The European University Association (EUA) has published the findings of its latest Open Science survey. This survey was open to all interested European higher academic institutions from October 2020 until January 2021. There were 272 responses from 36 European countries. Most of the sample are comprehensive institutions (64 %), followed by specialist (e.g., medical sciences, music, art schools) and technical universities, which both represent 13 % of the sample. The survey report focuses on the level of development of Open Science at European universities, the role of Open Science in the strategic priorities of institutions, and its implementation in institutional practice.
Open Access to scientific publications and research data has progressed over the last twenty years. More recently, other areas of Open Science have also gained traction, such as Citizen Science and Open Education. All of these developments have also been further accelerated by the impact of Covid-19 on scientific and institutional practices.
Key findings from the survey include that Open Access for research publications is very important to 90 % of institutions, but only 60 % rate the level of implementation as high. Between 55 and 70 % of institutions identify research data management, FAIR data, and data sharing as very important, but only 15 to 25 % report high levels of implementation. 54 % of institutions have an Open Science policy, and 37 % are developing one. 90 % of institutions have their own repository, participate in a shared repository, or both. Over 50% of the surveyed institutions reported that research data skills were only partially available. Approximately 50 % of the respondents know of citizen science and open education activities at their institutions.
The report recommends that if Open Science is to become the standard for producing and sharing scientific knowledge, the continued involvement of all stakeholders is necessary. In addition to national and European policies and regulatory frameworks, the active involvement of institutional leaders is also critical. Institutions must continue to provide incentives and opportunities for researchers and staff to increase their engagement in both established and emerging areas of open science and training in the key skills needed to transition to Open Science (e.g., data skills).
- From principles to practices: Open Science at Europe’s universities 2020-2021 – EUA Open Science Survey results
Rita Morais, Bregt Saenen, Federica Garbuglia, Stephane Berghmans, Vinciane Gaillard,
European University Association July 5, 2021.
- European University Association (EUA), Brussels, Belgium