Open Science for the 21st century
ALLEA (ALL European Academies) The European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities has released a declaration concerning Open Science in the 21st Century. It is available here. This powerful, but short, document sets the scene for the potential future impact of Open Science. Rather than paraphrasing it I’ll just leave the pre-amble here…….Data are the bedrock on which the scientific edifice is built. More efficient data-sharing and more open access to information and resources will make it easier for observations to be confirmed, experiments to be replicated, hypothesis to be supported, rejected or refined, and, ultimately, for answers to societal challengers to be given. Powerful digital technologies for data acquisition, storage and manipulation create new opportunities, but also risk widening the “digital divide”. Open Science envisages optimal sharing of research results and tools: publications, data, software, and educational resources. It will rely on advanced e-infrastructures that enable online research collaboration. The potential to link cognate, and to re-use initially unrelated datasets will reveal unexpected relationships and will trigger new dynamics of scientific discovery. The collective intelligence of scientific communities will be unleashed through new collaborations across institutional, disciplinary, sectoral and national boundaries. The open science environments will help restore transparency and integrity to the scientific enterprise, for all to see. New points of exchange with non-academic end-users of scientific knowledge will be created, and progress will be made towards the vision of scientifically literate societies: this may require releasing scientific data in forms that are accessible to citizens.