Helping science succeed
Helping science succeed

Key efforts & policies

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI): There have been several key funders of open science work over the last five years, including the Sloan, Mellon, Arnold and Shuttleworth Foundations. Most are now shifting their focus toward open data, and funding for the more foundation work needed in open is harder to find. CZI may be an exception. There is an expectation that given the resources at their disposal, and their focus on making data openly accessible and collaboratively developing open-source solutions, what CZI chooses to pursue may have broad impacts in open.
  • DORA: The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment is a set of recommendations for improving scholarly publishing, mostly centered around reducing the use of impact factors. As of mid-2018, around 500 organizations and 12,000 individuals have signed this declaration.
  • European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): An ambitious plan (with the details still under development) by the European Commission to dramatically improve research and science interoperability in signatory states by around 2020 (the EOSC initiative includes funding for data infrastructures, Horizon/OA 2o20 and other programs).
  • FAIR: FAIR is a set of four foundation guiding principles for data management and stewardship in scholarly research: Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability. These four principles are intended to guide data producers and publishers in order to help maximize the value from digital scholarly research publishing.
  • Gates Foundation open policy: The Gates Foundation’s open access policy requires its researchers to publish in fully open formats—CC-BY in open access journals with no embargo period. Whether this model spreads is too early to tell—the Wellcome Foundation created a similar model as well.
  • Harvard open policy: In 2008, Harvard became the first US university to roll out an open policy for faculty, and perhaps the first in the world where this policy was adopted by faculty. In the years since, Harvard’s model has been considered by many other universities in the development of their own open policies.
  • Horizon2020: The largest EU Research and Innovation program ever (covering 2014 to 2020), including new requirements for open publishing in research. (Note: Horizon2020 is the 8th framework program for this work; FP9 is the working name for the next framework program, which will run from 2021-2027.)
  • OA2020; The so-called “global flip” effort, this is a project being led by the Max Planck Institute with the goal of converting more subscription journals to open access journals.
  • Open access button: A bookmarklet for browsers that helps readers get legal versions of research papers quickly. By clicking the button, when an article isn’t freely available the OA button staff asks authors to share it (if this can be done) by putting it into a repository so requesting readers others can get access.
  • Open Science Framework: A suite of open research and collaboration tools built by the Center for Open Science.
  • Open spectrum: OSI describes open research as existing along a spectrum, from nominally open to fully open. All types have value, not just the some. As a global community, we can work together to encourage more open of any kind—to at minimum make more research (including archives) visible a much faster pace, while at the same time working together to create systems, where feasible, that meet higher standards of open (such as open data, no embargos, more shareable, and so on).
  • Pathways to Open Access toolkit: Produced by the University of California system, this toolkit analyzes the many approaches and strategies for advancing the large-scale transition to OA, and identifies possible next action steps for UC system-wide investment and experimentation. (Note: As a follow-on, the UC system will be hosting a pathways to open conference in October 2018.)
  • Plan S: Plan S emerged from the EU in late 2018 as an ambitious global plan for open access. Backed by 13 funding organizations, mostly in the EU, the plan has evolved since then in response to feedback and is slowly becoming a global standard for reform, with major publishers in particular aligning their policies and product offerings to comply with Plan S requirements. Still, Plan S is unlikely to be adopted by the US and China, which together account for more than half of the world’s journal articles, and there are growing concerns about whether the pay-to-publish APC model of scholarship (which is creating “playwalls”) is an improvement over the subscription model (which created “paywalls”).
  • Public Knowledge Project: PKP is a multi-university initiative developing (free) open source software and conducting research to improve the quality and reach of scholarly publishing.
  • ROARMAP: The Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry charting the growth of open access mandates and policies adopted by universities, research institutions and research funders.
  • SCOAP3: SCOAP3 is a unique global partnership of libraries, funding agencies and research centers which converts key journals in high-energy physics to open access by paying publishers for OA costs.
  • Transformative Agreements: Several major universities and university systems have negotiated agreements with major publishers (one publisher at a time) that allow researchers to publish and read journal articles for a set price. These agreements are expanding opportunities for open access publishing and capping costs for university library systems, but they are also calcifying the APC approach to publishing scholarship and possibly shifting costs to universities that aren’t large enough to negotiate these agreements. More observation is needed here to determine the net impact.
  • US Public Access program: Open access is widely seen as the benchmark for open. However, the US public access program is much larger in terms of the volume of materials being made available. Under this program, US federal agencies are required to make research publicly available, but not “open access,” meaning that research can still carry traditional copyright, for instance, as long as it is made freely available to the public within a reasonable period of time.
  • Wellcome open access policy: Similar to the impact of the Gates Foundation’s open access policy, Wellcome’s policy also generated a lot of discussion in the open community.