Might Europe one day again be a global scientific powerhouse? Analysis of ERC publications suggests it will not be possible without changes in research policy

Authors : Alonso Rodríguez-Navarro, Ricardo Brito

Numerous EU documents praise the excellence of EU research without empirical evidence and against academic studies. We investigated research performance in two fields of high socioeconomic importance, advanced technology and basic medical research, in two sets of European countries, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (GFIS), and the UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland (UKNCH). Despite historical and geographical proximity, research performance in GFIS is much lower than in UKNCH, and well below the world average.

Funding from the European Research Council (ERC) greatly improves performance both in GFIS and UKNCH, but ERC-GFIS publications are less cited than ERC-UKNCH publications.

We conclude that research performance in GFIS and in other EU countries is intrinsically low even when it is generously funded. The technological and economic future of the EU depends on improving research, which requires structural changes in research policy within the EU, and in most EU countries.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.08975

‘Publication favela’ or bibliodiversity? Open access publishing viewed from a European perspective

Author : Pierre Mounier

A number of initiatives exist in European countries to support open scholarly communication in humanities and social sciences.

This article looks at the work of Open Access in the European Research Area through Scholarly Communication (OPERAS), a consortium of 36 partners from all over Europe, including many university presses, that is working to build a future European infrastructure to address the challenges in open access publishing.

Their initial study, OPERAS‐D, revealed a variety of models among the partners influenced by national cultures. Although the partners’ activities were found to be fragmented, they also reflect the ‘bibliodiversity’ that exists in European societies.

To address the challenge of fragmentation, it is argued that, by following a cooperative model, European actors can benefit by sharing expertise, resources, and costs of development for the good of all.

As a future infrastructure to support open scholarly communication across Europe, OPERAS aims to coordinate a range of publishers and service providers to offer researchers and societies a fully functional web of services to cover the entire research lifecycle.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1194

Open Science and Public Sector Information – Reconsidering the exemption for educational and research establishments under the Directive on re-use of public sector information

Author : Heiko Richter

The article discusses the possibilities of including public research and educational establishments within the scope of the Directive regulating the re-use of public sector information (2003/98/EC – ‘PSI Directive’).

It subsequently evaluates the legal consequences of such an inclusion. Focusing on scientific information, the analysis connects the long-standing debates about open access and open educa-tion to open government data.

Their common driving force is the call for a wide-spread dissemination of publicly funded information. However, the regulatory standard set out by the PSI Directive is characterized by considerable legal uncer-tainty.

Therefore, it is difficult to derive robust assumptions that can form the ba-sis for predicting the effects of extending the PSI Directive’s scope to research in-formation. A potential revision of the PSI Directive should reduce this uncertain-ty.

Moreover, PSI regulation must account for the specific incentives linked to the creation and dissemination of research results.

This seems of primary importance for public-private research collaborations because there is a potential risk that a full application of the PSI Directive might unduly affect incentives for such col-laborations.

URL : http://www.jipitec.eu/issues/jipitec-9-1-2018/4679

Shared Infrastructure for Next- Generation Books: HIRMEOS

Authors : Brian Hole, Francesco de Virgilio, Chealsye Bowley

This paper presents an introduction and status report on work being done to provide shared infrastructure for open access book publishers under the HIRMEOS (High Integration of Research Monographs in the European Open Science infrastructure) project. It focuses specifically on the work being done to provide shared altmetrics services, including reporting on annotation activity.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816620

Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies

Authors : Denisse Albornoz, Maggie Huang, Issra Martin, Maria Mateus, Aicha Touré, Leslie Chan

Given that “Open Science” is becoming a popular policy object around the world, this study sought to identify key narratives about Open Science in policy, and critically examine the extent to which they are sustaining or strengthening multi-layered domination and inequality schemes that pre-exist in scientific knowledge production.

To do so, we conducted a content analysis of Open Science policies stemming from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia and Africa to understand which narratives about Open Science policies are produced, reproduced and by whom; and in turn, whose interests may be neglected in this process.

We found that Open Science policies, mostly stemming from Europe, frame “openness” as a vehicle to promote technological change as part of an inevitable and necessary cultural shift to modernity in scientific production.

The global reach of these narratives, and the technologies, standards and models these narratives sustain, are dictating modes of working and collaborating among those who can access them, and creating new categories of exclusion that invalidate knowledge that cannot meet this criteria, putting historically marginalized researchers and publics at further disadvantage.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816725

A review of literature on evaluating the scientific, social and political impact of social sciences and humanities research

Authors : Emanuela Reale,  Dragana Avramov,  Kubra Canhial,  Claire Donovan,  Ramon Flecha, Poul Holm,  Charles Larkin,  Benedetto Lepori,  Judith Mosoni-Fried,  Esther Oliver, Emilia Primeri,  Lidia Puigvert,  Andrea Scharnhorst,  Andràs Schubert,  Marta Soler Sàndor, Soòs  Teresa, Sordé  Charles, Travis  René Van Horik

Recently, the need to contribute to the evaluation of the scientific, social, and political impact of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research has become a demand of policy makers and society.

The international scientific community has made significant advances that have transformed the impact of evaluation landscape. This article reviews the existing scientific knowledge on evaluation tools and techniques that are applied to assess the scientific impact of SSH research; the changing structure of social and political impacts of SSH research is investigated based on an overarching research question: to what extent do scholars attempt to apply methods, instruments, and approaches that take into account the distinctive features of SSH?

The review also includes examples of European Union (EU) projects that demonstrate these impacts. This article culminates in a discussion of the development of the assessment of different impacts and identifies limitations, and areas and topics to explore in the future.

URL : A review of literature on evaluating the scientific, social and political impact of social sciences and humanities research

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvx025

Open Data Maturity in Europe 2016 : Insights into the European state of play

Authors : Wendy Carrara, Margriet Nieuwenhuis, Heleen Vollers

This report is the second in a series of annual studies and explores the level of Open Data Maturity in the EU28 and Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein – referred to as EU28+. The measurement is built on two key indicators Open Data Readiness and Portal Maturity, thereby covering the level of development of national activities promoting Open Data as well as the level of development of national portals.

In 2016, with a 28.6% increase compared to 2015, the EU28+ countries completed over 55% of their Open Data journey showing that, by 2016, a majority of the EU28+ countries have successfully developed a basic approach to address Open Data.

The Portal Maturity level increased by 22.6 percentage points from 41.7% to 64.3% thanks to the development of more advanced features on country data portals. The overall Open Data Maturity groups countries into different clusters: Beginners, Followers, Fast Trackers and Trend Setters.

Barriers do remain to move Open Data forward. The report concludes on a series of recommendations, providing countries with guidance to further improve Open Data maturity.

Countries need to raise more (political) awareness around Open Data, increase automated processes on their portals to increase usability and re-usability of data, and organise more events and trainings to support both local and national initiatives.

URL : Open Data Maturity in Europe 2016 : Insights into the European state of play

Alternative location : https://www.europeandataportal.eu/sites/default/files/edp_landscaping_insight_report_n2_2016.pdf