Archive for year: 2018
- ALLEA welcomes the ambition of the coalition of European research funders to move the scientific publishing system towards open access; however, broader consultation with all parties is required during the implementation phase.
- Concurrent reforms of the systems for research evaluation and career progression are needed to minimise unintended consequences of Plan S for early career researchers and specialised disciplines.
ALLEA published an initial response to Plan S, an initiative for open access publishing supported by a consortium of research funders*. The ALLEA statement welcomes the ambition of the proposal and identifies a number of challenges to be considered by funding agencies in order to prevent perverse incentives and unintended consequences in the scientific publishing sector and the research evaluation system when moving towards open access.
“ALLEA supports open access as a major step towards realising the universality of science and welcomes the ambition of Plan S in this regard. Implementation will however require extensive consultation and dialogue with all parties, in particular the research performing communities represented through ALLEA and other scientific stakeholders”, the statement reads.
The response provides comments and recommendations regarding various implications of Plan S concerning ethics and trust in science, the research evaluation system, the protection of intellectual property rights as well as economic considerations.
“ALLEA supports open access as a major step towards realising the universality of science and welcomes the ambition of Plan S in this regard. Implementation will however require extensive consultation and dialogue with all parties, in particular the research performing communities represented through ALLEA and other scientific stakeholders”
It furthermore notes the legitimate concerns of some researchers, especially those at the early stage of their careers, that their ability to win research grants and promotions may be adversely affected if they do not have publications in what are perceived at the moment to be high status journals. Research assessment without consideration of journal reputation or impact factors, as advocated in Plan S, is thus crucial.
“It is essential that whatever model or models finally gain acceptance ensure the highest quality standards, incentivise and reward ethical behaviour, are economically viable, and support the integrity and trustworthiness of scholarly communication across the full range of academic disciplines”, the European federation of academies underlines.
The response highlights that further clarification is needed regarding the protection of intellectual property rights of authors and the type of open licence to be used. “Any prescription should ensure an appropriate degree of choice for researchers and allow for exceptional cases”, it states.
“It is essential that whatever model or models finally gain acceptance ensure the highest quality standards, incentivise and reward ethical behaviour, are economically viable, and support the integrity and trustworthiness of scholarly communication across the full range of academic disciplines”
ALLEA stresses the need for coordination within the global scientific system. “In the context of big science a further complication is that many consortia are global in scope with authors in multiple jurisdictions using different funding models, so some global coordination of the transition to full open access is needed”, the statement reads.
*Plan S requires that from 2020, scientific publications resulting from research funded by public grants must be published in compliant open access journals or platforms. Learn more: https://www.coalition-s.org/
Seeking to shape the next EU science and innovation programme Horizon Europe, ALLEA presented a paper at last week’s Austrian EU Council Presidency conference in Vienna. The document underlines the need for understanding innovation as a factor to transform society, presents new approaches to integrate the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and calls for a conceptualisation of impact that takes wider social, cultural and political developments into account.
On 29 November, Professor Kerstin Sahlin, member of the ALLEA Working Group Horizon Europe, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, presented an ALLEA paper at the “Austrian EU Council Presidency Conference on Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities for a European Research Agenda”.
The paper, entitled “The Importance of SSH Research in Horizon Europe” and composed by Working Group Chair John Bell (British Academy), is based on the discussions that have been taking place over the past months within the Working Group. The full paper will be published as part of the conference proceedings in the Journal for Research and Technology Policy Evaluation (Fteval).
The paper warns of the dangers of emphasising the economic impact of research alone. According to the document, such an approach could foster “a technocratic paradigm in which the translation of fundamental research into innovative ‘products’ is seen as the benchmark of success”.
“In the past, the Commission has understood the relationship between research and innovation too much in terms of an overly simplistic, linear process in which research is expected to lead to ever higher Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The dominance of this paradigm belittles the contribution of Humanities and the Social Sciences”, the paper reads.
Challenging norms and traditions to foster social innovation
Humanities and Social Sciences can offer new approaches towards social problems that follow non-experimental methods and use imagination and modelling to think through “what if?” scenarios, as well as challenge norms and traditions to foster social innovation. Social Sciences and Humanities also help to consider non-material features of the human existence.
“The quality of life depends not on having new gadgets or new products, but on being able to live a life which has value that may make use of what technology has to offer in a valuable way. Vision, beauty, style, and enjoyment are integral to a valuable human life”, the working group argues.
More inter- and transdisciplinarity
All this can only be achieved in a joint endeavour, especially by intensified inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation across Europe and beyond. The challenges ahead call for a profound and inclusive dialogue between all actors in society.
In this sense, the ALLEA Working Group Horizon Europe argues for more interdisciplinarity and a bigger and well-defined role of the SSH in design and evaluation of the research which is funded through Horizon Europe. “Otherwise the societal challenge to build inclusive, innovative and reflective societies runs the danger of being marginalised by other, more tangible material and technological challenges.”
The Breakthrough Prize, in partnership with ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, announces the opening of public nominations for the 2020 Breakthrough Prizes in the fields of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics. The partnership, now in its third year, encourages European nominations for world’s largest science prize.
For the third year, the Breakthrough Prize and the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) announce the opening of the public nominations window for the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in in the areas of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics. Each prize comes with a $3 million award. Prizes will be awarded in late 2019, during a live, globally televised gala award ceremony in Silicon Valley.
Nominations can be submitted online starting today until 1 April 2019. While self-nominations are prohibited, anyone may make a nomination for another person. The nomination form and rules are available at www.breakthroughprize.org.
This is the eighth year of the Breakthrough Prize, known as ‘The Oscars of Science’ as it is regarded the world’s largest science prize, honouring top scientists from across the globe by awarding up to four prizes in the Life Sciences, one in Fundamental Physics and one in Mathematics. In addition, up to six New Horizons Prizes, each consisting of a prize of $100,000, will be handed to promising early-career researchers in the fields of Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.
The Breakthrough Prize welcomes nominations on behalf of outstanding scientists throughout the world. For the third year, ALLEA’s online platforms, as well as other communication channels, will increase awareness of the opportunity to nominate great scientists and mathematicians for this honour. ALLEA brings together 58 academies in more than 40 countries, with members leading scholarly enquiry across all fields of the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
All researchers in Europe are encouraged to visit the site and make a nomination on behalf of outstanding scientists and colleagues.
About the Breakthrough Prize
The Breakthrough Prize was founded by Sergey Brin, Pony Ma, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Anne Wojcicki to celebrate achievements in Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics. The awards are presented at an annual globally televised ceremony, followed by a day of lectures and discussions co-sponsored by Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco. In addition to the Breakthrough Prize, awards for junior researchers in mathematics and physics are also handed out yearly.
To learn more visit, https://allea.org/breakthrough-prize
For The Breakthrough Prize
firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 212-843-8024
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