Open Scholarship Strategy Document

After more than a year of work, the Open Scholarship Strategy document has been published in full.

The work was inspired by the Foundations for OER Strategy Development, the FORCE11 Scholarly Commons Working Group, and developed by an open contribution working group of 32 people, including Jonathan Tennant, Jennifer Beamer, Jeroen Bosman, Björn Brembs, Johanna Havermann, and Tony Ross-Hellauer.

The document aims to find agreements for a broad, international strategy for the implementation of open scholarship that meets the needs of different national and regional communities, that works globally.

The publication of this document arrives at a prescient time, with PlanS setting a critical juncture for European research, and AmeliCA setting out wider-reaching terms for collaborative, sustainable, and non-commercial solutions for open knowledge in Latin America and the Global South. This Open Scholarship document reminds us that the access to articles is just one aspect of an academic culture looking to improve transparency, accessibility and utility of academic work and knowledge.

The Open Scholarship Strategy group state that

Scholarly research can be idealised as an inspirational process for advancing our collective knowledge to the benefit of all humankind. However, current research practices often struggle with a range of tensions, in part due to the fact that this collective (or “commons”) ideal conflicts with the competitive system in which most scholars work, and in part because much of the infrastructure of the scholarly world is becoming largely digital. What is broadly termed as Open Scholarship is an attempt to realign modern research practices with this ideal.

In light of this statement, the purpose of the strategy document is to provide a concise analysis of the current position of  global open scholarship, highlighting common themes and strengths, opportunities and challenges, and how the global community can work together more effectively to recognise and address top strategic priorities.

The document intends to evolve as conversations around open scholarship progress, providing useful insights for both global co-ordination, local and individual actions to enhance the adoption of open scholarship as an academic norm.

The document identifies short-, mid-, and long-term strategies to be used as direct suggestions for actions at the individual, group, institutional or national (or higher) level. One of the principle goals for the strategy is to create communities that support each other through learning and training, a current example of which is the Open Science MOOC.

Example of strategies proposed at a Group Level (e.g., labs, departments) include:

• Demanding support for open and modern text, data and code infrastructures from your institutions.
• Suggesting your institution start permanently supporting shared infrastructure/resources currently on project funding.
• Contributing towards developing open standards for the scholarly commons.

The ultimate goals of this document are to increase public trust of science through greater transparency; diversify the widespread adoption of open scholarship across different communities and organisational structures; enhance the communication of novel research practices, accelerating the pace of innovation to stimulate critical industries and practices around the world.

The group hope that as the effects of these developments impact society and global economics, this will in turn, go on to foster greater adoption of open practices and attitudes across multiple levels.

The full Open Scholarship Strategy document can be found on BITSS Preprints here:

Due to the length of the document, the group have also created a shorter action plan containing 20 brief points, which can be found here.