The monitor was commissioned by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. It was developed by several partners, led by RAND Europe with the support of Digital Science, Altmetric, figshare and Deloitte.
An expert panel provided advice and guidance:
Prof. Aletta Bonn (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany);
Dr Thomas Crouzier (School of Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden);
Dr Ivo Grigorov (National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark);
Dr Peter Kraker (Know-Center Social Computing Group, Graz University of Technology, Austria);
Dr Eleni Malliou (National Documentation Center, Greece);
Prof. Paul Wouters (CWTS- Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands).
The Open Science Monitor supports open science initiatives in Europe. It provides a way to assess developments in open science and particularly trends in open science activities over time and comparatively between countries and scientific disciplines.
Open science is one of three strategic priorities for the European Commission in research and innovation policy. The monitor is a pilot project to test the viability and value of assessing open science activity in Europe and beyond. It will support the work of the Open Science Policy Platform which is charged with the co-design and co-development of an Open Science Policy Agenda for Europe.
Despite their centrality to the system, open science is more than open access, open research data, open scholarly communication and citizen science. These characteristics were chosen as the focus of our analysis for the first monitoring effort because they represent the core features of open science at present and they are the most well-developed and well-understood aspects of the system. For these reasons, the chosen characteristics also lend themselves more readily to measurement in a monitor, or in the case of citizen science, there is enough information available to present a compelling picture of its importance.
There are many other characteristics of open science that could be included in a future monitor. These include: open code, open software and research infrastructure, open evaluation, open educational resources and open innovation. Each of these is to a large extent enabled by open access, open research data and open scholarly communication activities. But while all of these aspects are important to consider as part of the wider open science ecosystem, they are not as prominently featured.
The study team also identified indicators that would in principle be better at monitoring open science trends than those that were ultimately chosen for this monitoring exercise. Identifying appropriate indicators for the project required making trade-offs between indicators that were based on already existing data that were feasible to collect and relevant to the characteristics that were chosen for monitoring at this stage.