Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information


Vast amounts of information are being used to manage the research enterprise, from information about research actors and their activities to information about inputs and outputs in the research process and signals of the use, esteem, and societal impact of research. This information often plays a vital role in the distribution of resources and the evaluation of researchers and institutions. Research performing and research funding organizations use this information to set strategic priorities. The information is also indispensable for researchers and societal stakeholders to find and assess relevant research outputs.

However, a large share of all research information is locked inside proprietary infrastructures. It is managed by companies that are accountable primarily to their shareholders, not to the research community. As research community, we have become strongly reliant on closed infrastructures. We have ended up assessing researchers and institutions based on non-transparent evidence. We are monitoring and incentivizing open science using closed data. We are also routinely making decisions based on information that is biased against less privileged languages, geographical regions, and research agendas. To advance responsible research assessment and open science and to promote unbiased high-quality decision making, there is an urgent need to make research information openly available through open scholarly infrastructures. Openness of research information must be the new norm.

A photo of Mogens Sandfaer, Head of National Open Research Analytics, Denmark with accompanying quotation: With Open Research Information we may review and access Open Science contributions in an open way. Indeed, we may make all our research assessment transparent and FAIR - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable – with Open Access and without any restrictions on how the Open Research Information is used and shared.

The signatories to the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information believe that the research information landscape requires fundamental change. We commit to taking a lead in reforming the landscape and transforming our practices. To this end, we commit to (1) making openness of research information the default, (2) working with services and systems that support and enable open research information, (3) supporting the sustainability of infrastructures for open research information, and (4) working together to realize the transition from closed to open research information.