OpenCitations supports the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information for a fundamental transformation in the research information landscape

Research Information can be defined as an information (sometimes referred to as metadata) relating to the conduct and communication of research. This includes, but is not limited to, (1) bibliographic metadata such as titles, abstracts, references, author data, affiliation data, and data on publication venues, (2) metadata on research software, research data, samples, and instruments, (3) information on funding and grants, and (4) information on organizations and research contributors. Research information is located in systems such as bibliographic databases, software archives, data repositories, and current research information systems.  

Decision-making in science is often biased by the typology of research information, and too often is based on closed research information, which is locked inside proprietary infrastructures and run by for-profit providers that impose severe restrictions on the use and reuse of the information. As a consequence, errors, gaps, and biases in closed research information are difficult to expose and even more difficult to fix. Indicators and analytics derived from this information lack transparency and reproducibility. Decisions about the careers of researchers, the future of research organizations, and ultimately the way science serves the whole of humanity, depend on these black-box indicators and analytics.  

There is an urgency for a fundamental change in the research information landscape towards openness. Indeed, open research information enables science policy decisions to be made based on transparent evidence and inclusive data and information used in research evaluations to be accessible and auditable by those being assessed. It makes it possible for the global movement towards open science to be supported by information that is fully open and transparent. 

Today, over 40 organizations, including the University of Bologna, are committing to making openness of research information the norm and to lead this change in the research information landscape. The signatories of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information commit to taking a lead in transforming the way research information is used and produced, to make the openness of information about the conduct and communication of research the new norm. 

The full text of the Barcelona Declaration is now publicly shared on barcelona-declaration.org and presents the commitments that all the signatories of the Declaration adhere to, namely 

  • To make openness the default for the research information we use and produce; 
  • To work with services and systems that support and enable open research information; 
  • To support the sustainability of infrastructures for open research information; 
  • To support collective action to accelerate the transition to openness of research information. 

In addition to the signatories, the Declaration has been supported by several organizations providing data, services and infrastructures. OpenCitations has declared its support to the Declaration, together with AmeliCA, Crossref, Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI), DataCite, EuropePMC, DOAB, DOAJ, Europe PMC, Liberate Science GmbH, OAPEN, OpenAIRE, OurResearch, Redalyc and ROR. OpenCitations believes in the Declaration as a starting point for a substantial change by promoting values which OpenCitations fully supports, as stated in the words of our Director and Associate Professor at the University of Bologna Silvio Peroni:  

Since its creation in 2010, OpenCitations has always advocated and actively worked to produce open research information and develop infrastructural technologies to maximise its sharing and reuse in different applicative contexts. Thus, we embrace the Declaration’s goals and commitments and look forward to working with all the signatories to foster the use and production of open research information.

Prof. Silvio Peroni has been a part of the initial team of over 25 research information experts, representing organizations that carry out, fund, and evaluate research, as well as organizations that provide research information infrastructures, which first prepared The Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information. The group met in Barcelona in November 2023 in a workshop hosted by SIRIS Foundation. The preparation of the Declaration was coordinated by Bianca Kramer (Sesame Open Science), Cameron Neylon (Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative, Curtin University), and Ludo Waltman (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University).  

As of April 15, 2024, the list of signatories involves universities and other research performing organizations such as Αthena Research Center (Greece), Charles University (Czech Republic), Coimbra Group (international), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), I-CERCA – Centres de Recerca de Catalunya (Spain), Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e TecnologiaIbict (Brazil), Leiden University (Netherlands), Museo Galileo. Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (Italy), Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg (Germany), Sorbonne Université (France), Spanish National Research Council – CSIC (Spain), Udice – French Research Universities (France), UnilLaSalle (France), Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia), Università di Bologna (Italy), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain), Université Grenoble Alpes (France), Université Le Havre Normandie (France), Université Paris Saclay (France), University of Coimbra (Portugal), University of Groningen (Netherlands), University of Maribor (Slovenia), University of Milan (Italy), University of Poitiers (France), University of the Azores (Portugal), University of the Balearic Islands (Spain), University of Turku (Finland), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Netherlands); research funding organizations and governments, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (US), Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation – FCRI (Spain), Dutch Research Council NWO (Netherlands), French Open Science Committee (France), French National Research Agency – ANR (France), Fundació Internacional Josep Carreras (Spain), Région Normandie (France), Regione Toscana (Italy), ZonMw (Netherlands); other organizations: Consorci de Serveis Universitaris de Catalunya – CSUC (Spain); EOSC Association (international), Latin American Council of Social Sciences – CLACSO (international), National Open Research Analytics, Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine (Ukraine), TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library (Germany), UK Reproducibility Network – UKRN (UK). 

There is a need for global and concrete action to reach the tipping point in the transition from closed to open research information, and the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information is open for signature by all organizations that carry out, fund, and evaluate research to support this transition.  

If you want to learn more about the Barcelona Declaration, join us in the launch webinar on April 23, 1.00-2.30pm CEST. Click here to register for the webinar.  

You can also keep yourself up to date by following the Barcelona Declaration’s social media channels:  

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/barcelona-declaration/ 

Mastodon: https://mastodon.social/@BarcelonaDORI 

X: https://x.com/BarcelonaDORI 

 

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