Science is an extremely powerful tool to advance knowledge and wellbeing, but it is not without problems. There is significant and varied criticism of current scientific practices: having to pay for access to most publications, reproducibility issues, an assessment system that is not sufficiently based on bibliographic indicators, and the scarce influence the general society has on decision-making and path-setting, among others.
In response to these issues, the concept of open science has taken shape. This work method emphasizes collaboration, transparency and dialog with society. Nevertheless, despite its advances, there's still a long road ahead for it to become commonplace.
In order to deal with some of these problems and, above all, come up with solutions and draw up a roadmap to accelerate the advance of open science, several top international experts met at the B·Debate session ‘Open science: from values to practice. Building a roadmap for transformative change’, an initiative of Biocat and the “la Caixa” Foundation to promote scientific debate. This session was organized jointly by the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute and Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
- 80% of all scientific publications are still behind a 'pay wall'. We must be more firmly committed to an open-access model, and change the way negotiations with publishers are handled.
- Reproducibility is an issue in scientific work, as many studies cannot be reproduced. It is important to improve data production and communication methods to limit their importance.
- Indicators in general, and bibliographic indicators specifically, shouldn't be the sole basis of strategic decisions in science. We need new ways to measure and assess quality and to award funding.
- General society is practically excluded from decision-making processes in science. Citizen science projects and a firm commitment to responsible research and innovation should be implemented to bridge this gap.