12.04.2012 - UNESCO

Open Science for the 21st Century: Declaration of All European Academies

At its 13th General Assembly, ALLEA, the umbrella organization of European Academies of Science, adopted a joint declaration on Open Science for the 21st Century.

The Presidents urge science funders to implement open science principles for publications, research data, software educational resources and research infrastructures. They ask scientists, educators and students to embrace a culture of open science where sharing of publications and data is the norm, enabling scientific collaboration in Europe and beyond. The document quotes article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that speaks about the “right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”, and mentions the relevance of UNESCO’s Charter for the Preservation of the Digital Heritage, adopted in 2003.

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is responsible for the Digital Agenda, welcomed the ALLEA Declaration. With the ever-increasing production of data – the scientific community now produces every year a collection of data that is 20 times as large as the entire collection of the Library of Congress - we have entered into the era of open science. Big data need new forms of cooperation, for which the European Commission looks far beyond the borders of the European Union. Scientific results achieved under the new Horizon 2020 Programme will all be published in open access, and will benefit science in the whole world: “Let’s invest in the collaborative tools that let us progress. Let’s tear down the walls that keep learning sealed off. Let’s make science open, and not only science but also our way of thinking.”

On behalf of UNESCO, the Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, Janis Karklins, explained the goals of the Open Access Strategy that UNESCO adopted in 2011. The Organization fosters an enabling environment in Member States and urges funders to develop repositories and make funds available for author fees. UNESCO’s Charter for the Preservation of the Digital Heritage addresses long term preservation of digital materials. It will be reviewed at the Memory of the World Conference in Vancouver (September 2012). The presence of the academic community at that meeting is highly important.




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