News from the CoNOSC Open Science Policy Update Meeting
In late April 2023, the Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC) held an online Policy Update meeting for its members. Twenty-seven representatives from eighteen countries shared the latest policy news about Open Science developments across Europe and beyond.
The European Commission started the meeting positively, confirming that Open Science (OS) was a strong feature of the European Research Area (ERA). OS takes a front seat in the ERA Policy Agenda 2022 – 2024, a direction already stated in the Commission communication ‘A new ERA for Research & Innovation’ from September 2020.
The EC representative presented updates concerning four action areas:
Action 1 – Open Sharing of knowledge and the re-use of research outputs, including through the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).
Action 2 – An EU copyright and data legislative and regulatory framework fit for research.
Action 3 – Initiative on reforming research assessment.
It was also noted that although the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) was initially created in Europe, a global reach was the ultimate aim.
Action 14.4 – Mutual learning exercise on public engagement mechanisms.
The CoNOSC Board took the floor to discuss several international open science policy developments.
The Board touched upon the EU Council Conclusions. Sweden was thanked for its support for open science and for advancing the creation of a more equitable open access publishing landscape with its Council Conclusions, due out in May 2023.
The Board briefed the CoNOSC members on the developments in the G7 Open Science and Technology Ministers Meeting, which addressed three key open science areas: Research assessment reform, Sustainability and interoperability of open science infrastructures, and Research on research and open science.
(Since the CoNOSC Meeting, this Communique has been published in full).
The Board also mentioned the G20 – CSAR (Chief Science Advisers Roundtable).
The discussions took place in India and evolved around the following topics:
- changing research assessment practices (independent of publication venue)
- reducing inequities in publishing, and
- Interlinking open access repositories
The European Commission and France organised an international Workshop on Open Science, on 25 April 2023. Over 40 countries participated from all continents, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland. The discussion topics included:
- Equity and inclusiveness
- Policies for open science without borders
- Openness, reproducibility and trust
- Quality, ethics and cultural change
CoNOSC members were also informed about the Global Summit on Diamond Open Access, which will take place in Toluca, Mexico on 23-27 October 2023 as a joint organising effort of UNESCO, Science Europe, Redalyc, cOAlition S, CLACSO, ANR, AmeliCA, Autonomous University of México State and Oscar Ribas University.
The CoNOSC network noted a promising development towards a healthy discussion between the European OS stakeholders and South American countries. Members discussed fostering further cooperation beyond Europe to implement a truly global approach towards Open Science.
These international initiatives, commitments and discussions show that there is an open science momentum and an international consensus on the necessity to progress open science policies.
National policy updates from Spain, Finland, Croatia and Ireland
Spain provided an update on the main aspects of its relatively new Science, Technology and Innovation Law. The focus was on Article 37. Open Science. Science, Technology and Innovation Law.
The new law promotes the dissemination of the results of scientific, technological and Innovation activity and the availability of research results such as research publications, data, code and methodologies in open access at the time of publication. Additionally, intellectual property rights must be retained in compliance with open access requirements. Those in receipt of public grants or subsidies must also ensure that they retain enough intellectual property rights to comply with OA requirements.
With regard to the new university law, specifically Article 12. Fostering Open Science and Citizen Science, to meet responsible research and innovation objectives, Universities will need to make publications, data, codes and methodologies open access. Both teaching and research staff must deposit a copy of the final version of the accepted publication and its associated data in institutional and thematic repositories at the time of publication. The policy also draws attention to calling for primary sources to be FAIR, that publisher agreements are made transparent and that infrastructures and open platforms be developed. The framework and emphasis is on knowledge being a public good.
Four main documents contribute to the Spanish Open Science Policy
- Spanish Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy 2021-2027 (EECTI)
- Science, Technology and Innovation Law 17/2022, of 5 September, which amends the same Law 14/2011, of 1 June
- State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2021-2023 or Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación (PEICT)
- Organic Law 2/2023, of 22 March, on the University System. Ley Orgánica 2/2023, de 22 de marzo, del Sistema Universitario (University Law)
On 3 May the Council of Ministers approved the first National Open Science Strategy
An update was given on policy work taking place in Finland over the 2022-2023 period. 2023 saw the 5th anniversary of the Finnish National Open Science and Research Coordination. The Finnish OS policy has focused on principles and policy components which included objectives and actions.
The following policy documents were published in 2022:
Policy for Open Scholarship from which grew the following recommendations:
- Recommendation for citizen science
- Open science recommendation and checklist for research, development and innovation activities in collaboration between research organizations and companies
- Policy for the Open Education and Educational Resources
Forthcoming policy documents to be published in 2023 include
- Policy for Open Access to Research Data and Methods
- Policy for Open Access to Scholarly Publications related to student theses
For publication in 2024 or beyond
- Policy for Open Access to Scholarly Publications related to monographs
Quite some work has also been undertaken to address how to monitor the OS framework. This started in 2022 with the publication of a monitoring model https://edition.fi/tsv/catalog/book/238 that determined levels, indicators and profiles. Data was collected in 2022 and monitoring results were shared in late 2022.
Another major piece of work was the publication of the Reference Architecture 2030 of Open Science and Research created by the research community. This outlines skills, processes and contract flows and will greatly support the implementation of the national OS policy. This document is currently only available in Finnish but an English version should be available at the end of 2023 (once all comments have been received) or early 2024 at the latest.
Croatia gave an update on the current state of Open Science and Research in Croatia. Work started with the passing of a relatively new law on higher education and science in October 2022, which made only one reference to Open Science. That same year saw the updating of the law on the right to access information. This also embedded the Open data directive, also insisting that research data was made FAIR.
In September 2021, the Open Science Cloud Initiative (HR-OOZ initiative) was drawn up. One of the goals of this initiative was to draft a policy for the Open Science plan and on 25 April 2023, this policy was approved and submitted to the Ministry of Science and Education for validation. Open Science Policy plan
The Open Science infrastructure in Croatia was examined. Much OS infrastructure has been developed and maintained centrally, serving Croatia as a whole, including:
- The repository infrastructure for publications and research data (Dabar)
- Data storage and sharing (Puh)
- The journal platform (Hrčak) and
- The National CRIS System (CroRIS), which is still under development.
The report then examined Open Science in the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) https://hrzz.hr/en/
In March 2022, Data Managements Plans (DMPs) became a mandatory requirement for all project proposals. They use ARGOS to create DMPs. From April 2023, DMPs will need to be deposited on Dabar for ongoing projects. Future work includes DMPs as objects in CroRIS and archiving research data.
Ireland spoke about its National Action Plan for Open Research: setting a vision until 2030.
The action plan outlines out a vision, goals and actions across three themes:
- Establishing a culture of open research
- Achieving 100% open access to research publications
- Enabling FAIR research data and other outputs
National projects are key vehicles to implement the plan. Six collaborative national-level projects were funded by Ireland’s National Open Research Forum (NORF) to deliver priority actions 2022-24 in the following areas: National Open Access Monitoring, OA Repository Assessment and Alignment, an Open Access Transition Programme focused on Diamond OA, a National Open Research Training Programme, a National Data Stewardship Network, and a Shared Data Storage Service.
In 2023, NORF is funding projects to deliver a further set of priority actions and to stimulate and advance the uptake of open research.
Ireland will also organise its first National Open Research Festival which is due to take place in Dublin on 2-3 November 2023.
As regards research assessment, there has been a good uptake with CoARA, reaching 12 signatories.
Funding Open infrastructure
An invited speaker, Martin Borchert, presented a possible pathway to fund open infrastructures as facilitated by SCOSS (Global Science Sustainability for Open Science Services). Mr Borchert, Chair of the SCOSS Board, talked about SCOSS’s commitment to sustaining vital OS infrastructures by engaging the OS community into pledging cycles for projects preselected by SCOSS (you may access his full presentation here). Several CoNOSC members acknowledged that SCOSS had helped them decide on what to fund over several years. France announced 385K€ of funding for SCOSS infrastructures.
The next CoNOSC meeting will take place face-to-face in Dublin on 22nd – 23rd of June, 2023 with more policy updates and discussions diving into the following topics:
- Rights Retention
- Building publishing capacities
- Read and publish agreements, the current state of affairs and the future, and how to move beyond transformative agreements/ arrangements with a range of models