Important international policies affecting open science and research are collected on these pages.
In July 2022, Science Europe, representing European research funders, published the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, which sets out new research evaluation practices. The agreement is the result of international cooperation initiated by the European Commission. The implementation of the agreement is promoted by the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA). Many Finnish higher education and research organisations have been involved in the preparation of the agreement. Activities promoting diversity, transparency and non-discrimination in research and its evaluation will be at the heart of the Agreement, which will strengthen the quality and impact of science and research. Organisations can consult the agreement and sign it on CoARA’s website.
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science
The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 41st session, in November 2021. The Recommendation aims 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 to facilitate the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge around the world. The Recommendation was developed through a regionally balanced, multistakeholder, inclusive and transparent consultation process. All UNESCO member states have verified the recommendation.
- UNESCO Open Science Toolkit designed to support implementating the recommendation
- UNESCO Open Science Outlook 1: status and trends around the world
Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication
Helsinki Initiative on Multilingualism in Scholarly Communication aims to encourage the global scientific community to adopt an atmosphere that values multilingual science communication and open access to scientific publications in all languages. The initiative will support inclusive and effective scientific interaction between researchers, citizens and policy makers. At the same time, one of the motivations of the initiative is to promote the role of multilingual, locally important research in funding and evaluation systems. The initiative was launched in 2019 and has since been signed by hundreds of organisations and experts from over 70 countries.
The initiative has been prepared by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV), the Committee for Public Information (TJNK), the Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing, Universities Norway (UHR) and the COST Action "European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities" (ENRESSH).
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources
UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (2019) is one of the most important international policies on open educational resources. While the Recommendation is addressed to States, the proposed measures also have an indirect impact on organisations and individual teachers and learners. The recommendation emphasises five objectives:
- Capacity building
- Developing supportive policy
- Ensuring quality and equality
- Promoting economic sustainability
- Fostering and facilitating international cooperation
Plan S is a project that started in September 2018 that promotes open access to research publications. The project is backed by cOAlition S, an international network of research funders. The Plan S project requires that research publications on studies funded by cOAlition S members from 2021 onwards be published in open access publication channels.
European Commission and Research Data
The European Commission encourages researchers to also publish research data. In the Horizon2020 programme, a separate pilot was launched, which even obliges the publication of research data. With the update of Horizon2020’s 2016-17 work programme, the pilot will expand to cover all thematic areas of Horizon2020, making research data open by default. Research data can best be published in data archives, which can be found, for example, through the re3data service. Since its formation, the European Research Council (ERC) has strongly supported the Open Access principles. In its guidelines, the European Research Council has also taken into account research data and recommends sharing them wherever possible.
The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) recognizes the need to improve the ways in which research is evaluated. The Declaration was developed in San Francisco in 2012 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. The Dora Declaration has since become a global project covering all areas of research and stakeholders, including donors, publishers, scientific societies, research organisations and researchers.