UNESCO 2021 Open Science

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UNESCO (2021) Draft recommendation on Open Science. UNESCO 41 C/22. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000378841

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UNESCO (2021) Open Science

Abstract: Building on the essential principles of academic freedom, research integrity and scientific excellence, Open Science sets a new paradigm that integrates into the scientific enterprise practices for reproducibility, transparency, sharing and collaboration resulting from the increased opening of scientific contents, tools and processes. Open science is defined as an inclusive construct that combines various movements and practices aiming to make multilingual scientific knowledge openly available, accessible and reusable for everyone, to increase scientific collaborations and sharing of information for the benefits of science and society, and to open the processes of scientific knowledge creation, evaluation and communication to societal actors beyond the traditional scientific community. It comprises all scientific disciplines and aspects of scholarly practices, including basic and applied sciences, natural and social sciences and the humanities, and it builds on the following key pillars: open scientific knowledge, open science infrastructures, science communication, open engagement of societal actors and open dialogue with other knowledge systems.

Bioblast editor: Gnaiger E

Selected quotes from the UNESCO recommendation

https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000378841 (accessed 2021-12-30)
  • A paywalled method of publication, where immediate access to scientific publications is only granted in exchange for payment, is not aligned with the present Recommendation.
  • Transparency, scrutiny, critique and reproducibility: Increased openness should be promoted in all stages of the scientific endeavour, with the view to reinforcing the strength and rigour of scientific results, enhancing the societal impact of science and increasing the capacity of society as a whole to solve complex interconnected problems. Increased openness leads to increased transparency and trust in scientific information and reinforces the fundamental feature of science as a distinct form of knowledge based on evidence and tested against reality, logic and the scrutiny of scientific peers.
  • To avoid misinterpretation and dissemination of misinformation, the quality and appropriate citation of original sources of information are of paramount importance to science communication as regards open science.
  • build on the existing efforts to improve the ways in which the scientific outputs are evaluated, such as the 2012 San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment, with an increased focus on the quality of research outputs rather than quantity, and by fit-for-purpose use of diversified indicators and processes that forego the use of journal-based metrics such as the journal impact factor.
  • Take into account evidence of research impact and knowledge exchange, such as widening participation in the research process, influence on policy and practice and engaging in open innovation with partners beyond academia.
  • Open science requires relevant changes in scientific culture, methodologies, institutions and infrastructures, and its principles and practices extend to the entire research cycle, from formulation of hypothesis, development and testing of methodologies, data collection, analysis, management and storage, peer-review and other evaluation and verification methods, to analysis, reflection and interpretation, sharing and confrontation of ideas and results, communication, distribution and uptake, and use and re-use.
  • Promoting, as appropriate, open peer review evaluation practices including possible disclosure of the identity of the reviewers, publicly available reviews and the possibility for a broader community to provide comments and participate in the assessment process.
  • Encouraging and valuing publication and sharing of negative scientific results and those that do not conform to the results expected by the researchers who carried them out, and data associated with them, as these results also contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
  • Promoting open innovation practices that connect the practices of open science to more rapid translation and development of its discoveries. Like open science, open innovation and other open science partnerships assume broad and effective engagement and participation in the innovation process as well as the discovery and development of a business model for effective commercialization of new knowledge.
  • Encouraging international scientific collaborations, as one of the integral practices of open science and the most important driving factor for an intensive exchange of scientific knowledge and experience, as well as the paramount for the openness of science.

Cited by

Gnaiger 2021 Bioenerg Commun


Gnaiger E (2021) Beyond counting papers – a mission and vision for scientific publication. Bioenerg Commun 2021.5. https://doi:10.26124/BEC:2021-0005


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BEC, BEC2021.5