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Scientific research is going through a number of transformations. To name a few, one can mention the limited public funding, the advent of project based research, and data driven research. Change is also coming from the Web 2.0 revolution of the 2000s that brought interactivity to Internet users and that is now (slowly but surely) trickling down to academic research. A number of web-based digital tools that facilitate collaborative research, reproducibility, sharing of results and more are now available. These Science 2.0 tools enable a more open science. More openness between research groups and between researchers and the rest of the society.

As a researcher interested in these subjects, and compiling a list of such tools online on a blog, I was invited by the European commission to share my vision of what Open Science is and could be. This is part of an ongoing effort led by the commissioner for research, science and innovation Carlos Moedas to better understand these changes and decide if they could be acted on by the EC.

Here is a quick summary of the report:

The report analyses the potential impact of a transition towards Open Science on the stakeholders of the research ecosystem. The following findings are discussed.

  • Innovative digital tools that facilitate communication, collaboration, and the data analysis will enable Open Science practices.
  • All stakeholders of the research ecosystem will benefit from Open Science, although it will change work habits and business models.
  • Digital platforms will facilitate innovation by streamlining all phases of the innovation process, from the generation of ideas to experimental work and fundraising.
  • Citizens will become new players of the research ecosystem. They will shape science policies and contribute to scientific research through citizen science actions and by funding researchers.
  • Digital science start-ups will shape the future of Open Science and innovate in the exploitation of the flow of information made publicly available with the advent of Open Science.
  • The EU can accelerate the transition towards Open Science thanks to its unique position as funder and policy maker. A three-step program is suggested that will: 1) support the on-going transformation; 2) make systemic change to open the way to fully implemented Open Science; and 3) unlock the societal and economic value of Open Science.

The report is available on the European data sharing platform Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/record/33044

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