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EUA Open ScienceScience 2.0/Open Science consists of a variety of activities based on principles of scholarly sharing and collaboration assisted by IT, namely Web 2.0 technologies. It encompasses, for example, scientists using collaborative technology like wikis, blogs and video journals to share ideas, data or findings (Shneiderman, 2008; Waldrop, 2008).

Science 2.0/Open Science is changing the way research is produced, accessed and utilised, and new and diversified ways of scientific exchange and cooperation are emerging. This movement is paving the way to enhanced cross-fertilisation of interdisciplinary research activities, which is critical to tackle complex research issues and societal challenges. Science 2.0 therefore holds great promise in strengthening the competitiveness of the European science and the research system overall. It has the potential to speed up knowledge transfer among scientists and scientific disciplines, to foster the growth of new types of scientific cooperation and to stimulate collaborative research. However, the great potential of Science 2.0/Open Science for scientific development and knowledge transfer also comes with big challenges. These mainly refer to legal constraints, confidentiality issues, intellectual property rights, scientific recognition systems and quality assurance of non-traditional research outputs.

In supporting universities in the transition to Science 2.0/Open Science, EUA has, since 2007, developed a series of initiatives related to the implementation of institutional policies on Open Access to research publications.

More recently, EUA has set up an Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science to continue following developments in this area. This group is part of the research and innovation consultative structures in EUA.

The publication of research outcomes in digital formats is providing scientists and other stakeholders in research and innovation with enhanced opportunities to increase the visibility of, and widen access to, scientific articles. This facilitates developments towards Open Access (OA) to research publications, a phenomenon which has received increased attention from the academic community, publishers, research funders, governments and even the general public over the past years.

EUA, too, has been monitoring developments in Open Access to research publication, namely from an institutional perspective. Recent EUA work in the area of Open Access to research publications includes ‘EUA’s Open Access checklist for universities: A practical guide on implementation’ and a briefing paper on ‘Open Access to Research Publications. Looking Ahead. An overview of policy developments and positions from a European University Perspective'.

Back in 2007, EUA established an Expert Working Group on Open Access as the result of requests from its university membership that EUA should seek to act as an independent European Stakeholder for universities in the growing policy debate on Open Access to scientific publishing. This Working Group proposed a series of recommendations which were adopted by the EUA Council in 2008.

In 2012, in the context of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between EUA and the European Commission, EUA established a task force on Open Access, composed of experts representing three National Rectors’ Conferences (CPU – France; VSNU – the Netherlands; and CRef – French Community of Belgium). Its aim was to monitor developments in the area of Open Access and provide support to EUA in European-level dialogues on this matter. 

In January 2015, the EUA Council decided to expand the work of the Open Access taskforce and establish an Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science. This Expert Group has been created in the context of the increasing complexity and implications for universities of Science 2.0/Open Science; it has also been created with a view to support universities in the wide range of issues related to the EU digital agenda. The Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science will address a broad range of issues, such as open access to research publications and data, text and data mining, big data. Chaired by Professor Jean-Pierre Finance, the Expert Group will report to EUA Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) and to the EUA Council.

The EUA-Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science has the following terms of reference:

  1. The status of the Expert Group is that of an Advisory body appointed by the EUA Council. The Expert Group reports to the Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) and to the EUA Council.
  2. Membership is based on nominations by the National Rectors’ Conferences. Nominees should have institutional responsibility or have been designated to play a representative role on behalf of universities. Moreover, they should have substantial knowledge and experience in specific areas related to the remit of the Expert Group.
  3. Membership should be normally for three years, with possibility of one three-year extension to ensure a degree of continuity
  4. The main objectives of the Expert Group are (i) to examine and review the broader issues related to the Expert Group’s remit/areas of focus; (ii) to advise on the preparation of EUA activities, positions and/or statements related to the areas of focus of the Expert Group; (iii) to promote linkages with other organisations, related to the areas of focus of the Expert Group; (iv) to strengthen the position of Europe’s universities as main stakeholders in the specific policy areas of the Expert Group
  5. In addition, the Expert Group establishes and maintains a working dialogue with the European Commission and with other major stakeholders in research and innovation policy in its areas of expertise.

Tentative priority areas for the Science 2.0/Open Science Expert Group (as agreed by the RPWG): 

  • Open Access to research publications and research data
  • Text and data mining (TDM)
  • Science 2.0/Open Science
  • Skills and human resources for Science 2.0/Open Science
  • Linkages to the EU Digital Agenda
The list of EUA-Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science members is available here.

European University Association (EUA)

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