Scientific information literacy and European Open Access policies
The presentation considers how the developing European policy area relating to open access (OA) to scientific publication might be exploited to raise awareness, at the European level, about the relevance of information literacy to the research process. Scientific information literacy includes the knowledge and competences required to disseminate and publish research outputs, so there is a clear link between OA and information literacy.
Comment: 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.
Comment: “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.
The report 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
Scientific information literacy and European Open Access policies
RAISING POLICY AWARENESS ABOUT
SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION LITERACY IN THE
EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA: A FIRST SET
Ceris Institute, National Research Council, Rome, Italy
Research Information Network, London, UK.
THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION /1
“Knowledge is the currency of the new economy.”
Commission Communication COM(2012) 392 - A Reinforced European
Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth
An important premise: scientific information does not just consist of
journal articles, books and conference proceedings – it also includes
research data, statistical databases, patent databases , and any other
form of sharable scientific result
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THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION /2
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION
“In order to become an increasingly competitive knowledge-based economy,
Europe must improve the production of knowledge through research, its
dissemination through education, and its application through innovation. All
research builds on former work, and depends on scientists’ possibilities to
access and share scientific publications and research data. The rapid and
widespread dissemination of research results can help accelerate innovation
and avoid duplication of research efforts, although some delay for the first
use by researchers or for commercial purposes can be justified.”
EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Scientific information in the digital age: access,
dissemination and preservation [COM(2007) 56]
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THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION /3
European Commission COM (2012) 401 - Towards better access to
scientific information: boosting the benefits of public investments in
“Access to scientific information is an essential requirement for
successful research and boosting innovation, and therefore for
Europe's competitiveness as well.”
(Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on COM(2012)401)
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MILESTONES OF EU POLICIES FOR OPEN ACCESS /1
Preparatory activities (2006)
•Publication of EU-commissioned study on the economic and technical evolution
of the scientific publication markets in Europe
Press release: Commission study addresses Europe's scientific publication system'
Public consultation 31 March to 15 June 2006
Institutional engagement with OA (2007)
• Communication on Scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination
and preservation COM(2007) 56 final
• Council Conclusions on scientific information in the digital age: access,
dissemination and preservation – recommendation to the Commission to
experiment with Open Access to scientific results from projects funded by EU
research framework programmes
• ERC (European Research Council) Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access –
which provide for the OBLIGATION to deposit in Open Access disciplinary or
institutional repositories, within a maximum period of time defined by 6 or 12
months after the formal publication.
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MILESTONES OF EU POLICIES FOR OPEN ACCESS /2
Launch of Open Access Pilot in FP7 (2008)
Launch of Open Access Pilot in FP7 in 7 research areas constituting the 20% of the
total funding amount in FP7 – This initiative is formalised by the Commission
Decision (C (2008 (C(2008) 4408). on the adoption and a modification of special
clauses applicable to the model Grant Agreement of FP7 (requirement FP7
projects to comply with the Open Access strategy)
• Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information
• Communication Towards better access to scientific information. Boosting
the benefits of public investments in research
Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in
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MILESTONES OF EUROPEAN POLICIES FOR RESEARCH DATA
A number of initiatives have been specifically devoted (by the EC and other
influential bodies) to research data and listed below in chronological order.
• OECD 2007 –Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from
• October 2010 – Riding the wave. How Europe can gain from the rising tide
of scientific data - Final report of the High Level Expert Group on Scientific
Data .A submission to the European Commission
• December 2011 – COM(2011) 882 final - Open data. An engine for
innovation, growth and transparent governance, Brussels, 12.12.2011
• July 2013 – European Commission public consultation on open research
• From 2013, European Commission support for the Research Data Alliance
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TRANSFORMATION OF SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION
TRANSFORMATION OF INFORMATION LITERACY
The acquisition of know-how about the scholarly communication
environment and processes must be recognised as a vital element of
Scholarly Communication is in period of deep transformation
Also IL must transform to include an evolving meaning of Scholarly
N.B. the ACRL report “Intersections” is a good starting point but should be
enlarged to include researchers as target and all the categories of research
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ONGOING POLICY TRENDS FOR TRAINING RESEARCHERS
Under FP7 Work Programme 2013 – Capacities part 5, Science and
Society, an important relevant theme: “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”
Two action lines:
• Upstream support to the definition, development and
implementation of OA strategies and policies and to their
coordination in the European Research Area
• Downstream training on OA in the European Research Area
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PROJECT ON TRAINING IN OPEN SCIENCE
Downstream training on OA in the European Research Area:
• “… this topic supports actions with a clear European added value
that are aimed at developing, improving or consolidating training
activities at downstream level and reach the highest number of
stakeholders in the European Research Area. Actions proposed
must be aimed at training stakeholders with a view to permitting
them and/or their organisations to fully comprehend policy and
practical aspects of open access to scientific information. “
• FOSTER (‘Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research’)
funded for two years, 2014-2016
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EC PRIORITIES FOR INFORMATION POLICY IN THE ERA
Information Policies within the European Research Area can be
summarised along three complementary strands:
• open access to the results of publicly funded research activities,
• effective transfer of research results,
• development of a European knowledge market for patents and
Recognised as contributions to the development of the Innovation
Union [Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative, Innovation Union
Are distinct policy lines summarising EU expectations for what
concerns scientific information and research behaviours.
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WHERE IS THE PLACE FOR
SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION LITERACY?
Against all the above, this seems to be the right time to support the
timely and wide dissemination of SIL in the policies for scientific
information in Europe.
Open Access strategy has been already enlarged to encompass every
form of scientific results, but
a further step is required: to make researchers able to fully exploit the
available knowledge base through the right training.
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ESTABLISHING A EUROPEAN COALITION FOR SIL
European Network for Information Literacy (EnIL) and, in the UK, the
InformAll initiative, can help to influence the policy agenda, joining
their forces and commitments.
To this end a common research agenda is going to be defined,
together with the planning of a set of concrete actions to solicit policy
commitment on the topic.
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Within the current Knowledge Economy paradigm, improving access to
research results constitutes clearly a crucial goal.
This rationale forms the basis of the EC policies for Scientific
Information, where nonetheless the IL dimension appears
EC policy effort towards scientific information is currently particularly
intense and therefore this could be the right time to raise awareness
about the pivotal role of scientific information literacy.
EnIL and InformAll are planning to co-operate towards this goal, and
we would welcome partners across Europe to help us develop our
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Association of College and Research Libraries (2013) – Intersections of Scholarly Communication and
Information Literacy – Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment –
Council of the European Union (2007) – Council Conclusions on scientific information in the digital age: access,
dissemination and preservation –
European Commission (2013) – Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in
Horizon 2020 – http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/oa_pilot/h2020-
European Commission (2013) – Report of the European Commission Public Consultation on Open Research Data
European Commission, C(2012) 4526 – Work Programme 2013 (Capacities, Part 5, Science in Society), see in
particular area 188.8.131.52 - http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/fp7/134006/s-wp-201301_en.pdf
European Commission, C(2012) 4890 - Commission Recommendation on access to and preservation of
scientific information – http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/
European Commission, COM(2007) 56 – Scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and
preservation – http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/communication-
European Commission, COM(2010) 546 – Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative, Innovation Union -
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European Commission, COM(2011) 882 – Open data: an engine for innovation, growth and transparent
governance – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2011:0882:FIN:EN:PDF
European Commission, COM(2012) 392 – A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and
Growth – http://ec.europa.eu/euraxess/pdf/research_policies/era-communication_en.pdf
European Commission , COM (2012) 401 – Towards better access to scientific information: boosting the benefits
of public investments in research – http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/
European Commission, DG-Research (2006) – Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific
publication markets in Europe – http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/pdf/scientific-publication-study_
European Research Council (2007) – Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access –
FOSTER - http://www.fosteropenscience.eu/
High level Expert Group on Scientific Data (2010) , submission to the European Commission – Riding the wave:
how Europe can gain from the rising tide of scientific data – http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/e-infrastructure/
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007) – OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access
to Research Data from Public Funding – http://www.oecd.org/sti/sci-tech/38500813.pdf
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Thank you for your attention!
EnIL (European Network on Information Literacy)
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