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FAQs on the Open Science Policy Platform

Who initiated the process of establishing the Open Science Policy Platform?

The broad stakeholder consultation carried out over the last 18 months by the European Commission on Open Science made clear that a broad and structured dialogue is needed among all relevant stakeholders to support the development of Open Science for the benefits of the European research system. The aim is to help bringing up and addressing all issues of concern for the European science and research community. DG Research and Innovation therefore decided to set-up the Open Science Policy Platform to facilitate this dialogue and calls all interested stakeholders to participate in the upcoming policy development process.

Why is the Policy Platform needed?

The Open Science Policy Platform is needed to advise the European Commission on how to further develop and practically implement Open Science policy, to radically improve the quality and impact of European science. In particular, the Policy Platform is expected to contribute to the effective policy implementation of Open Science, by reviewing best practices, drawing policy guidelines and encouraging the active uptake by stakeholders.

What is Open Science?

Open Science is the term chosen by stakeholders during the 2014 public consultation to describe the ongoing transitions in the way research is performed, researchers collaborate, knowledge is shared, and science is organised. It represents a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of knowledge distribution using digital technologies and new collaborative tools. In practice, Open Science can make science more:

    • credible (addressing scientific integrity);
    • reliable (better and transparent verification of data);
    • efficient (avoiding duplication of resources); and
    • responsive to societal challenges (helping find answers to some of the major concerns of our time).

Can you give some examples of topics to be discussed by the Policy Platform?

The Policy Platform will discuss Open Science topics in line with the five broad lines for action which were identified during the 2014 public consultation and structure the draft European Open Science Agenda:

  • Fostering Open Science: spreading best practices, extending the knowledge base (citizen science), guaranteeing quality, impact and research integrity
  • Removing barriers: review of curricular and training, researchers' careers evaluation system, creating incentives,
  • Developing research infrastructures for Open Science
  • Mainstreaming open access to research outcome
  • Embedding Open Science in society

What is the role of the Policy Platform? What will be the tasks of its members?

The Open Science Policy Platform will advise the European Commission on how to further develop and practically implement open science policy. In support of policy formulation, it will help identify the issues to be addressed and provide recommendations to the Commission on the policy actions required. In support of effective policy implementation, it will contribute to reviewing best practices, drawing policy guidelines and encouraging their active uptake by stakeholders. It will function as a dynamic, stakeholder-driven mechanism for bringing up and addressing issues of concern for the European science and research community and its representative organisations, in relation with the development of Open Science in Europe. It will provide advice and recommendations on any cross-cutting issues affecting Open Science.

Who can become member of the Policy Platform?

The Open Science Policy Platform will consist of top level representatives of relevant European stakeholders of science and research:

  • European branch organisations representing universities, research organisations, academies of sciences, research funding bodies, citizen science organisations, scientific publisher associations, private or public open science platforms and intermediaries, and (research) library organisations.
  • Individuals appointed to represent a common interest shared by stakeholders, including representatives nominated by national institutions or organisations if they are associated with other organisations in other Member States and share a common interest. These stakeholders could nominate one representative.

The list of eligible stakeholders include public and private organisations such as universities, research organisations, academies of science, research funding bodies, citizen science organisations, scientific publisher associations, private or public open science platforms and intermediaries, and (research) library organisations.

Can individual experts in their personal capacity become member of the Policy Platform?

Individual experts not representing 'a common interest shared by stakeholders' cannot become member of the Open Science Policy Platform.

How many representatives can be nominated by each organisation or group of stakeholders?

Each organisation or group of stakeholders can nominate only one representative.

How should someone apply? Is there any specific application form?

In order to apply to become a member of the Open Science Policy Platform please send in a motivation letter including the information listed in the call for expression of interest under section 4. Furthermore, a CV of the potential member must be submitted showing the professional experience and expertise. The applications form individuals representing a common interest shared by stakeholders must include a letter of support of those stakeholders/institutions/organisations that support their application.
No specific application form needs to be filled in. A letter with the requested information in annex is sufficient. This should be sent to the functional mailbox: RTD-Open-Science@ec.europa.eu by 22/03/2016.

How will the members of the Policy Platform be selected?

The members will be selected by DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission, in accordance with the selection criteria listed in the call for expression of interest in section 5. The Commission will rank and prioritize the applications in accordance with these criteria. It will strive to achieve a good balance within the members of the group in terms of stakeholders represented, gender, age, and geographical origin.

For how long will the members of the Policy Platform be appointed?

The mandate of the members will be for a period of 24 months.

Does the membership in the Policy Platform restrict this person’s ability to participate in future Horizon 2020 research projects?

There is no formal restriction to the participating in future Horizon 2020 research projects because of the membership in an expert group.
However, we want to bring to your attention two horizontal rules for Commission expert groups you should be aware of:

  • 'Conflict of interest' means any situation where an expert has an interest that may compromise or be reasonably perceived to compromise the expert’s capacity to act independently and in the public interest when providing advice to the Commission in relation to the subject of the work performed by the group or sub-group in question.
  • Expert group deliberations shall be confidential.

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