The EU is currently consulting on the Science 2.0 approach, which discusses ways of developing research in Europe and making it available.
In preparation for the fourth workshop on Science 2.0 validation, the GYA has developed a position paper and was represented by Carina Keskitalo the Science 2.0 workshop on 6 November 2014 in London. The validation process and the work so far can be followed on http://scienceintransition.eu/ where further input to the process is also invited
The workshop made apparent that despite the many areas targeted in the Science 2.0 background paper–ranging from Open Access to “citizen science” – the major driving force for the initiative is based in the issue of European competitiveness in research. China’s focus on open access makes open availability of European research an urgent issue. There were considerations to create novel science publishing channels following the model of current music or media industry that would bypass established publishing channels for a quicker turnaround of scientific publication. However currently there are no clearly accepted solutions for this model, even though it is already practiced by researchers. Thus the main discussions during the day focused amongst other on making open access work in the current publication system centering around the need for new business models for open access publication as well as copyright issues.
Besides open access, other the points the GYA raised were discussed, such as the inclusion of young researchers into discussions on data management or altmetrics. The need to include varying actors into the Science 2.0 development was recognized and the discussion brought forward that adherence to Science 2.0 – largely interpreted as open access publishing and to some extent data storage – could potentially be an assessment criterion for research quality. The potentially diverging practices and data of different disciplines were acknowledged.
The GYA position on altmetrics was largely in line with discussions at the consultation. There was an agreement, that a wide variety of altmetrics need to be developed, for instance by the European Union prioritizing this development in their funding policies. An archive/pre-print model as it can be found for example in physics was discussed as a way to get research out to relevant audiences in a timely manner, also under different metric systems.
Given that the focus was largely on competitiveness in open access publishing and the positioning of Europe in the global arena, less focus was placed on suggestions with regard “citizen science”, as this was one of the areas in the document with the least agreement in the survey. The GYA representative stressed the consideration in our position paper that a “citizen science” would need to focus not only on the citizen level, but should instead also target the types of stakeholders that research programs are required to engage with: administrative levels such as municipalities and
county levels, interest groups and other organizations. To support the interaction of research programs with stakeholders for example on national level, who should benefit from the outcome, it would be relevant for national funding agencies to identify the persons at specific stakeholder organizations such as national parliamentary working groups that they suggest to be consulted through the research program. For example by Science Europe, an association of European Research Funding Organisations (RFO) and Research Performing Organisations (RPO), acknowledged the relevance of this point.
Carina Keskitalo, Professor of Political Science, Department of Geography and Economic History, Umeå University, Sweden