Webinar on Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

Stock photo of books.

The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) organized a webinar on the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information and OpenAlex database.

The Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information will be published in mid-April (16.4.). The signatories of the Declaration are committed to take a leading role in promoting the openness of research information. 

During the webinar, which took place on April 2, professor Ludo Waltman (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University) presented the key elements of the Barcelona Declaration, highlighted its relevance for the research enterprise and its connections to other policies that promote open science and research.

The webinar allowed participants to enhance their understanding about the Declaration as well as to discuss what the signing means from the point of view of Finnish organizations. Also, it offered an opportunity to deepen the participants' knowledge of OpenAlex, which is an open and comprehensive index of scholarly papers, citations, authors, institutions, and journals.

The Barcelona Declaration has been prepared by a group of research information experts representing organizations that carry-out, fund, and evaluate research, as well as open research infrastructures.

Barcelona Declaration as a part of open science policies

The Barcelona declaration is in line with the CoARA agreement published in 2022. The principles of the CoARA agreement include ensuring the "independence and transparency of the data, infrastructure and criteria necessary for research assessment and for determining research impacts". The agreement has been signed by almost all Finnish universities, a large number of universities of applied sciences, as well as the Finnish Union of Docents, the Research Council of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.

The Council of the European Union (Conclusions on research assessment and implementation of open science, 2022) also urges the "Member States, the Commission and stakeholders to promote independence, openness, reproducibility and transparency of the data and criteria necessary for research assessment and for determining research impacts". Open infrastructures are also part of UNESCO's recommendation on open science.

Open and free database OpenAlex

OpenAlex, which was published in 2022, is a free and open database of publications, researchers, journals, institutions and concepts, and the connections between them. It is made by the non-profit OurResearch. OpenAlex has received a lot of attention when an open edition of the Leiden University Ranking based on this database was published. Sorbonne University has decided to discontinue its subscription to the Web of Science database and started cooperation with OpenAlex. In addition, the French higher education institution and the Ministry of Science has committed to multi-year collaboration, which aims at the development of  OpenAlex database.

Photo:  Claudia Wolff, Unsplash

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