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3. Towards a common understanding of Open Science: elements and challenges

Open Science entails a radical change in how research is done and outcomes are disseminated, combining great technological development and a cultural shift towards openness and collaboration, promoting more efficient science which is transparent and accessible. Collaboration and immediate dissemination of research results are logical aspects in the digital world. However, defining Open Science is no easy task, nor is the apprehension of all of its components. It is important to clarify that when we talk about Open Science, we are talking about open knowledge from a global perspective; 'Open Science' is the brand but it is not restricted to the sciences; it includes all disciplines and the different ways to share knowledge created by both researchers and the public.

There is no agreed-upon definition of Open Science, and it could be asserted that if science is not open, it is not science. In this sense, to combine the terms open + science would be a pleonasm, since making science in the open should be the standard way to perform research. There are differing opinions on the topic (e.g. Vicente-Saez & Martinez-Fuentes, 2018), even suggesting schools of thought in order to classify the concept (Fecher & Friesike, 2014). Nevertheless, despite its complexity, for some authors the definition is very simple: it consists in 'showing the work one does in science' (Lafuente & Alonso, 2011, p. 40). Although a definition of Open Science is not the main objective of this essay, this section will focus on the concept of Open Science as well the components, elements and challenges therein, in order to determine which of them are affected by Intellectual Property (IP) restrictions and regulations.

3.1. Concept of Open Science in Europe and its relationship with IPR

As with any new concept, there are multiple theories about the origins of Open Science (Bücheler & Sieg, 2011; David, 2008, 2014). OS emerged in the fields of Economic History and Sociology of Science, which focus on the economic dimension of knowledge and in the intellectual capitalism of the late 17th century. There is tacit agreement that the term was coined by Paul David in his attempt to describe the properties of scientific goods generated by the public sector in opposition to the perceived extension of IPR into the area of information goods. Economists consider scientific knowledge generated by publicly funded research as 'a commons', which means that everyone can make use of that knowledge at no additional cost once it is made public (OECD, 2015b).

In sociology of science, the principle of openness has been seen as inherent in academic activity and hearkens back to the original precepts underpinning the conduct of researchers (Merton, 1974). The race to be the first to claim recognition in science has traditionally been a strong incentive for scientists to make their knowledge public. The way scientific knowledge supported with public money is shared becomes a societal and political issue, but is not always reflected in current regulations. Robert Merton (1942) in his book Sociology of Science (cited by EOSC Executive Board, 2021; Smart et al., 2019) introduced CUDOS norms (Communism, Universalism, Disinterestedness, and Organised Scepticism) where OS might be identified: 'Communism' notes that the findings of science are 'a commons', a product of social and collective collaboration assigned to the community, and that individual researchers eschew their IPR in favour of recognition and esteem for their ideas, and secrecy is the opposite of this norm (see Section 6). 'Universalism' holds that scientific validity should not be evaluated or influenced by socio-political or personal status of its participants (race, gender, politics or class). The norm of 'Disinterestedness' focuses on the role scientific institutions play in ensuring robust research: involving as it does the verifiability of results, scientific research is under the exacting scrutiny of fellow experts. Finally, 'Organised Scepticism' is both a methodological and institutional mandate which holds that the scientific community should robustly scrutinise ideas and be mindful that discoveries may cause controversy both in methodology and codes of conduct of other institutions.

However, the name Open Science in Europe was chosen after a detailed consultation process carried out by the European Commission between 2014-2015 and endorsed by the agents involved and the Member States (Burgelman et al., 2019). The process concluded in February 2015 with a final validation report which legitimised and preferenced the name Open Science over other names such as: Science 2.0 or 'Science in transition' (European Commission, 2015), supported by MS in the policy debate held by the Competitiveness Council on a data-driven economy (Council of the European Union, 2015). For some time, Open Science and Science 2.0 were used synonymously (Bücheler & Sieg, 2011; Burgelman et al., 2010; Mayer, 2015; Vignoli et al., 2015). However, Open Science as a concept, name and brand, is clearly enshrined in Europe in the political discourse of the previous Commissioner Carlos Moedas (2014-2019), in which Open Science was one of the emblems of its vision of the 3 Os: Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World (European Commission, 2016).

Most of the theories and definitions about Open Science refer to it as a 'movement'. This characterization has been widely adopted from the Wikipedia definition1 to different organizations (UNESCO, French Open Science Policy2, Center for Open Science, COS3) and by many authors (Crüwell et al., 2018; Leonelli et al., 2015; Nielsen, 2011a, 2011b; Ramachandran et al., 2021; Roman et al., 2018), assimilating it to other movements that share the ideals of OS: open source, open access, open data (Willinsky, 2005), open educational resources, open pedagogy, open course development (Jhangiani & Biswas-Diener, 2017) and even open standards and open design (Pomerantz & Peek, 2016). However, 'movement' evokes a bottom-up approach to Open Science and embodies the concept of mere activism. However, OS comes with a new ethos that transcends the 'open-closed' binary discussion (see Section 6.1). Some of the most cited, discussed and endorsed definitions define Open Science as an effort (OECD, 2015b), a practice (project FOSTER) or a disruptive phenomenon (Vicente-Sáez & Martínez-Fuentes, 2018):

  • The OECD defines OS as the efforts to make the results of publicly funded research more accessible in digital form to the scientific community, business or society in general, and to promote long-term research and innovation: 'Open science is a means and not an end'. Open science strategies and policies are a means to support better quality science, increased collaboration, and engagement between research and society that can lead to higher social and economic impacts of public research. Open Science is more than OA to publications or data, it includes many aspects and stages of the research processes (OECD, 2015b).

  • Project FOSTER focuses on OS as the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, laboratory notes and other research processes and outcomes are freely available, 'under terms that allow reuse, redistribution and reproduction, both of the research itself, as well as the underlying data and methods' (Bezjak et al., 2018; Pontika et al., 2015).

  • Vicente-Sáez & Martínez-Fuentes (2018) in their systematic literature review stated that the term OS refers, in a general way, to the scientific creation of transparent and accessible knowledge that is shared and developed through collaborative networks. They start by the assumption that it is a disruptive phenomenon, bringing together a socio-cultural and a technological change, based on openness and connectivity, on how research is designed, performed, captured, and assessed.

The comprehensive handbook Open Science by Design focuses on motivations for OS. It includes: 'the taxpayer's right to the results of publicly funded research; the ability of any member of society to scrutinize, evaluate, challenge and reproduce scientific claims; and the opportunity for anyone, including private citizens, to build directly on the scientific investigations of others' (Committee on Toward an Open Science Enterprise et al., 2018).

For the purpose of this report we refer to OS as the entire process of conducting research. The definition of OS from the European Commission (2019)4 highlights the 'systemic change' that might improve science through collaborative and open ways of producing and sharing data and knowledge as soon as possible throughout the entire research cycle. The EC also states that OS 'increases the quality and impact of science by fostering reproducibility and interdisciplinarity. It makes science more efficient through better sharing of resources, more reliable through better verification and more responsive to society's needs5'.

Since 2015 the European Commission has clearly chosen the openness path, despite difficulties (Burgelman, 2021), and 'Open Science' the way to name it (European Commission, 2015). The policies suggested by the Amsterdam Call for Action6 (2016) reflect the systemic change needed for researchers to collaborate, interact, share resources and disseminate results, driven by new technologies and data. These principles, along with the increasing demand in society to address the societal challenges and the readiness of citizens to participate in research, were also supported in the EC Communication to the EU Parliament, the Council, The EU Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions7. This Communication also proposed the creation of a flagship research data e-Infrastructure for OS: the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), based on a federation of existing scientific data infrastructures scattered across disciplines and Member States, with the ambitious aim of making all scientific data produced by the Horizon 2020 Programme open by default. This ambition is also included in Horizon Europe, 9th current Framework Programme (FP).

EUR-lex includes 170 documents about 'Open Science' but only ten from 2010-2015, which affirms our consideration of 2015-2021 as the main period where OS has been pinned down and developed in Europe. In the same period of time, IPR policies and regulations have been defined, not necessarily in line with Open Science. Besides the key Communications, directives and legal documentation during this period, the EC has also published and promoted the main policy documents regarding OS. These reports include different approaches and an abundance of recommendations (see Section 3.2 and Annex I).

OS for the EC is not only an idea - it needs to be practised. The Final Report of the Open Science Policy Platform provided the update of the last four years mandate (2016-2020) focusing on the so-called PCI (Practical Commitments for Implementation) of OS at the stakeholder level. While the report does not propose a definition of Open Science nor Open Innovation, it proposes five attributes to be accomplished by a 'Research System based on shared knowledge by 2030': 1) An academic career structure that rewards a broad range of outputs, practices and behaviours to maximise contributions to a shared research knowledge system; 2) A research system that is reliable, transparent and trustworthy; 3) A research system that enables innovation; 4) A research culture that facilitates diversity and equity of opportunity; and 5) A research system that is built on evidence-based policy and practice. (Méndez et al., 2020). This final report of the OSPP recognises the importance of embedding IPR within an Open Science framework that protects the interests of different stakeholders, including private and commercial research organisations, but without limiting the scientific and societal benefits of sharing and reuse of scholarly knowledge for all humanity, or limiting innovation in a transparent competitive market. It particularly refers to the need to address the dilemma faced by business and industry in adopting OS practices whilst fulfilling requirements for IPR.

In the new Communication about The New ERA8 for Research and Innovation, the Commission states that:

'Open science makes the R&I systems more efficient and creative and reinforces excellence and society´s trust in science. This is because opening and sharing research results and data, making them reusable and reproducible, and having access to research infrastructures provides the basis for peer scrutiny and quality, as well as efficiency in taking research reflections, analysis and innovation further'.

Although key to prosperity, peace and a healthy planet (all priorities for the UN's 2030 Agenda and SDG) and despite the EC leadership, Open Science still has no common definition or international policy framework (Azoulay, 2021). To conclude this section on the definition and scope of Open Science, we should cite the two most comprehensive and updated definitions of OS: one recently provided from the domain of Earth and Space Sciences by Ramachandran, et al. (2021) and (UNESCO, 2021), and a second definition given by UNESCO in its Draft Recommendation. Ramachandran et al. underline the inherent collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of (Open) Science enabled by the technological developments accelerating scientific research and understanding, by empowering data and information sharing capabilities reaching not only the scientific community but the public at large. Their 'vision of open science converges around three overarching dimensions: increasing access to the scientific process and the corresponding body of knowledge; making both the research process and knowledge sharing more efficient; and understanding and assessing scientific impact through innovative new metrics'. As part of its comprehensive definition, UNESCO Draft Recommendation defines OS as 'an inclusive construct' and reinforces that 'Open Science critiques and transforms the boundaries of intellectual property to increase access to knowledge by everyone'. This open approach does not contradict the use of IP as a possible route to benefiting private exploitation, the use of scientific knowledge to bring about potential tangible economic benefits, or the creation of new competitive products and services. However they do not propose any practical measure regarding IPR to make knowledge sharing and the research process more efficient.

Finally, the UNESCO Draft Recommendations crystallised the name of 'Open Science' as the preferred term (instead of other possibilities Open Knowledge, Open Scholarship and Open Research) and it includes societal actors (citizens) as a key component. OS includes 'all scientific disciplines and aspects of scholarly practices, including basic and applied sciences, natural and social sciences and the humanities, and it builds on the following key pillars: open access to scientific knowledge, open science infrastructures, open science communication, open engagement of societal actors and open dialogue with other knowledge systems' (UNESCO, 2021). This is also crucial to have a global understanding and implementation of Open Science beyond the EU.

Open Science/Knowledge is the new paradigm where research will flourish, with a common brand to name it: Open Science. OS implies a paradigm shift in the broadest sense that Thomas Khun used in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions in 1962 when analysing the behaviour of scientific communities in charge of selecting the most suitable way to practice science. In research, when a paradigm stops answering a problem, disruptions occur at scientific level and new paradigms are created (Kuhn, 2012). The same thing has occurred in the manner the scientific community discloses and valorises research outcomes. The paradigm does not work. It is a paradigm created in the seventeenth century based exclusively on publications and the impact of the journals in which they are published. Particularly regarding scientific knowledge valorisation (KV), the current/traditional framework for IPR might be also dysfunctional because it is unable to quickly answer to extreme situations affecting fundamental rights, such as the right to health or security. OS can speed up knowledge transfer and reduce delays in the re-use of the results of scientific research, facilitating a swifter path from research to innovation. OS could increase access to the results of publicly funded research, foster spillovers and boost innovation across the economy (OECD, 2015b). The current/traditional scientific communication and valorisation paradigm is dysfunctional and does not respond in time to the needs of societal challenges. As the recent pandemic has evidenced, even though vaccines may be liberated from their patents, supply bottlenecks and worldwide shortages of essential components, especially nucleotides, enzymes and lipids, remain. This is because relatively few companies make these products, and not in sufficient numbers for global supply. Moreover, these companies are proving slow to license their manufacturing so that others might do this (Irwin, 2021). So despite the support of the most powerful stakeholders, for example the EU with its Covid Pledge, some link in the chain is missing. Therefore, the change cannot be IP specific, but of the paradigm. As Kuhn suggests, a paradigm is changed when it is evident it does not function properly.

A different paradigm must be created for scientific knowledge production, communication and valorisation, coherent with current technological possibilities and societal needs. The very notion of paradigm has the character of a foundation or organising model and supplies an epistemological orientation. Therefore, Open Science, on the one hand, adds a fourth model to the research process itself, traditionally based on three paradigms (theoretical, experimental and observational), to which is now added another model based on massive data computing. Additionally, Open Science fosters a new way of communicating research: de-constructing the traditional scientific communication process, used in the printed paradigm, and reconstructing it in a way that makes sense on the World-Wide-Web.

3.2. Open Science components

In a very simplistic approach, it seems that OS is just adding Open Data to the already well known scenario of Open Access. However, the coverage of Open Science implies many elements yet to be put in place and harmonised at the EU level and beyond. These OS elements are called either challenges or pillars in the European literature (Ayris et al., 2018; Masuzzo & Martens, 2017), but they are still the components necessary to create the whole picture. We can classify them into two groups: a) results-related components and b) actor-related components or challenges. In Appendix II, these EC reports and some other relevant ones regarding the different challenges and components of Open Science are carefully analysed with regard to IPR.

The challenges that we classify here as 'results-related' (Table 1) go beyond the mere fact of opening publications (OA) and data (ORD); they should entail more concrete and complex actions, from a technical, legal and political point of view.

  • One of these components in relation to research results is Open Access in the broader context of the Future of Scholarly Publishing and Scholarly Communication, which led an EC expert group that made a report with 26 recommendations (Guédon et al., 2019). The FSC (Future of Scholarly Communication) report includes a brief but categorical mention to the IPR: 'present intellectual property laws are not well adapted to the needs of researchers and other users, and, as a result, they work less efficiently and effectively than they might otherwise do'.

    Previous to the FSC report, we have to mention PlanS (September 2018): a concrete plan of action launched under the initiative of the --at the time- European Commission´s Open Access Envoy (and former Director General for Research and Innovation), Robert-Jan Smits, together with various Heads of European research funding organisations that pledged to put it into practice (cOAlitionS), with the support of Science Europe. PlanS is composed of ten principles, according to which all publications resulting from projects financed with funds by the cOAlitionS organisations must be published immediately in OA journals, on OA platforms or made immediately available through OA repositories. Additionally, the Commission officially launched (26 March 2021) its own publishing platform for immediate OA, called Open Research Europe (ORE), based on the diamond OA model and open peer review. Additionally, the Commission officially launched (26 March 2021) its own publishing platform for immediate OA, called Open Research Europe (ORE), based on the diamond OA model and open peer review.

  • FAIR data. More than just opening research data, OS implies sharing FAIR data, which proposes to make data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (Wilkinson et al., 2016). FAIR is a backronym which not only reflects an underlying principle, but also envisages high technical complexity in relation to metadata, vocabularies, persistent identifiers and other standards applicable to data. FAIR extends to other research results and even software (Lamprecht et al., 2020). To turn the FAIR data challenge into reality, the EC also named a specific HLEG, led by Simon Hodson, where 27 recommendations are collected to make data FAIR (European Commission Expert Group on FAIR Data, 2018). This report does not address IPR issues in a way that would have been desirable. It only refers to the open licenses to be added to the datasets in order to improve their reusability including 'a clear and accessible data usage license', but it does not explain what that implies.

    Opening access to data, in addition to the publications, is another step that promotes greater transparency and reproducibility of research. The revision of the European Directive on the reuse of Public Sector Information (PSI Directive or Open Data Directive9), published in June 2019, includes data from research financed with public funds as part of the data that can be shared and re-used, which strengthens the obligation to make the data available not only to researchers, but also to citizens. The directive expressly cites the FAIR principles and also the principle 'as open as possible, as closed as necessary' (see Section 6).

  • Along with FAIR data, another of the OS elements and challenges is the creation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC, which has recently also been called EU Open Science Commons), a federated European infrastructure for data and research services, where all researchers can deposit, access, analyse and reuse scientific data. The EOSC was officially presented in Vienna in November 2018. It is a very complex infrastructure that is still under construction both from a technical point of view and one of governance, through multiple projects that make up the EOSC ecosystem. To define this challenge, two groups of experts were appointed, which led to two reports (Mons et al., 2016; Muscella et al., 2018) and a total of 36 recommendations. The first report (Mons, et al., 2016) does not mention at all any IPR concerns at all, but the second points out that the data distributed via the EOSC will have different levels of access control, depending on different issues including Intellectual Property. Muscella, et al. (2018) specifically mention the importance of research in blockchain technologies, where IPR can be kept with the source, creating a new concept of trust for communities.

  • Next Generation Metrics (NGM) and indicators, to allow replacing the incentive system based on the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and the count of citations exclusively to publications, is the third challenge linked to research results. This fundamental OS component seeks responsible metrics and alternative metrics. The EC named two HLEG to work on two subsequent reports, with 12 (Wilsdon et al., 2017) and 13 recommendations and 149 potential indicators (Wouters et al., 2019). The first report does not mention IP issues, whilst the second one clearly states that OS policies need to address generic issues such as intellectual property and infrastructures while they also need to be sensitive to these specific contexts (Wouters et al., 2019, p. 5).

The other four elements of Open Science in Europe are related to the agents of the research process and involve constitutive elements of OS, but also challenges (Table 1):

  • Create a new way of evaluating the research career that fully recognizes and encourages OS. Without a doubt, this is the fundamental challenge that increasingly affects researchers, and is intended to adopt new metrics, mentioned as another challenge before. On this subject, a group of experts (HLEG) wrote yet another report, but with only 4 crucial recommendations aimed at both policy makers and funders; in addition to new criteria to evaluate researchers, collected in the OS-CAM (Career Assessment Matrix) (O'Carroll, Rentier, et al., 2017) that some countries such as the Netherlands10 and Norway11 have begun to implement. The OS-CAM defined in this report mentions IP (patents and licenses) as an Open Science practice in the realm of Research Impact, including being knowledgeable on the legal and ethical issues relating to IPR and transferring IP to the wider economy, as a criterion to be evaluated.

  • All researchers, especially the younger ones, have the knowledge and skills necessary to apply OS to their research practices. One cannot blame researchers for not practicing OS when they do not have the necessary skills to do so. Training in Open Science has given rise to various projects and initiatives to educate researchers, librarians, research assistants, etc. One of the best known is the FOSTER project mentioned earlier, as well as FOSTER+, which co-created a very interesting multilingual training manual (Bezjak et al., 2018b); but also voluntary community efforts on skilling researchers in OS, such as the Open Science MOOC12. The European Commission also created another HLEG on this key aspect, which created another report with 6 recommendations (O'Carroll, Kamerlin, et al., 2017) fully in line with the incentives report. This report shows the results of a survey done with EU researchers, and recognised that one quarter of researchers are aware of courses on intellectual property and patenting (IPR), but also recognises that researchers lack legal support surrounding IPR and the technical infrastructure to facilitate Open Science. It also mentions that IPR should be protected as one of the OS-related elements for employers and funders, included in the European Charter for Researchers. Intellectual property, research ethics and integrity should be integrated into the curriculum.

  • A new research integrity and a collectively agreed code of ethics that recognizes Open Science as the standard. In this case, the EC did not appoint a new specific working group, but rather adopted the principles of the European Code of Conduct for scientific integrity of the All European Academies (ALLEA, 2017) which recognize the opening of publications and data, as well as the incentive and recognition of open and reproducible science practices. In terms of IP, the ALLEA code of conduct recognises that 'researchers, research institutions and organisations should ensure that any contracts or agreements relating to research outputs include equitable and fair provision for the management of their use, ownership, and/or their protection under intellectual property rights'. It also mentions the necessity of protection of the IP of all partners and collaborators in a research project related to research data, as well as managing procedures to handle possible conflicts. ALLEA has recently published a specific report on the IPR issues on the implementation of the EOSC, noting that the principle 'open by default' might require setting proportionate limitations in 'duly justified cases' of IPR concerns (ALLEA, 2020).

  • The last challenge of OS is of paramount importance: that citizens can contribute significantly to research13 and that they are recognized as producers of knowledge in European Science. This component did not give rise to a specific expert group appointed by the EC. However, Socientize Project, an EC funded project, provided a very successful and dynamic forum for the Citizen Science community of experts. It might be considered the White Paper on Citizen Science in Europe (SOCIENTIZE, 2020) as a valuable input to policy making in this topic. The Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) worked directly with the ECSA (European Citizen Science Association) on this topic to state recommendations and settle citizen science practices. The Socientize report mentions IPR related to research data in the context of ethical guidelines for EU-wide data policy. They support a culture of openness for data and access to data, and among the implications of handling data they mention taking into account intellectual property rights, fundamental personal data protection rights, ethical standards, legal requirements and scientific data quality.

The UNESCO (2021) Draft recommendations state eight components of OS: Open Access, Open Data, Open Source/Software and Open Hardware, Open Science Infrastructures, Open Evaluation, Open Educational Resources, Open Engagement of Societal Actors, and Openness to Diversity of Knowledge. The Joint Appeal for Open Science (UNESCO, WHO and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights14, already cited in Section 2, simplify the three core elements of Open Science: 1) Open Access, 2) Open Data and 3) Open to the Society. But this categorical appeal refers to all research outputs as susceptible to being open: data and outputs to be more widely accessible (Open Access) and more reliably harnessed (Open Data) with the active engagement of all stakeholders (Open to Society), that has probably inspired some of the most recent definitions we have mentioned in the previous section (Ramachandran et al., 2021). Table 1 offers a comparative analysis of the OS components referred to here, where no one (EC, OECD, FOSTER, UNESCO) identifies the need for a new IP Framework as a crucial component for Open Science to happen.


UNESCO Open Science Recommendation was finally adopted in November 2021. See

According to its article 6:

For the purpose of this Recommendation, open science is defined as an inclusive construct that combines various movements and practices aiming to make multilingual scientific knowledge openly available, accessible and reusable for everyone, to increase scientific collaborations and sharing of information for the benefits of science and society, and to open the processes of scientific knowledge creation, evaluation and communication to societal actors beyond the traditional scientific community. It comprises all scientific disciplines and aspects of scholarly practices, including basic and applied sciences, natural and social sciences and the humanities, and it builds on the following key pillars: open scientific knowledge, open science infrastructures, science communication, open engagement of societal actors and open dialogue with other knowledge systems.

Results Future of Scholarly Communication Open Access Open Access to scholarly outputs Open Access
Results FAIR Data / ORD Open Data. Data-driven and evidence-based research. Open Data Open Data
Results Open Source Open Source Open Source software/Open hardware
Results European Open Science Cloud Open Science services and research infrastructures (including storage, stewardship, data Commons)
Results Next Generation Metrics Altmetrics. Alternative metrics Open Evaluation Open Evaluation
Actor Rewards and Incentives Open Evaluation Open Evaluation
Actor Skills in Open Science (Open Education) MOOCs. Open Lessons Open Educational Resources
Actor Citizen Science Citizen science, and research crowdfunding Open engagement of societal actions
Actor Research Integrity Open Science policies
Interdisciplinarity Interdisciplinary and international coordination Openness to diversity of knowledge
Reproducibility Open Reproducible research

Table 1. Comparison of the EC’s Open Science components with some of the main definitions provided (OECD, 2015b; FOSTER- Pontika et al., 2015; UNESCO, 2021)

The EC has been working in the last five years on aligning and extending these components, for example, related to interdisciplinary collaborative research and reproducibility (Baker et al., 2020). But the different documents and reports created or supported by the EC do not always highlight the importance of analysing a balanced and updated approach between OS and IPR. Annex I presents a detailed analysis of all the relevant reports in OS from 2015 to 2021 and how they approach (if so) IPR issues.

Taking into account all the relevant components of OS, when arriving to the relations between IPR and OS, this study includes an analysis of the following: Open Access; FAIR (Open) Data; Free software; APIs, taxonomies and ontologies; Hyperlinks, Text and Data Mining; Levies on remuneration rights; and finally, the relationship with basic science and IPR along with other issues (see Section 5). Before addressing this, a thorough explanation about the state of the art in IP will be provided in the next section, as the problems that arise in the binomial OS + IPR cannot be understood without a depiction on how IP currently affects data, information and knowledge.

  1. It is to be noted that probably the Wikipedia definition is the first one that a reader might find looking for further information about Open Science. 



  4. This will be further discussed in section 5. 

  5. Open Science Fact Sheet (updated, December 2019): 


  7. COM(2016) 178 final: European cloud initiative -building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe 

  8. COM(2020) 628 final: 

  9. DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/1024 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on open data and the re-use of public sector information. 

  10. SEP (Strategy Evaluation Protocol): 

  11. Norwegian Universities have adapted the OS-CAM and implement it for their researchers' evaluation 


  13. This is not new. As Conner puts it, 'The "folk" wisdom and lore of early societies was not an inferior kind of knowledge about nature that later was simply canceled out and replaced by more accurate scientific knowledge. Science as it exists today was created out of folk and artisanal sources.' (Conner, 2005, p. 4). 

  14. UNESCO's members will adopt the Recommendation on Open Science in their next General Conference, to be held in Paris in November 2021 and launch the Recommendation at the World Science Forum in South Africa (to be confirmed). If the draft is approved, we will have a comprehensive [globa]{.underline}l official text regarding Open Science and its constitutive parts, which will serve as a guide for the immediate and not-so-close future.