Open Science – Happening in Sweden

In October, the National Library presented a proposal for national guidelines on open science. This has been developed at the request of the government. Sweden hasn’t had any such guidelines, though some higher education institutions have adopted their own policies for open science. The University of Borås does not currently have an open science policy.

When the proposal was published, universities, research organizations, and other stakeholders had a month to respond to the proposal, which was based on UNESCO's recommendations on open science. The National Library has announced that the finalized guidelines will be presented to the Ministry of Education on January 15, 2024. This doesn't give them much time to process the responses. They received more than 70, which had varied takes on the document, from positive reactions to the initiative to critical opinions on both the execution and the goal itself.

Publishing with immediate open access since 2021

In research proposition 2020/21:60, the government set a goal that all scientific publications resulting from publicly funded research should be made immediate open access from 2021. For the University of Borås, information on the percentage of the university's research publications published with immediate open access can be found in the annual report since 2022.

The same proposition from 2020 also set the goal that all publicly funded research should share research data "as openly as possible, as closed as necessary" by 2026. Hence open science is something that universities are already moving towards. The National Library’s task has just been to clarify the objectives with the help of guidelines.

Admirable to move towards open research data

In an interesting note, open access to research data has recently been highlighted in media as something heroic. In this particular case it wasn’t research data from a university, but from one of the state's public investigations (SOU). An editorial in Expressen on November 4, noted how the chief secretary of a state investigation on wind power ensured that the data used became freely accessible for everyone. The conclusion of the editorial states: Gray bureaucrats can also be heroes.

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