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Open Science is a shared responsibility, and a successful transition will require a concerted effort from key stakeholders. EUA takes a comprehensive view of the transition to Open Science and works to build a forward-looking dialogue across sectors.

According to UNESCO, Open Science is “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.”

Working in this field since 2014, the Association is actively supporting universities in the transition to Open Science, in close collaboration with the EUA Expert Group on Open Science.

As laid out in the EUA Open Science Agenda 2025, the Association has three key priority areas in Open Science:

  • Universal and perpetual Open Access to scholarly outputs, in a just scholarly publishing ecosystem.
  • Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) research data.
  • Institutional approaches to research assessment.

Discover EUA’s Open Science Agenda

The transition to Open Science entails encompassing systemic, cultural and technical reforms. Since 2014, EUA has monitored the implementation of open science policies in universities in Europe and identified emerging trends and developments in this field, including citizen science, digital sovereignty and open education. The Association also regularly consults with its members to gather evidence on the implementation of open science policies and practices at institutional level through its Open Science Surveys.

EUA is committed to a global approach to a sustainable transition to Open Science. The Association has joined the UNESCO Global Open Science Partnership, with the purpose of working towards a global consensus on Open Science. EUA is also represented in all UNESCO Open Science Working Groups.

Open Access (OA) is the practice of granting universal and perpetual open access to scholarly outputs (such as journal articles, books, datasets, protocols, algorithms and software source codes, etc.) to both producers and users, through a system in which there are no barriers to participation (particularly those based on the ability to pay, institutional privilege, language or geography). It also includes reuse through open licensing.

EUA is actively engaged with national and European developments impacting the transition towards Open Access. The Association works to reclaim academic ownership of scholarly communication and publishing and provides its support to initiatives that share this goal. In particular, EUA is a firm supporter of the Rights Retention Strategy, as proposed by cOAlition S.

Finally, as a signatory to the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access, EUA is committed to the move towards a sustainable, community-driven Diamond scholarly communication ecosystem. EUA is also a partner of the Horizon Europe “Developing Institutional OA Publishing Models to Advance Scholarly Communication” (DIAMAS) project, which focuses on delivering an aligned, high-quality and sustainable institutional open access scholarly publication ecosystem for the European Research Area.

Learn more about the DIAMAS project

First set up in 2017, the EUA Group of Negotiators provide its members with a safe environment to share information on national and European developments, experiences with challenging publisher negotiations and ideas to empower university leaders and negotiating consortia to explore different OA routes and develop strong negotiation strategies.

Since 2017, EUA has assembled comprehensive data on Big Deals between scholarly publishers and national consortia of libraries, universities and research organisations, including through the EUA Big Deals Survey and research on Read & Publish contracts.

The FAIR Data Principles offer a set of guidelines to ensure research outputs are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. They apply to data, protocols, algorithms and software that underlie publications or have future value and a potential for reuse. 

EUA strongly advocates for the importance of sharing and reusing research data and is working to raise awareness about the need for a common framework for the new FAIR data handling and management careers. Universities and researchers across Europe are increasingly expected to manage research data according to the FAIR principles, most notably through Horizon Europe. Universities are also actively developing the necessary services, policies, governance frameworks and skills for professional research data management.

EUA is also closely monitoring the development and implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the activities of its Association (EOSC-A). Universities have a key role to play in achieving the EOSC objectives and ambitions, by federating their research data infrastructure to the new European environment and by giving researchers the skills needed to onboard its services. EUA is an observer of the EOSC Association and is represented in the EOSC-A Task Force on Research careers, recognition and credit.

Research assessment is the combination of qualitative and quantitative practices used to evaluate the quality and impact of research activities. Institutional assessment approaches are typically used to make decisions regarding hiring, career progression and funding allocation. As such, research assessment practices are also part of academic assessment, which is a more holistic approach that promotes parity of esteem between all academic activities in service to society, including research, innovation and teaching.

Research assessment reform is a strategic objective for EUA as part of the broader reform of academic careers - one of the priorities for action outlined in Universities without walls. 2022 saw a major milestone in achieving this, as the Association was at the heart of a major new initiative to advance crucial reforms to ensure better assessment of research, researchers and research organisations, the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment.

EUA itself signed the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and joined the ensuing Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) in October 2022.

Visit the CoARA website

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