EUA welcomes the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

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With the publication of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information, the European University Association is pleased to see new efforts to support the openness of the entire research process.

The Barcelona Declaration aims to support the transition from closed to open research information. Within this context, research information is defined as information (sometimes referred to as metadata) relating to the conduct and communication of research. While research information is often locked inside proprietary infrastructure run by for-profit providers, with barriers to its use and reuse, the Declaration acknowledges the need to open access to research information to foster more transparent and high-quality decision-making in research processes. Furthermore, the document recognises that without open research information, basic standards of accountability cannot be met, and academic sovereignty can therefore be at risk.

By becoming a signatory of the Barcelona Declaration, organisations will adhere to the following commitments:

  1. Making openness of research information the default.
  2. Working with services and systems that support and enable open research information.
  3. Supporting the sustainability of infrastructure for open research information.
  4. Working together to realise the transition from closed to open research information.

EUA welcomes the call to promote the openness of research information as a way to advance responsible research assessment and Open Science and to promote unbiased high-quality decision making.  This is in line with the three key priority areas identified in the EUA Open Science Agenda 2025, where the Association also calls for opening up the whole research process and promoting open access to scholarly outputs other than publications and data. Supporting the transition towards the openness of research information will contribute to developing a just scholarly publishing ecosystem, fostering the adoption of FAIR research data, and implementing responsible research assessment practices.

The principles promoted in the Barcelona Declaration also echo EUA’s advocacy for a more holistic approach to openness in research and the commitment to develop responsible, inclusive, transparent and sustainable evaluation practices for research activities and careers. In particular, in 2022 EUA co-led the drafting of the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, of which the Association is also a signatory, and became a member of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA). Furthermore, EUA supports the ‘More Than Our Rank’ initiative aimed at acknowledging a broader and more diverse definition of institutional success that goes beyond the results of international rankings.

You can find more information on the Barcelona Declaration’s website: Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

This article was first published on 5 July by EUA.

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