Open science at EMBL: a transparent way of working

EMBL announces the release of its new Open Science Policy, contributing to positive culture change across the life sciences

Pictures and graphics to represent different aspects of open science across EMBL
EMBL Open Science Policy. Credit: Holly Joynes/EMBL

EMBL has released a new Open Science Policy as part of its ongoing commitment to drive trust, transparency, and more inclusive research across the life sciences.

The Open Science Policy will expand on existing practice, and contribute to positive culture change across EMBL and more widely. To ensure this, the policy covers research assessment and fair attribution of credit. The policy also puts in place guidelines for EMBL staff regarding open and timely access to research results via publications, data, and software.

“Open science has always been part of the fabric of EMBL,” said Edith Heard, Director General of EMBL. “I am very pleased that we can announce this new policy, at a time when the world needs to share knowledge and accelerate research more than ever before.”

Public availability of research outputs

The policy states that all EMBL research publications should be made openly available in Europe PMC. There is also a requirement to publish preprints of all manuscripts in a preprint server indexed by Europe PMC. In addition, data should be submitted as complete datasets and comply with FAIR principles, while software created as a research output or to support EMBL services should be open source by default.

“Open science drives better research,” said Jo McEntyre, Associate Director of EMBL-EBI Services. “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is clearer now than ever before. When we make scientific publications and data produced from research openly accessible and freely available as soon as possible to the global scientific community, we accelerate the rate of discovery.”

Research assessment and fair attribution of credit

All EMBL staff publishing research will be required to maintain an ORCID iD, and publications should acknowledge EMBL – both as affiliation and source of funding – as well as any external grants used to conduct the research.

Research assessment across the organisation will value all research outputs, and not use journal impact factors as a metric for success. This is in accordance with the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) agreement, of which EMBL is a signatory.

“Current research assessment processes can overly focus on the venues where scientists publish their work and flawed measures such as the journal impact factor,” said EMBL Group Leader Wolfgang Huber. “Regrounding research assessment on actual content, including in recruitment and performance assessment processes, will help in recognising the value of a broad range of scientific outputs including research articles, FAIR data, and software.”

Tags: open access, open data, open science, open source, osim, policy, science policy


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