"UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science" Sets Standards for Equitable, Collaborative and Transparent Science


As a result of UNESCO’s General Conference, held in November 2021, the 193 member states have ratified a wide-ranging Recommendation on Open Science, the first global framework for international open science policies and practices. It means member states have agreed to common standards in the push to open science.

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, notes the coronavirus pandemic “has brought into focus how open science practices such as open access to scientific publications, the sharing of scientific data and collaboration beyond the scientific community can speed up research and strengthen the links between science policy and society.” The Recommendation as a framework is expected to “drive the wider adoption of open practices, encourage greater endorsement of open science and ensure that research findings are beneficial to all.”

Open science is firmly grounded in collaboration, transparency, information sharing, and equitable access to opportunities. It’s a collective effort by all the involved agents—the scientists, universities and research institutions, research funders, academic libraries, learned societies, data specialists, as well as publishers and editors—across all across disciplines and countries.

At MDPI, we have been serving the above-mentioned communities for the past 25 years in their efforts striving to open science. From MDPI journals there are now 644,000 original research articles and review papers available in the public domain, with author-retained copyright. We passionately believe in the collective benefit of the policies set out in UNESCO’s document, especially the full and immediate access to scholarly publications for all.

UNESCO's Recommendation on Open Science identifies seven key objectives on which member states are encouraged to base actions to achieve open science:

1) Promoting a common understanding of open science, associated benefits and challenges, as well as diverse paths to open science;

2) Developing an enabling policy environment for open science;

3) Investing in open science infrastructures and services;

4) Investing in human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building for open science;

5) Fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science;

6) Promoting innovative approaches for open science at different stages of the scientific process;

7) Promoting international and multi-stakeholder cooperation in the context of open science and with view to reducing digital, technological and knowledge gaps.

The UNESCO Recommendation can be read here.

Contact: Dr. Giulia Stefenelli, Chair of the Scientific Board, MDPI, Basel, Switzerland (email)