New Euro demand for open information on research performance

Errors, gaps, and biases in closed research information are difficult to expose and even more difficult to fix. … Decisions about the careers of researchers, about the future of research organisations, and ultimately about the way science serves the whole of humanity, depend on these black-box indicators and analytics” – the new Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

A manifesto issued by Euro-versities, lobbies and funders, including the Gates Foundation  calls for open information about research to be the new norm.

“Closed research information leads to black-box decision making” warn signers

The Barcelona Declaration, co-ordinated by Cameron Neylon from Curtin U’s Open Knowledge Initiative. 

The Declaration expresses alarms that “a large share” of the information that is the basis of research performance metrics, is “locked inside proprietary infrastructures.”

“We have ended up assessing researchers and institutions based on non-transparent evidence,” the Declaration’s preamble states.

The declaration’s proposers suggest replacing closed sources,  using Scopus and Web of Science as examples, with OA -persistent identifiers, nominating Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), Open Researcher and Contributor IDs (ORCID) and the Research Organisation Registry (RDR).

The declaration’s  five commitments are;

  • openness is the default for information an organisation produces and uses
  • require publishers to make research information generated in production available OA, “using standard protocols and identifiers where available”
  • support open research information infrastructures
  • supporting creation a coalition for open research information



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