the focus of this contribution is on Scientific Information Literacy, i.e. on IL addressed to researchers and scholars, and applied to the variety of Research results within the European Union context.
The ultimate aim is to show that - given both the relevance (also economic relevance) of Scientific Information Literacy as a policy issue in the European context, and how the concept of Scientific Information Literacy has to be properly enlarged – favourable conditions exists today for supporting Scientific Information Literacy as a pillar of the EU Scientific Information Policies.
To this end, we will start analysing the EU information policies and the role attributed to scientific information.
“Knowledge is the currency of the new economy.” it is the very incipit of the Commission Communication COM(2012) 392 final - A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth.
source: European Commission. Scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation, Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2007) 56 final, Brussels, 14 February 2007.
in COM(2007)56 Italics have been used to emphasise some terms which deserve to be briefly commented on, in order to underline the economic impact attributed to scientific information:
first of all the importance of scientific information is explicitly justified on the basis of the link existing between the Knowledge Economy and Innovation, understood as the application (including commercial purposes) of the knowledge produced by research;
the broader concept of “research results”, which also includes (at least) research data along with publications (but also patents, databases, infrastructures, prototypes, etc. );
explicit reference is made to the exploitation of research results for commercial purposes as well as to “some delay” in their dissemination within the scientific community – it might be guessed, in order for the patenting process to be completed, since patenting regulations forbid publication before a patent is issued.
Explicit reference to the benefits expected from the public funding of research is also made in the communication of the European Commission COM (2012)401, which clearly outlines this strategy starting from its title: “Towards better access to scientific information: boosting the benefits of public investments in research”.
Lastly, the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on COM(2012)401 dispels all doubts when, in its first paragraph, it states that: “Access to scientific information is an essential requirement for successful research and boosting innovation, and therefore for Europe's competitiveness as well. (2013/C 76/09)
And Information Literacy is, of course, a means to help secure access by improving the capacity to search for, discover and access information
Commission Decision (C(2008) 4408) on the adoption and a modification of special clauses applicable to the model Grant Agreement of FP7 where it has appeared necessary to adopt six additional special clauses among which the additional clause 39 states that “In addition to Article II.30.4, beneficiaries shall deposit an electronic copy of the published version or the final manuscript accepted for publication of a scientific publication relating to foreground published before or after the final report in an institutional or subject-based repository at the moment of publication. Beneficiaries are required to make their best efforts to ensure that this electronic copy becomes freely and electronically available to anyone through this repository C(2008) 4408 final, Brussels, 20.08.08
"Health", "Energy", "Environment (including Climate Change)", "Information & Communication Technologies" (Challenge 2), and "Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities"
The consultation was addressed to the main stakeholders on research data (researchers, publishers, libraries, universities and industry representatives) and based on five key questions:
1) How can we define research data and what types of data should be open?
2) How should the issue of data re-use be addressed?
3) When and how does openness need to be limited?
4) Where should research data be stored and made accessible?
5) How can we enhance data awareness and a culture of sharing?
The report of the European Commission Public Consultation on Open Research Data (EC 2013) provides a detailed accounts of the outcomes of the consultation, to be used in policy definition. Several respondents to the consultation stressed the importance of education and training to encourage open access and good data management /curation.
December 2013 – Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020
On December 2013 the EC releases the Guidelines on OA to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Horizon 2020 , where OA is recognised as the “core means to improve knowledge circulation and thus innovation in Europe.”
We cannot avoid to mention the existence of the report, but it is not in line with our idea.
Association of College and Research Libraries. Working Group on Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy. Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2013.
Published online at http://acrl.ala.org/intersections
is focused on the role of libraries, as it is reasonable to expect given the author of the report (ACRL).
Under the FP7 Science in Society Programme (SiS-FP7), within the larger goal of “Strengthening and improving the European science system”, the theme of “Encouraging the debate on information dissemination, including access to scientific results and the future of scientific publications, taking also into account measures to improve access by the public” is one of the pillars of the Work Programme, and, along the whole duration of the SiS-FP7 (2007-2013) has resulted in actions, different from year to year, each addressing specific nodal aspects of the Open Access strategy, such as innovation in the scientific publishing system, problems associated with the diverse processes of access, dissemination, preservation and use of scientific data, just to mention a few.
Under the SiS-2013 Work Package, two action lines for Open Access are identified by the Commission. The first one is “Upstream support to the definition, development and implementation of Open Access strategies and policies and to their coordination in the European Research Area”, with two projects funded: RECODE (Policy RECommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe - Febr. 2013- Jan. 2015) and PASTEUR4OA (Open Access Policy Alignment STrategies for European Union Research - Febr- 2014 - July 2016)
Although neither of these two projects relates specifically to education or training, they both include activities aimed at spreading good practice in OA policies, and the development of guidelines and/or advocacy materials
FOSTER consists of two pillars:
A portal: e-learning platform that brings together the best training resources for those who need to know more about Open Science, or who need to develop strategies and skills for implementing Open Science practices in their daily workflows.
A two-year project: to set in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to foster Open Science in their daily workflow
Note that the same Innovation Union document also recognizes the importance of “equipping people with the capacity to learn and to develop transversal competences such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, teamwork, and intercultural and communication skills”. There is a relationship with IL here.
nonetheless refine English, please