The traditional scientific process has long been ruled by the “publish or perish” mantra. This tradition is now shifting, as more research is being made available to a broader audience as part of the move toward open science.
This shift represents a new way of sharing knowledge using digital technologies and new collaborative tools. It has become a core strategy in Europe as a means to disseminate research to a wider audience—a way to boost innovation and competitiveness.
The EU-funded project OPENUP investigated the challenges facing this changing science landscape. For example, the total number of scholarly publications rose by 23% between 2008 and 2014, according to a report by UNESCO. This increase in output and the demand for more open, transparent, and reproducible science has led to changing requirements for those involved in the research process, such as publishers and funders.
OPENUP examined different aspects of open science, such as peer review for conferences, research data, transferring research to the web, and reaching businesses and the public with research output. The project team launched seven pilot projects to validate their initial findings and test various aspects of the academic review cycle in life sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and energy. The pilot projects connected targeted research communities, empowering them to apply and adopt innovative open science approaches.
One of the key goals was to develop policy recommendations: five recommendations with specific actions are now being shared widely to be integrated into decision-making processes.
The recommendations include implementing more projects to test open research impacts, creating incentives to strengthen monitoring of innovative research dissemination, training researchers on alternative research impact measurements, giving more support to implementing new policies, and providing further funding for research into the impact open science has on solving gender and diversity issues.
The project launched the OPENUP hub, a collaborative resource that hosts a catalogue of tools and services. “All the information, methods, and tools are freely available to everyone,” says Project Research Manager Vilius Stanciauskas from the Public Policy and Management Institute in Lithuania.