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UG signs Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

16 April 2024

In a significant stride toward advancing responsible research assessment and open science, the University of Groningen has officially signed the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information . The Declaration is published on 16 April with an initial list of over 40 signatories. Alongside the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, the Declaration has also been endorsed by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Leiden University, NWO and ZonMw.

Promoting openness

The Barcelona Declaration is a community initiative aimed at promoting the openness of all information related to the use and impact of research. It stands as a testament to academia's collective aspiration for a more inclusive and equitable research landscape. Co-authored by a group of over 25 research information experts, its goal is to signal decisiveness to publishers and commercial providers that research information must be open.

The signatories commit to taking a lead in reforming the landscape and transforming their practices by:

(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 infrastructures for open research information, and

(4) working together to realize the transition from closed to open research information.


Rector Professor Jacquelien Scherpen emphasizes: ‘This declaration underscores the commitment of the University of Groningen to open science.’ For the University of Groningen this means that in the coming period, key internal stakeholders from information management, open science, recognition and rewards and the academic community will come together to prepare an implementation plan for the Barcelona Declaration. At the same time, the UG will work externally with national and international academic partners to support the sustainability of alternative, open infrastructures.

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Jacquelien Scherpen and Ana Ranitovic
Jacquelien Scherpen and Ana Ranitovic

Non-transparent and biased

Universities and funders rely on research information systems based on bibliographic metadata and funding information in key decision-making processes: from strategic priority setting and SEP (Strategy Evaluation Protocol) evaluations to recognizing and rewarding researchers. However, the majority of research information is locked inside closed proprietary infrastructures and managed by commercial parties.

‘As highlighted in the Declaration, this has led to a situation where researchers and institutions are assessed based on non-transparent evidence, policies are developed based on closed information, and decisions are made based on information that is often biased against less privileged languages, geographical regions, and research agendas’, explains Dr Ana Ranitovic, Chief of Open Science at the University of Groningen.

Dismantling barriers

The Barcelona Declaration aligns with recent international developments, including CoARA’s Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment and UNESCO’s Recommendations on Open Science. By endorsing this declaration, the University of Groningen reaffirms its dedication to promoting open science practices and dismantling barriers that hinder the dissemination and use of scientific knowledge.

Last modified:10 May 2024 10.30 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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