UNESCO’s Open Science Production Indicators project is launched

The project “Indicators of production in open science: building bridges towards the interoperability of information systems in Argentina” approved and funded by UNESCO held its inaugural meeting on June 15, 2023. The development of its scientific activities will be conducted by the Center for Knowledge Circulation Studies (CECIC) in liaison with the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the National University of Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina).

The first meeting was held on 06/15/23, with the participation of experts in scientific journals from all over the country.

The proposal seeks to generate a working space and explore the existing conditions, obstacles and technical requirements to build a platform of Argentine scientific journals to make this production accessible to different users, students, researchers, librarians and information management personnel from different institutions. Building the architecture of such a platform could generate bridges of interoperability with open-access repositories of institutions, offer a valuable tool for evaluation processes and enhance the editorial professionalization of journals.

Hence, the project is clearly in line with the principles of UNESCO’s Open Science Recommendation, approved in November 2021. This proposes, among other dimensions, to advance in the institutionalization of enabling environments for open science, promoting responsible practices in the evaluation of research and researchers, which tend to encourage quality science, recognizing the diversity of research results, activities and missions. Likewise, these recommendations recognize that to foster a culture of open science, one of the main areas of action lies in redirecting incentives in academic evaluation systems. Finally, among its programmatic actions, it recommends that Member States, by their specific circumstances, governance structures and constitutional provisions, and by international and national legal frameworks, actively seek to reward open science practices in terms of research data, publications, as well as citizen and participatory science.

The survey of Argentinean journals: a contribution of the CECIC team to the UNESCO project

Within the framework of a study funded by CIECTI on accessibility and circulation of Argentine scientific journals, the dataset of the “Relevamiento de Revistas Científicas Argentinas” has recently been made available in open access in the digital CONICET Institutional Repository, to consolidate information on currently active Argentine scientific journals created between 1858 and 2020.

The digital CONICET Institutional Repository is an open-access virtual platform that makes available to society, the scientific-technological production made by researchers, fellows and other staff of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). This dataset includes descriptive information about these journals at the time of the survey (October 2021) that allows to analyze them according to their editorial professionalization, institutional anchorage and indexing and also includes a set of characteristics such as title, date of creation, discipline, website, editorial management, publishing institution and information on APC collection, subscriptions and indexing in databases, among others.

The journal titles were extracted from lists from different indexing databases or portals (Latindex Catalog 2.0, SciELO, RedALyC, Scopus and Web of Science, ISSN Argentina, Oliva-CECIC-Cuyo, national universities and scientific societies). Also, the data were collected and subjected to a process of cleaning and detection of duplicates and inactive journals between May and October 2021, resulting in a list with information on 786 active journals in 2020.

The Survey of Argentine Scientific Journals results were published in Chapter 1 of the book “Policies for the Promotion of Knowledge and intellectual property rights”, recently presented at the 47th Book Fair. This chapter offers a current overview of Argentine scientific journals in all areas. The first part completely describes the universe of recent publications surveyed. It then analyzes the structure of the Argentine scientific publishing space and its forms of circulation, offering a classification of the journals. Finally, it relates the world of scientific publishing with academic evaluation systems to present some conclusions and proposals for the future.

The survey was carried out within the framework of the Study of Argentine scientific journals by Fernanda Beigel (CONICET and UNCUYO), Carolina Monti (CONICET/UNLP) and Maximiliano Salatino (CONICET/UNCUYO), financed by the Interdisciplinary Center for Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation (CIECTI).

The purpose of making this survey available is to encourage and promote quality Argentine journals.

The dataset can be accessed here.

The Latin American Forum for Research Assessment

The Latin American Forum for Research Assessment (FOLEC) is an initiative of the international Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). CLACSO created FOLEC to support knowledge sharing on research assessment reform between CLACSO research member institutions and regional policymakers. This initiative was necessary because CLACSO research member institutions are located in 52 countries, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean, where research assessment measures are regionally disparate or in need of reform. The ultimate goal of FOLEC is to facilitate the creation of a collective and improved Latin American and Caribbean standard of practice for academic research assessment. To this end, FOLEC works with national research councils in the region and specialists from CLACSO´s network. Together they convene conferences, workshops, and working groups on the topic of research assessment to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing.

In November of 2019, FOLEC and the Mexican National Council for Sciences and Technology (CONACYT) organized the First Latin American Forum on Research Assessment in Mexico City.1 Stemming from this meeting, CLACSO’s Executive Secretariat presented a roadmap to create a collective Latin American and Caribbean research assessment reform proposal by November 2021. Since then, FOLEC has convened national and international meetings to facilitate knowledge transfer for scientific assessment reform and has generated guidance documentation for research assessment reform in the region.

Fernanda Beigel designated Chair of the UNESCO Open Science committee

The director of CECIC was elected as Chair during the first meeting of UNESCO’s Open Science Advisory Committee (AOC).

UNESCO, as the United Nations agency specializing in the field of science, is the legitimate world organization empowered to define a global vision about the open science in sum to a shared set of general principles and common values. For this reason, at the 40th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, the 193 Member States entrusted the Organization to develop an international normative instrument about open science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on the subject.

This made possible the creation of the Open Science Advisory Committee (AOC), in charge of developing the Recommendation on Open Science for the member states consider at the General Conference scheduled for November 2021. Thus, between the 16th and 17th in July, the first meeting of this Committee took place and the basic structure of the text of the recommendation and the work schedule until September 30 were elaborated. Also, was analyzed the results of the online global survey which was carried out with the objective of collect inputs and opinions for the process of preparing the Recommendation. 43% of the surveys received came from Latin America, whose country with the highest participation was Argentina, followed by France.

In the coming months, regional meetings will be held with different stakeholders interested in this Recommendation. The one corresponding to Latin America is expected to take place in virtual mode, around September 23rd. Among other things, the recommendation will be oriented at discussing the trade barriers of the publishing industry for free access to scientific knowledge.

Regarding to the Consultative Committee, it is composed with four experts appointed by each of the six regions that make up UNESCO and six experts proposed by international institutions. During its first meeting the election of its authorities took place, in which Fernanda Beigel was elected as the Chair and Simon Hudson as Vice-Chair.