon as possible. The EU went as far as to say that by 2020, all research publications funded by EU grants should be freely accessible, and that all research data should be available for optimal reuse. With its 70 billion € budget, Horizon 2020 is the largest cross-border programme for scientific research in the world - this call for openness may sound very ambitious, but there’s no doubt that this confirms open science as one of the key policy goals on European level for the next couple of years.
So, policy makers on national, institutional and funder level are confronted with both bottom-up and top-down down requests to formalise and facilitate the process of ‘opening up’ .
By offering support to policy makers, PASTEUR4OA has tried to offer assistance on a very practical level by offering a variety of training and advocacy materials.
An interesting starting point is ‘The Open Researcher’ questionnaire: a self-assessment document for researchers to check how ‘open’ their research is and to measure the effectiveness and the knowledge about support mechanism already in place.
For policy makers who are new to the subject, we offer a briefing paper about Open Science and its value for researchers. There’s also a range of case studies available on our resources page: we offer studies measured for national policy makers, for institutions and for funders.
Funders who have an policy in place regulating open access to publications, might want to expand this policy to include open data as well. After all, there is a general trend to move to true ‘open science’ - recognising the importance of research data - both underlying publications and stand-alone datasets. PASTEUR4OA offers materials addressing issues that might arise when implementing an open data policy. New skills are needed to assess for instance Data Management Planning and insight in disciplinary differences.
When we talk about data, we also need to discuss text- and data mining (TDM), covered in this briefing paper ‘Introduction to Copyright and Licensing’.